As people converge or diverge to a new context, they are reconstructing their identity – how they see themselves and how they would like people see them. Norton (1995, 2000, 2013) in second language learning theory , proposes that identity is a state of flux and subject to change. It is arguably applicable to happiness as well. The state of being happy follows the way people construct their identity.Revisiting to many years of childhood moment to today, will give an illustration how happiness is subject to change tailing the identity reconstruction.
Back then when I was just very little, the only happiness is being with Mom and Dad. Having food, Cartoon Movies and no worries about tomorrow. Mmm, I still remember how sad would I be sending Mom off to the market. Conversely, I would run to the road when I heard Mom’s back. Moving a bit to those years at school, happiness started to transfrom. In primary school, I loved to jump to the river after class, going back home on a completely wet uniform. Even if Mom nagged at me, I still did it repeatedly for years. Ahh, I really loved to eat next to the river too. Eating felt so good after those screaming, water splashing, swimming (or merely just running in the water, I can’t define since I still can’t swim until today). I loved the rain drops very much too. I used to beg mom to let me play in the rain. She let me play, unless there was thunder. I got scratched on my face while running in the rain which ended to last for years. But I did not regret it. Ahh, and there was hundred of kids’ games that I played. They were all simply happiness. If mom let me, maybe I could spend days and nights played them with my fellow kids. I can even imagine them in my head right now. I was a good player at my childhood, like my friends would count me and picked me up to my house. I was that Swag! 😀
Going to high school, I started to see my self as a different person who no longer randomly jumped into the river soon after the class. Well, the happiness was slightly remodelled. Context at high school was most likely dominated teen’s story. I found of of my happiness here is being the Students’ Association Chairperson. I laughed a lot. I also had a flock of friends with whom I hanged out all the time. Thanks goodness, we’re still hanging out until today. Here also, we knitted our dreams about our future. Ahh, high school happiness have been excessively different than my primary but they are all precious.
At university, happines again is remodelled. I no longer wished to be the chairperson but I saw that being able to do both uni-class and part time teaching were the happiness. I started to earn money, I bought things with my money. That was extremely pricless moment. Ahh, I regret I did not make many friends, but I was proudly happy that I was quite popular. :’D. Well, I em, a bit popular back then. Don’t get it wrong, I did nothing, I am innocent. I was single all the years at uni, hahhah! I was popular for being a bright student. SWAG!
Happiness then changes as status changes. Soon after enjoying that popularity of being a student, working context did do a lot on the way I treasured my happiness. Working as a teachers for years made my students became the centre of the happiness. It felt so good seeing them them and talking to them. Although no days that I would skip nagging on them when they made mistake, I merrily stood the whole day teaching. I loved them so much, so much. The feeling when I taught them, could not help but smiling seeing them. I found myself smiling and getting angry at the same time. They were just, everything. But, well, teachers is said to see their dreams in their students, yet I have to say have not done with my dreams too.
Moving to a workplace, again redefined the way I saw my happiness. Happiness was when succeed to organise the collaboration between two univesity, when I completed all the documents of the exchange students, when I finished my report. Indeed, Happiness simply belongs to what you are doing.
The happiness I am enjoying right now is being a student by scholarship at one of the prestigious universities in the world, in one of the most beautiful countries, United Kingdom. Here the happiness are totally different to those I have mentioned at all those years. Happiness is when I submit my essays and when I get the result. Kyahhh! Many sleepless nights have been part of the happiness too. The tears, the snow, the windy winter, the travels, the friends and the journey are happiness.
As I walk this pathway, I realise that the happiness does transform. It is subject to change as I define who I am in my new context. I may now no longer jump into the river, no longer dancing under the rain, no longer a teacher, yet those happinesses being these persons have made me who I am today. I am still that kid who loved to eat next to the river, who played sort of that kids’ games, who were once a teenager, a teacher and an employee. Similarly, I am happy for all those transformations. Thus, whenever I am tired, I will remember them. Ohh how I love to play with the rain again someday (PS: Note in this freezing winter exactly). Well, many years to come, my happiness will be going to something else. Thus, what is best than doing my best and live the most out of it?
The same goes for you. where you are now, is from what your past choices and past happinesses. You surely have those happiness, regardless who you are. You are awesome for you have made a long journey to this time. Do not define yourself for who you are now, for you have seen, it is subject to change too – Just like how you leave those childhood and teen’s memories.As you feel tired, feel lost, feel success, or feel outcast remember those happinesses that have been reconstructed time by time. Your happiness transformation is about to come.
So what our happiness be like tomorrow? Nobody knows. Just, as you go on, remember that every single moment will pass, make sure to make the best out of it. Most of all, remember, you are in charge of that happpiness as you define your self identity. You are Swag!