On happiness

Mariana Machado
3 min readJun 14, 2023

Over the last few weeks I’ve found myself talking about happiness with different groups of people. The past few years have been crazy and no one really seems to know where they’re headed, so I think we’re paying more attention to what we’re feeling and how we see life.

One of those conversations I had was with one of my best friends who was telling me how he explained to his children that happiness isn’t the opposite of sadness; and while this may seem simple enough, it made me think about our obsession with being happy all the time.

Aristotle said that “Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence” — and while I’m no philosopher and obviously no one to argue with someone like Aristotle, I also believe that we all have more than one purpose in life and putting everything on happiness seems a bit daunting.
The truth is most days I’m just existing. I’m an emotional being and I accept what I’m feeling but I don’t let those emotions define me as I’m much more than just one thing.

Now, as to why I’m writing this. This year I’ve dealt with a lot of deep emotions which got me thinking about my own purpose and pursuit for happiness. Having ended a long relationship, moving cities and trying to understand what I want for my future, some days it was hard not to be overwhelmed by my thoughts and emotions. And while sometimes I thought I was lost forever, over the last few months I felt happiness like I hadn’t in a long time. I showed more of myself to others, I let people in and I’m connected with what I’m feeling; and while I cried a lot , I also laughed the hardest I’ve ever had.

But what is happiness? In my case, it has many shapes and forms. Happiness is an afternoon with my siblings; it’s eating McDonald’s when I’m hungover or watching Max win yet another F1 race; it’s watching a nonsense movie and laughing all the way through it. It’s being with my friends, traveling to unknown places and dancing to old songs.

Ultimately, happiness is a place I visit every so often. For instance, last week I was at Primavera Sound and I don’t remember feeling that level of happiness. During Fred Again’s concert I was thinking how music allows me to experience so many feelings and how it could be so therapeutic.

So, am I happy? I honestly can’t say. For now, when I’m down or having a bad day, I allow myself to feel those emotions and accept them. I know these won’t last forever and I will visit happiness again.
And if all else fails, I’ll become a Fred Again groupie and follow happiness around the world. 🌎

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Mariana Machado

I used to dream about becoming a poet and I’ve always loved writing, so I made it my job.