Big up everybody who go Trinidad carnival last week go wuk up dem body and see Machel live. Big up everybody who couldn’ afford di plane ticket so dem a save up fi UWI Jouvert and Ring Road march. Don’ worry, ah di same wuk up you ah get.
I used to think I had it bad because I had no shoes, then I met a man with no feet.
Now, I know that unhappiness lies in the gap between where you think things should be and where they actually are and I know it’s bad to compare yourself with other people, but I find myself unequal to the task of accepting my reality. I’ve never been able to accept my reality. If it wasn’t books I was getting lost in, it was my friend’s lives, or my own daydreams. Reality has never been enough to satisfy me, except in those (warning: girl moment) random moments when I’m with the boyfriend and my world is rose-coloured.
So most of the time I am trapped in the depression of longing. I am writing this in the hope of finding out that I am not alone, and if you are also sometimes given to bouts of irrational envy: hey, you are not alone.
You are not alone in your wanting.
This isn’t about the necessities. No, I already have the things I need; this is about the things I want. Pretty things. Like popcorn. Or an HD TV. Or trips abroad. Okay, I’ve had my share of that. So I’m speaking on behalf of you now, anonymous wanter. Maybe it’s acceptance to the Master’s programme of your choice, maybe it’s just acceptance. Materialistically, emotionally; whatever or whoever it is, we can’t have it and that makes us unhappy.
The man with a toothache thinks everyone happy whose teeth are sound. The poverty-stricken man makes the same mistake about the rich man.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Before you go out robbing banks, understand that I’m not only talking about getting what you want. Sometimes we want things we shouldn’t, things that aren’t good for us, and not getting them is actually a good thing. So sometimes the solution is just to accept your reality and let go of those feelings of inadequacy and “less than-ness”. Use something that puts you at peace. When I’m sad, I put on my Sadface playlist and choreograph dances in my head until I fall asleep and by the time I wake up I’m not sad any more.
But I don’t think that will work for everybody.
On the other hand, that thing you think is a want might actually be something you need, something that you are meant to have or do. In that case, it’s more about bridging the gap than sitting on one side singing Kumbayah. That means hard work and sacrifice and plenty of BS&T. I’ve found that if something isn’t handed to you then you have to earn it, and that’s never easy.
Life contains but two tragedies. One is not to get your heart’s desire; the other is to get it.
Whichever way we choose, our goal is to dispel the sadness. Whether you get the want or give it up doesn’t matter as long as you’re happy with your choice.
As for telling the difference between a want-want and a need-want, if you figure it out be sure to tell me how.
BS&T: Blood, sweat and tears.