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Thursday, January 13, 2005

happiness, a strange thing

My melancholic soul's been touched with a peculiar feeling this past while.


I once thought I'd never be happy. That I would never feel comfortable in a life where everything is always being broken. Broken legs, broken dreams, broken countries, broken leaders, broken buildings; broken hearts.

It's not that I've become numb to pain or blind to suffering. A bold headline jumps out from the newspaper beside me: 'Somebody is going to die'. Clever journalist. Is it dark to say that people will always be dying? Because they will. It's the cycle of life. The moment you are born you start living and you start dying. So cut the crap and make the most of it. Choosing to be tortured and depressed by this doesn't help. I'm stuck with this body until it's buried ten feet under the soil, so I might as well feel good in it.

The day has been wet and surprisingly warm. I sat through my classes, not taking notes, but attentive as I know how to be, and content. Throwing my hand up when I felt I may combust if my opinions were kept to myself.

I'm accepting journalism too. Kate: the advice helped. Today in sociology I sat with another journalism student; the rest of the class mainly childhood education students. Mainly women. They are the ones who will go on to care for and teach young children. Looking at statistics the teacher asked why men seem to commit suicide more than women. Some of the responses were shocking.

One woman said matter-of-factly that "it's because men set their standards higher, they're happy if they make a lot of money, have a nice car, have a really great job. Women are happy if they can raise a good family."

Looks were exchanged between me and the other journalism student. We talked about it afterwards and decided that some of the comments must have been due to the different interests and view points that come with being in the childhood education program. As journalists we are taught to be sexless. Unless of course a push up bra helps you get an interview. And we in fact do want the good job. And a family may not be our idea of happiness. Whether we are a woman or not.

And at that moment, and for the moment, journalism seems right. Whether or not I will ever understand the news, I am happy to have an insatiable curiosity. To be forced to use my creativity and personality to the best of their ability. To push generalizations and statistics.

To find my own happy.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

With regard to that bit about suicide, was there also a discussion of the different methods men and women use in their attempts? Was there a discussion of who makes the most attempts, men or women? I ask because maybe my information is old, but it is my understanding that women make more attempts but men are more successful because they choose more lethal approaches to the act. Vaughan

10:41 PM  
Blogger Gillian Young said...

Yeah, you've got it. That was one of the most realistic theories we discussed. We never went into any theory into enough depth to decide which was right and which was wrong, but that one made more sense than most.

6:20 AM  

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