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My happiest moment

My happiest moment

In October 2011, I sold my first piece to a magazine. I vividly remember the day I found out: it was a sunny and warm in Melbourne, one of the first beautiful days of spring. I read the email and walked out to a stretch of park a few blocks from my office, and felt overwhelmingly happy. It validated me in all sorts of ways:  not only that my writing was worth reading, but my words were worth something. It was a jolt of confidence right as I was preparing to leave a steady paycheck, the moment where I was preparing to dive into my carefully guarded savings in order to drive across Australia and purchase a one-way ticket to Southeast Asia. The paycheck also bought me a brand-new, unlocked iPhone 4s after two years of cheap flip-phones with foreign SIM cards. The glorious moment when I was introduced to Instagram!

Virgin Voyeur Magazine article by Christine Amorose

I remember sitting with my face to the sun and telling myself: “How could you ever not be happy? Life is SO good.

To be honest, I’ve been in a bad mood for the past few weeks. It’s been one of those funks that I just can’t quite shake, even when I know that there’s nothing to be upset about. Like a hippie in Vietnam once told me: “I’m happy as long as I’m healthy and rich as long as I don’t have any debt.” I have a job! I have an apartment! I have money in the bank! I have a family that supports me and, seriously, the best friends in the world (whether they’re right here in New York City or across the country in California or scattered across the globe).

What I want hasn’t quite lined up with what I have–the eclipse, so to speak–and it’s left me feeling frustrated. True to form, I also haven’t gone to a yoga class or had a really good workout in about a month. I haven’t sold any pieces to magazines because I haven’t written any articles or organized any pitches. I decided to cut a lease short and move in with my best friend–but that entailed telling my roommates, finding someone to take over my lease, apartment hunting in the hottest (and most expensive) neighborhood in New York City right now, emptying my savings account to pay the broker’s fee and two month’s security and first month’s rent, actually moving out of a fourth-floor walk-up and into a new borough. And then there was Fashion Week, which is a circus that made me feel incredibly unfashionable. And, of course, comparison is the thief of joy–and I’ve been envious of promotions, relationships, apartments, vacations.

One of my favorite street photographers often asks people what their happiest moment was. My first reaction to that question has always been a quote from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn:

“People always think happiness is a faraway thing,” thought Francie, “something complicated and hard to get. Yet, what little things can make it up; a place of shelter when it rains–a cup of strong hot coffee when you’re blue; for a man, a cigarette for contentment; a book to read when you’re alone–just to be with someone you love. Those things make happiness.”

I believe that happiness is found in those little gestures, those tiny moments where what you want lines up with what you have. But for the past few weeks, I keep coming back to that moment in Australia: that day when the sun was shining and my words were worth something, when I told myself to remember that life was good.

Note: another great article to read on the whole subject of happiness is why Generation Y is unhappy.

  • Shireen

    Christine, as a fellow 20-something trying to work, live, and love in a city–it’s hard to keep your chin up all the time! (Also, I recently deactivated by Facebook, just to keep from comparing my life to everyone’s happiest moments being shared via social media. It’s helped already.) I agree with you that I’m not sad, or unhappy with what I’ve got–it’s that I’m not “there” yet. Where “there” is, I also don’t know. I keep hoping you’ll tell me and other 20-somethings what “there” looks like with your writing! 🙂 At the end of the day, we have so much more than so many people around the globe ever have in their entire life, and yet within our worlds, it doesn’t seem to be enough at times. I’m also not sure what the answer is… maybe that comes with time and growth? Just keep swimming, just keep swimming…

  • Lindsay Lewis-Thomas

    I love this, Christine. I’ve really been enjoying your blog lately. I always have, but these personal, reflective pieces are very insightful, inspiring and useful. Thank you!

  • LostInCheeseland

    Our happiness (and yours too!) shouldn’t be defined or hinged upon our achievements – you have a whole life ahead of you to keep aiming for your goals. I say, find the tiny joys in each day; Even if it’s just an amazing cup of coffee that makes you smile or a kind gesture you witness on the street. All the big stuff, I find, yields fleeting joy. That’s where the problem is. But if you can focus on the little joys, you always have that comfort when the excitement and adrenaline of the big joys pass.

  • Lauren @BonVoyageLauren

    Beautifully written. We really are our own worst enemy. Hang in there! <3

  • Anđela Ćenan

    I’m glad to see (on FB) that you have found some little and some big 😀 things to make you smile again 🙂 I love how you never run away from the fact that we’re all responsible for our own happiness (which I tend to ‘forget’ when things get rough) So, thank you for being motivational! It’s been stressful, but you have managed to get back on your sunny track :)) keep up the excellent work!!

  • That quote is lovely and such a great reminder, it’s looking to the smaller moments in life that there is happiness. On an unrelated note, whenever I visit NY I hope to run into the Humans of New York photog 🙂

  • so lovely, really nice blog

    love the insightful, positive personal feeling that you convey

    x

    jomischief

  • camorose

    Working in social media means that it’s practically impossible for me to disconnect–and yet, I think that taking a break would be HUGE for being able to appreciate where I am now without so many comparisons. Food for thought.

  • camorose

    Thanks Lindsay! Really glad to hear that 🙂

  • camorose

    So so so true. I have always found that I’m truly happy in the little moments–when I have a good cup of coffee, when the sun is shining, etc. Hard to find that same joy in the overarching goals.

  • camorose

    Thanks 🙂

  • camorose

    LOVED Delia Ephron’s article–so thoughtful and inspiring and beautifully written!

  • camorose

    Did I tell you I ran into HONY at Fashion Week?! Alas, he didn’t take a photo of me 🙁

  • camorose

    Thanks!

  • Anđela Ćenan

    indeed 😉

  • I did not know that! Nice 🙂

  • Corinne Vail

    Such a lovely post with such wonderful sentiments. Love the quote…and totally agree with the cup of coffee.

  • camorose

    Thank you! Glad you could relate 🙂

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