“Happiness, to me, is being comfortable around somebody. I mean a lot of things make me happy.”
“Fishing, reading, meeting new people.”
A.J., South Carolina
I approached this man as he was contently reading in a quiet corner of the local Barnes & Noble. I sat down across from him and explained my project. He listened intently to my proposal and then let out a subtle laugh. I presume it was because this type of encounter is not entirely common, especially in between the fiction and literary classics sections of the book store. He agreed to participate, though, and it made for a wonderful conversation. Come to think of it, I may have even made a new friend.
“My sister is happy when she follows me everywhere and copies everything I say! I think being happy means eating ice cream and chocolate and going to the pool.”
Kyle & Khloe, South Carolina
I couldn’t help but smile while talking with these kids. The simplicity of their responses reminded me of the beauty of innocence. Just as we were finishing up Kyle asked me if he could change his answer. Without hesitation I pulled out my notebook. The words that escaped his mouth with such sincerity were almost enough to bring me to tears.
“Happiness means my mom being home from the army. She was away for a long long time. I missed her every day.”
“Today we’re getting our engagement photos taken. That makes me happy. He makes me happy.”
Korey & Michael, South Carolina
The thing about this project is that the majority of people will politely decline upon hearing my proposal, skeptical of getting their picture taken by a stranger. If I’m being completely honest, I can’t say my reaction would be any different. What gives me hope though, is when I come across that one person who is willing to give me a glimpse of happiness through their eyes. From those moments come the most beautiful of stories.
I was walking through the Glencairn Garden when I saw a young couple on a park bench, all wrapped up in each other’s arms. After approaching them, they agreed to help me without a hint of skepticism.
The two had arrived a little early for their engagement photo shoot. She told me they became engaged a while ago, but I could see that telling the story still made her heart skip a beat. On one of their first dates he took her to Anne Springs Close Greenway. For those of you who don’t know, Anne Springs is a nature preserve in Fort Mill, South Carolina. While they were there, much to her surprise, he jokingly told her how it would be a great place to get engaged one day. Ironically enough, he brought her back to that exact spot when he popped the question for real…and she said yes!
Happiness, [hap-ee-nis], (n) : the quality or state of being happy.
What the technical definition does not explain is how the meaning of the word is unique to every person. The beautiful thing about it is that the definition is rewritten with the different things in life that make a person smile.
I started this blog because I am inspired by people who find happiness in the most humble of places. I will be interviewing different people and documenting what happiness means to them. I am truly excited about this new adventure and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!