This I believe.
Never shall I forget the bond between these two friends. How they came together like two pieces of a puzzle; supporting each other in the creation of something that was beyond them. They were like night and day. One set the sky aflame as it woke every morning, turning it wondrous shades of violet, red, yellow, and orange; just to be conquered by the night’s darkness when the time came. As though they were competing to rule the world, thus resulting in a continuous battle among the heavens. They were the best of friends, happiness and sadness.
There were of course, some setbacks.
Sometimes happiness requires tears of anguish and endurance. Sometimes sadness is meant to be suppressed by a hollow smile that creates a facade of sorts. This sadness holds pain, defeat, depression, loneliness, loss, and so much more that seems to be lost in the corners of one’s heart, trying to put the fragmented parts of itself together to create a solid emotion, but failing to do so. Sometimes happiness is the glue that prevents one’s heart from shattering into thousands of pieces of glass, whenever asked the question “Are you okay?,”and forces one’s lips and voice to complete each other in efforts of conceiving the statement, “I’m fine.”
Being able to suppress such emotions had required me to compress my heart in a chest of steel, securing it under lock and key, and burying it under the “new heart” I had sculpted from the lies I told to the people around me.
I used to hide in a dark corner of the world, my knees curled up against my chest, desperately kicking at the shadows that seemed to consume my being.
I wanted the overwhelming sadness that seemed to wash over me, like the waves of a deadly storm in the pacific, to yield; and when they did, I counted the seconds ’til they returned. Not in anticipation. In fear.
Such sadness became a constant within me, threatening my sanity, to the extent that I became numb to the pain at one point. And so came depression.
People spoke of a happiness that I only caught glimpses of through the stories behind their smiles. I felt as though they would never understand the value of such happiness. To acquire something so distant was what I yearned for. It’s what demanded my heart to keep beating, and my lungs to keep breathing.
And then came the day when I met someone who altered my entire perspective towards pain and sadness. She was beautiful. Truly, she was. In nearly every sense. Nearly. There was something about her that I couldn’t place. Something that nagged my conscience whenever I saw or spoke to her. Then it hit me. She lacked depth. When one looked into her eyes, they would see happiness, but the superficial kind. The kind that had never suffered at the hands of sadness; the kind that had never demanded sacrifice; the kind that had never battled against adversity, and won. She was the cover of a book. A cover that manipulated one’s mind into believing that the book had to be a great read. But when you opened the book, the pages were blank.
I began to compare her with another close friend of mine. Relative, to be more precise. This individual was the kind of person you could never get enough of. Her voice, her attitude, her moodiness, just made you want more of her companionship. I connected with her at levels that I never could have imagined, and eventually began to realize why that was. As humans, we develop the need for others to understand us, comfort us, and hold us. To talk about our grief and pain to those who are not only willing to listen, but to understand. She was the kind of person who understood. I saw recognition bloom in her eyes like flowers during spring. As though she were suffering through the same storm, just on a different boat.
That was the difference between the two.
Sadness is not a punishment. Regardless, don’t get me wrong, because the purpose of sadness is to drag you down into the depths of Tartarus. But not to suffer. The purpose behind such extremes is for you to look in the mirror and see who you are. To see your own potential and capabilities. It tests what you have the ability to do when being consumed by the fear and pressures of the world around you. It enables you to grow, to change, to survive. It’s what gives you the ability to provide happiness to others. Happiness is the outcome of sadness. It dawns understanding. One cannot live happily if they have not first lived sadly. These forces co-exist within us. They entwine themselves into our fate, bending one way or the other, in attempts to overpower one another, thus resulting in triumphs and defeats. Pain and joy. Successes and failures. Memories to be cherished; memories to be forgotten.
It’s true that I’d rather be happy my whole life than sad; but most people often forget, as do I, that even though happiness is what we strive for in life, sadness is what gives us life.
This I believe, wholeheartedly.
18 thoughts on “Happiness: What I Live For; Sadness: What Lives For Me.”
This piece tugged on the strings of my heart in a way that I cannot comprehend. Your style, your diction choices, your syntax – everything about this blog – interlaced in such a way that it emphasized the emotion and depth behind every single word in this piece.
The contrast between happiness and sadness utilized throughout this piece provided me with an understanding of human emotions and motivation that I didn’t have prior to reading this. It really illuminated that though the two emotions are polar opposites, they thrive and feed off of one another. Without happiness, sadness wouldn’t exist; without sadness, happiness wouldn’t exist. This is such a beautiful concept which you have chosen to shine light upon and I feel that you have uncovered an element of life and human emotion that even someone as brilliant as Shakespeare couldn’t
I feel such a deep connection to you and to this piece because I feel that now I truly understand your heart and now I can fully understand my own heart and the motivation behind all my actions.
The only thing I would say that you can improve on is the capitalization in the title – I would say that the words “for” and “me” should be capitalized.
Aside from that, I can do nothing but thank you for writing this.
Very truly yours,
Can I start by saying WOW!!! Your writing was truly astonishing and beautiful to read. This piece you wrote conveyed a powerful significance upon how one can lose themselves in order to present a false version of themselves, in which one will be considered normal and not odd. You effectively relayed this message through mentioning sadness in relation to your own experiences.
(First and foremost I appreciated your visuals as they enhanced your wondrous writing. The images were thoughtfully placed as they correlated to the text written beside them.)
When you mentioned how one acquires a “new heart” and cages their true essence, I realized, don’t we all experience that at some point in our lives? Your statement could not be more accurate. We create layers upon layers on ourselves to conceal who we are and what we are feeling, it is as if we are potent to ourselves. This therefore evokes sadness as you mentioned, but as we become submerged within this depressive state of mind we desperately grasp to what we fantasize, jubilance.
You mentioned how you had encountered an individual that was “nearly” beautiful. You realized how her happiness was simply a facade. This made me wonder, did you too see yourself in her? Is that why you were quick to disengage yourself from her? I feel this expressive proclamation is extremely relevant. We hide beneath a fabricated reality in order to protect ourselves from individuals realizing how shattered we are. Yet you recognized how she was a “book with blank pages.” You witnessed the chink in her armor. We fiercely suppress our true characteristics, we constantly worry about others noticing. You made me realize how others do observe yet silently saunter by as if they haven’t got the slightest clue.
However, you met another individual who recognized what you were enduring, instead of hiding her true self, she was wholeheartedly brave as she was unafraid to reveal herself. She understood how as humans we possess flaws, yet it seemed that she correlated faults to beauty, she sought to understand rather than be ignorant.
You acknowledged what sadness was, yet mentioned how its intent was not to cause suffering. I have truly never acknowledged sadness with this form of perception. I correlated sadness in conjunction to adversity that continually suppresses you. I never reflected upon how sadness can serve as an inner reflection, it can shape an individual through their internalized realization.
A wise woman said, “One cannot live happily if they have not first lived sadly,” and I could not agree with her more earnestly. Sania, your eloquent writing has not only caused me to change my perception upon sadness, but it has caused me to contemplate myself as an individual. For this, I thank you for.
I cannot begin to thank you for all your kind words. For the first time I feel as though my writing means something to someone. You have made me feel important, and I have finally been able to fully grasped the notion that words have power.
A simple thank you is not nearly enough, but I hope my few words will suffice.
My dear Sadia,
I feel as though you have a better idea as to the interplay between happiness and sadness than myself. I thank you greatly for all the time you sacrificed for the means of expressing your opinion. It meant everything to me. I agreed with everything you said, and was touched by the number of quotes you referred to from my piece. It just goes to show how much you care. And for that, I am beyond grateful.
Hello, I’m Andrea Donayre from the International School of Panama and I’m in Mr. Avelar’s English 10 Honours class! Your essay really touched my heart, most of the time in life one feels like if being sad is being wrong, and I am not saying its right but without sadness their would be no happiness. The connection you made with both elements is so strong because you explain how they influence one another and how they are perceived in ones life. This essay makes one embrace and accept the negative things that occur in life because without them one cannot appreciate the positive ones. I would like to know if you have had any negative experiences that have made you realize the importance of them, and how they are a big part of the positive ones?
Thank you so much for reading my piece. I am beyond grateful.
In terms of negative experiences, mine were more linked to people, as I mentioned in the blog. I have met many people in my life, and some of those people are continuously happy, as though being sad is some sort of imperfection.And so, believing in sadness as this “imperfection” that people tend to hide, I began to see its link with happiness, and how happiness acts as a cover for such imperfection. I did not bring up this notion of imperfection within my piece, however, the negative experience I went through was mainly how people continuously ask me “why are you so sad?” in a manner that sounds pitiful, when in fact I am absolutely fine. Yes, something may be going on in my life that makes me hesitant to talk, but that does not mean that I am obligated to act happy when I am not. I suppose this blog was a response, of sorts, to how angry I was at the fact that people portray a happiness that doesn’t exist, since that creates a wall between two individuals, whereas sadness creates a link.
Hello Saniah, I’m Nathalie Lanza from the International School of Panama and I’m in Mr. Avelar’s English 10 Honours class! Let me start by saying that, you’re an incredible writer and that your piece is extremely emotional, especially to me. My question is, did you find happiness after everything?
I love how you asked the most simplest of questions, yet the answer to that question is beyond difficult to give. However, I will say this:
I have experienced true happiness, but in the saddest of moments. I have made true friends, in the darkest of times. I have not had a moment in my life in which I was in a state of ecstasy, without simultaneously experiencing a hint of sadness. This “utopian” happiness does not exist. However, happiness in general, I feel I have experienced. Regardless of whether or not sadness was present, happiness was there. It always has been. One just has to reach for it.
Hello, I’m Daniella Uzcategui from the International School of Panama and I’m in Mr. Avelar’s English 10 Honours class! After reading this essay I’m speechless by the way you described happiness and sadness, Before reading this I would’ve never thought that this two emotions could be compared with one another. Having this new perspectives that happiness and sadness are compared as best friends, has changed the way I see both emotions. Making me see that sadness is not bad after all, It helps you become stronger and as you said, “sadness is what gives us life.” I specially liked the way your intro was organized, and the way you used similes to describe both emotions. I would like to know what inspired you to write such a good simile and to compare both emotions as o one benefiting the other. Overall I really liked your essay and the way you used diction to describe each feeling as an impacting way for the reader.
I greatly appreciate your feedback, and I am glad that you now view these two emotions in a different light. I love it when I have altered the opinion of my readers.
In terms of the simile, I began to think of happiness and sadness as forces that live off of each other and coexist. This coexistence reminded me of our world in general. How everything relies on everything else. This notion resulted in the formation of my similes.
Hello Sania, I’m Nathalie Lanza from the International School of Panama and I’m in Mr. Avelar’s English 10 Honours class! I read your piece and I wanted to let you know that you’re a wonderful writer and I found this to be extremely emotional. My question to you is, did you eventually find happiness after everything?
I am Luis Tarazona from the International School of Panama, and an alumni of Mr.Avelar’s English 10 Honours class. This essay is truly and explicitly amazing. You are truly talented. I don’t think I can’t highlight the wholes essay (since Mr.Avelar might get mad with me) but a subject that I would really like to congratulate you on is, the way you made the whole essay a metaphor. When I was getting near the end of the essay, when you were finally stating that the friends you mentioned in the beggining was happiness and sadness I was like: “YESSSS, YESSSS, YESSSS!” This essay is truly extraordinary. Great diction by the way. 🙂
I am flattered as to how you noticed that my entire piece was a metaphor of sorts, and thank you greatly for your feedback.
Hello Saniah! My name is Kamila Cajiao and I’m studying at the International School of Panama. I’m in Mr. Avelar’s English 10 Honors class and the assignment we had today was to take a look at these essays and comment on them.
I knew I was definitely commenting on this one.
Not only is this story beautifully written, but it is also powerful enough to change someone’s perception on sadness and happiness. It’s like your comparing it to the yin and yang; there can’t be evil without good and there can’t be good without evil. It is simply life and you managed to express it wondrously.
Thank you so much for your comment!!I loved your analogy to yin and yang, and you’re absolutely right in that it directly relates to happiness and sadness.
Hello Sania, I am Joaquin Jacome from the International School of Panama and I am in Mr. Avelar’s class. I can really see that you are proud to be able to write about this specific topic. I could see how it might get personal at some times, but I think that puts more power behind the writing. Great essay, keep it up.
Dear beautiful, amazing Sania.
I have known you since the day you were born, I watched you grow up, and I thought of you like a sister more than anything else. I watched you laugh and cry (though admittedly more laughter) and I’ve also seen you try to understand me even when it didn’t make any sense to you.
Firstly, I don’t know why I didn’t read this piece before (call it me not wanting to accept how amazing intelligent you truly are) but I’m so glad I finally did.
I felt like I’ve always seen one side of you and this piece, it’s so breathtaking, so beautiful in its words I don’t know how I could have ever missed this amazing part of you.
You are an amazing writer. And your words in this piece truly reflect that. I hope you realize that happiness and sadness may be the best of friends, but don’t let happiness be the cover of sadness. We were given emotions for a reason and we can’t let one dominate the other.
I realize how personal these blogs are to some people and I can’t get over the insight of your blog. Out of every other blog, this hit me the hardest.
You described what I often feel like, and what I often struggle with, and put it into concise words that I could never master.
I’m awed. Inspired. Grateful. Hopeful. A million words and emotions that I could never write down for you.
Thank you for writing this piece.
“With the love of a thousand hearts, and the support of a thousand arms,”
I have no words for your comment. It was beautiful.
I feel as though it is nearly impossible to prevent one emotion from taking over another, as that is human nature. Our emotions, more often than not, take control of us, however it it these very emotions that give us depth, layers, and life. I often think of happiness as a back up plan if I fail to extinguish my sadness when it comes to making sure no one notices, however not letting one rule over the other is easier said than done.
You have no idea how touched I am by the simple fact that you read my blog, and the fact that you liked it (being the amazing writer that you are) is something I still cannot wrap my head around.
Thank you for your kind words.