“I should’ve died in my 20’s. I became successful in my 40’s. I became a dad in my 50’s. I feel like I’ve stolen a car, a really nice car and I keep looking in the rearview mirror for flashing lights. But there’s been nothing yet.” ~ Anthony Bourdain
Are you happy?
What is being happy? Is it an idea that we have of fulfillment or a plateau that we must reach?
Regardless of what the definition is, happiness is different for each one of us. No matter our status or our stake in life, one’s unhappiness can ultimately be his undoing, or even his demise.
So, I’ll ask again… Are You Happy?
A sudden sadness hit me this morning. Despite the pleasant thoughts I awoke to and the good morning that I had, I learned of Anthony Bourdain’s passing within a half-hour after waking up. I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t instantly upset by this. A feeling in the depth of my heart resounded as though a part of my soul had caught fire.
It is in the wake of two well-known people falling victim to the demons that we all fight each day that I sadly write this post, as a most valuable lesson of life can be witnessed here.
And it is one that I hope all take heed to learn.
First it was Kate Spade, the well-known designer. Days later, Mr. Bourdain, celebrity chef and TV personality. Both taking their own lives. Both found hanging at the end of a rope, alone.
It’s a sad picture to be painted here, but one that begs to be made known.
I didn’t know much about Kate Spade. But Anthony Bourdain was one of my silent heroes. As I’ve always had a fondness for world travel and for experiencing new cultures, Chef Bourdain brought me to places I’ve never been, and vicariously through him I experienced the food and richness of places that I may never see, as did we all who watched his show.
I remember thinking how good it must feel, to be successful and to be able to do that job for a living. To travel to exotic places, explore unknown hidden haunts and trek off the beaten path, and have an amazing time while doing it. Sharing those experiences with the world, to me, would be a very fortunate position to hold.
The man always seemed so upbeat, so real and down-to-Earth. Rough around the edges, but a real human being sharing real stories about real people and places. Like many chefs I’ve known, he did battle his own demons, and despite all of his success and all of his money, he simply was not happy.
And that is the lesson that we all must learn in life.
We could have it all. And he did.
But it wasn’t enough to save his own life.
It wasn’t enough to live another day.
In our short lives, we might acquire all the gold and silver we could bear to adorn us. All the accolades of success could be ours to have and cherish, to lavish in and to flaunt.
These things we chase after are but fleeting winds blowing the dust of our dreams.
With that in mind.. Are You Happy?
No matter how much we have or how much we can stow away. No matter our status or clout, or the fame and glory bestowed upon us, none of this can ultimately make us happy. And unless we are at peace within ourselves, contented with the sound of our own inner voice, we may never know what true happiness is.
As we all suffer the elusive at times, we must remember those who’ve departed this world too soon.
I cannot claim to know that drove Mrs. Spade or Mr. Bourdain to take their own lives. And nobody ever truly will. All I know is that they will be forever missed, having left their now silent mark on the hearts and minds of the world.
Are You Happy?
I hope that you are…
Because above all this sad story speaks to the truth of our lives, that happiness must be found within, and that it simply cannot be found outside of ourselves. And no matter how happy one appears to others, a storm may very well be brewing inside that we may never realize.
So please, be happy..
And I hope that you cherish the life that you live. Because we are only here for a tease of time. And as you live, listen. Listen to the voice of true life, to the voice of the heart.
A soul sometimes begs to be heard. Not by others…
But by our own ears.