I keep so many pockets of happiness that I decided to sew them into a jacket. Each pocket found its proper place, but happiness is such a touchy issue that my joy is dispersed and sometimes lost.
The jacket has one breast pocket facing outward over my heart. It’s my own personal nametag—the happiness I always show to the world. This pocket is where I keep my standard answers to the question, how are you? The phrases I’m pretty good and I’m alright hang out in this pocket. When people are masking deeper issues with happiness, this is the pocket they usually store their antics in.
The other outward pocket is the one on my sleeve. It’s where I keep the happiness to show people close to me and where I keep the good moments of my life. I often come across this pocket by accident like when the Colorado Rockies hit a home run or I run into my friend on a train. This is where I keep memories of laughs and love.
My day-to-day happiness goes in the two regular old pockets on the bottom of the jacket. Unfortunately, these pockets seem to have holes in them. Whatever thread I use to sew up these holes doesn’t seem to work. It sometimes feels like this happiness is elusive. Without the right ingredients for my life—job and meaning—the holes will never be filled.
I must admit that the pocket on the right has a secret compartment. I’ve found myself storing happiness in this compartment and not showing it to the world. It seems to me that when people think you’re happy, they suddenly think you’re not struggling.
With my life in turmoil at times, I don’t go into this secret pocket much. I am afraid if I do, I will lose the support system around me to deal with my problems. If I cannot secure my long-term happiness, then I don’t know that I can have short-term happiness.
The final pocket is inside the jacket. It’s hard to get to. You have to unzip the jacket and unbutton the pocket, but in rare moments I seek it out. This is where my moments of bliss lie. This is where I keep the valuable experiences that I wish were abundant enough to fill the other pockets.