Realistically though, the answer is either ‘also company’ or ‘it doesn’t really matter’.
Happiness is quite content on it’s own. Misery feels more vindicated if it is shared, but happiness generally just cascades around boistrously, knocking down anything in it’s path.
Happiness is actually quite inconsiderate, tends to ignore what goes on around it and just roll about until it runs out of steam. Often it’s infectious, but everybody finds it differently, so it’s kinda hard to be certain.
I find that it’s actually easier/safer to not strive for happiness in extremis. I think it’s an unsustainable emotion. Contentment is simpler and more internal. More likely built upon a realistic world view than on idealistic hopes and fantasies. It’s knowing how to feel comfortable with yourself, rather than bouncing off the future.
But then, it’s just because I crash so hard that I think of it as being a downer.
Happiness loves fantasy, but it needs big hefty crash mats.
I think all too often, my happiness ends up being built upon hopes of things that aren’t really there. The imagination is a great fuel for unlikely hopes and dreams, it can twist facts and the world into whatever shape it feels will reinforce it the best. It feeds itself in loops and whirls until you’re dancing through them with dervish-like abandon.
Happiness loves noises. I swear it gets made more solid with the right music. Something tiny in the heart finds a bed to grow and expand from. Like a time lapsed tree growing outwards and bursting leaves out all across your body.
Happiness totally loves company. The best thing for happiness is to be shared with loved ones, or even to help you build new loved ones out of strangers. It’s addicting idiocy, to some extent, but by damn is it charming.
Happiness loves cake. And right now, it wants some porridge. Happiness loves fatness, and this is not to be trusted. Happiness is often imitated successfully by a lack of oxygen in the brain.
Happiness loves cuddling tight and nude. Held in trust and good faith with someone that means something.
Happiness loves fucking.
Happiness loves BOAT!
Happiness loves friends.
Happiness loves to be noticed. I think one of the most important things is to recognise when you’re happy, and to remember to revel in it and enjoy it. Like I said, it’s unsustainable, so you’ve got to grab what you get while it’s there. Make it worthwhile.
Happiness is something that can be forgotten too easily. Happiness is something that can seem impossibly far away. Happiness is almost certainly something unreasonable and unrealistic.
But it’s still pretty awesome. It’s good to feel. It’s like being full. Or set on fire. Or some other ridiculous metaphor that doesn’t get you any closer to what we’re actually talking about.
Happiness loves you. It couldn’t exist without you. It needs someone to experience it.
Most of all, happiness is self perpetuating.
Happiness loves happiness.
Illustration by Emma.