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Big City, Bright Lights and Your Happiness

We seek something that will help us feel secure, sheltered, fed, and connected. We give it a name, and call it happiness.

The desire for happiness is innate.

When that desire raises questions in us, we look inside. We begin introspection, and ask questions that we hope will identify its core.

It’s as if happiness has a meaning in itself, we can feel its rhythms in our soul, and if we could just get our hands on it, we could master it and put it to use.

There’s something universal about the need for solidity in humans. We always attempt to establish things in life, small and big things. We want to live, but we desire things to have a pattern, a structure that we can follow.

An introspective person will convince themselves that the answer lies within, and if only they could dig deep enough, the answer would appear and all would be well.

Extroverted people look outwards and seek physical ideas that will satisfy their needs. We’re all looking for the same thing, happiness.

“You have friends who actually care about you and speak the language of the inner self. You have avoided them of late. Your soul is as disheveled as your apartment, and until you can clean it up a little you don’t want to invite anyone inside.” ― Jay McInerney, Bright Lights, Big City

Society is complex, places are utilized to gather and meet, to talk and to create atmospheres of fun and enjoyment. Clubs, bars, restaurants — places where music is played. Either live music or a DJ, it depends on your taste.

Cities developed through the church. A newly built cathedral would draw people from the countryside. They would come to worship in the new cathedral, but also discover something else that was missing in the small villages and hamlets. New Connections.

The hustle and bustle of a city is an exciting feeling. The sounds, smells, and sights of people busying themselves each day, working and playing, vendors and buyers, the mix of cultures as traders and merchants arrive from distant places.

This melting pot of diverse people creates a new world of possibilities for an individual who wishes to be happy.

The city offers an abundance of choices. The offers of happiness are found at every corner, in every dimly lit bar, music draws people in, in every shop that we pass, something special is on show. The city center, its main square, occupied by live musicians busking for a few pennies.

The jester who plays in the street helps us find something deeper within. Their music speaks to the rhythms of life.

The sounds of the city promise the security that we are searching for. The crackle of cooking, the smell of a meal. People sitting together and chatting, laughing, people urgently going places.

The colorful streets, people dressed in costume, individuality expressed with garish colors and wide hats, dark glasses, and a perma-smile showing the world that they have found their happiness.

We want to be part of it all, to be included, too.

City people dress well and dapper. People make choices and overcome their fears. Bright colors, wide pants, skinny pants, baggy Tees, old hats and flipped peaks. Rings adorn ears, and flash silver and gold.

Hair slick and sharp, smart looks that send a message of “I’m alright, I’m happy -you?”

A city offers much, but demands that you make choices if you want to fit in and be happy. To find your style is to show your happiness.

The happiness that we seek relentlessly calls from within and reflects from outside. We are under pressure to test things and make choices about who we are.

To be part of the city, the people who make it, we have to be seen first. So we do something, become part of a group, and experiment with all that’s on offer.

We open ourselves to the flow of life. And now, we are in danger. We must follow our instincts or be led along by the sound of the Pied-Piper beckoning us with the sweet melody of new life, and promises of happiness.

If we make the right choices, wear the right clothes, and visit the right locations, we will start to see our contemporaries — people that we don’t know, but somehow, we do.

They send signals with clothes and music that they are the same as us. We have found a tribe, a clan or a new cathedral that we know we already love.

The rituals of greetings and tests that prove identity pass between us like clues. The handshakes, the nods and gestures all fit.

Who is the fake and who is real?

New connections, a cathedral where we listen to our music, we break bread, we eat together, then dance to the rhythms of life and happiness — together, we hope we have found it, in our new city.

Written by

Berlin Notes — Writing about the Creative Art of Living

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