I am a rebel by nature. Not that much of a rebel, if I think of all the rebels I’ve heard of, but a rebel, still. And as a self-proclaimed rebel, I think that a rebel would be a rebel whether or not he had something to rebel against. It’s in our nature to reject some part of the world we live in. We look for causes, for things to call right, for dreams and visions worth fighting for. We could invent them, if necessary. The important thing is having something seemingly bigger than ourselves to fight for.

Sometimes I believe that the things I want to fight for are the most important things in the world, but most times I know they’re not. Not to other people, not to me, not to the world itself. And if I had to fight for my self enough, I wouldn’t care enough or have the energy to fight for anything else. The truth is that we’re happy enough of the time, and we’re all fine. The world’s fine. I’m fine. It’s likely that I’ll always be fine.

This however, is not enough. I’m not fine with being fine all the time. Fine is okay, fine is fine, but fine does not satisfy me. Fine doesn’t go with the rebel in me. I can give you a few dozen reasons why it’s not right to settle for fine even though the ups and downs I’ll win by fighting may never sum up to the same level, but they’re not important. What is important is that being me keeps me happy most of the time. And it just wouldn’t be me to settle for fine. Hence, I must rebel.

The pursuit of happiness

How hard do we have to try to be happy?
Do we really feel the good only in contrast to the bad?

When the days ahead look like an uphill climb, they say you need to climb as hard as you can, and then convince yourself that you can climb harder. You need to torture yourself to get to the top. You need to feel the pain. The only explanation I can understand is that we only torture ourselves for how good it feels when the torture is over.

We’re taught since we’re little, that we can get anything at the cost of unwilling effort. Homework for freedom, chores for chocolates and marks and grades for anything else on your wishlist. It’s a way of preparing children for the world they’re going to grow up in. So they’ll accept it without too much suffering.

They still say you need to work hard to get what you want, but what does ‘work’ mean? what do I want?
I’ve hardly felt better than when I’ve spent all day and then stayed up all night doing something that I love. And I don’t recall ever getting something I want by doing what everyone understands to be ‘work’. Because whenever I thought of something as work, I never did it well enough. And yet, I have as much as anyone else. I like that I can contradict them by just existing.

Everything takes time and energy. It’s just that I seem to have an endless supply of energy with some activities, while others make me want to sleep 14 hours out of 24.

Sometimes I feel like it’s a battle between me, and the way the world is. And accepting the world to be the way it is takes the most out of me. More than the fighting. I once heard the line, “We need to pretend the world is the way it should be, to show people what it can be.” And it made sense. Because very often, what feels like the easiest thing to do is to just keep fighting. Without any real hope of winning, but just fighting to preserve my identity. Fighting to exist in a world that contradicts with me.

Getting back to the question, I think we need to torture ourselves once in a while. Everytime we start to forget what the pain feels like. Maybe just so we can see the happiness when it comes, or maybe just out of boredom and curiosity. To understand ourselves, and see what we’re capable of. And in the long run, it does make us happier.