Some time ago, during “off” phase in my long-term “on and off” relationship, I gave an online dating a go. There I was, on our second date, sitting in the fancy cocktail bar with the man from outside of my usual circles, sipping the sophisticated cocktail, when suddenly and entirely out the blue, the question “What is your five years plan?” has hit me. Only mildly alarmed at this point, I brushed it off cheerfully: “Oh, I want to be free and happy”. Then I made the mistake of returning the question. It was when he said with utter confidence and decisiveness: "I plan to move from the flat to a house and have two children ", that I had to fight the urge to run. As might be expected, we haven’t dated much longer.
Here I am now, five years - or more - have passed. Am I happy? Am I free?
At times I am happy. At times like this glorious morning, that arrived subsequently to a couple of grand spring days in London. I woke up early in the morning before the alarm went off, the neighbours still asleep and the house is quiet, I made myself a cup of coffee and relaxed into reading a wonderful book, the book that praises quiet happiness and freedom.
Most of the time though I am not happy. Or, in fact, free. Is it because I have not made a plan how to become happy and free? A clear, concise plan that I systematically follow? Is it because I relate happiness to making art, yet most of the time I find myself distracted from making art by being preoccupied with trivial time-consuming activities that intend to keep an overpriced roof over my head in this overpriced city of depressing weather? Is it because I get lost in the yearning desire to be in a different city, with a different person or a better version of the person I am with? Is it because I didn’t have the plan how to make it happen? The trouble is I always considered an artistic practice to be an organic one that cannot be structured or planned. Is this the source of my lack of happiness? A misconception? The idea of running away and starting from scratch, starting clean somewhere else is forever appealing; more appealing than going through laborious groundwork in London that doesn’t seem to end. Perhaps it is not possible for me to be happy in overconsuming London. Perhaps I indeed should go and live where the sun continuously gives everyone energy and stimulates pineal gland for that primal happiness.
Today though, on Sunday 22nd of April at 10.06 a.m., today I am happy in London. I wish that all of you, wherever you are, at least are happy at times.