Superficial Happiness

Monday, February 3, 2014

The goodie box in my house hehe

(I have too few photos from Chinese New Year to write a proper post about my three days of visitations to relatives but it isn't as if there was really anything concrete to write about it either so here's just a fraction of the thoughts that occurred in my mind the past three days, with a couple of photos I actually did manage to take)

This year's Chinese New Year festivities feel a lot more different from past year's and unfortunately, not in a good way. I don't know, but every year it feels less and less endearing and I somehow don't seem as excited to go around to eat or receive red packets from my elders. Perhaps it's to do with growing up or perhaps I've finally realized the real consequences of eating too much and everything just seems like a dread. 

It scares me though, how as we grow, we end up having more needs and more wants and the things that used to make us happy don't anymore. I'm not saying I'm not happy as a person - I am quite, and I'm so grateful for that - but honestly I find it more difficult to please myself and I crave for more complex happiness. Happiness that serves a purpose, happiness that doesn't come in the form of simple material goods, happiness that makes me happy for a longer period of time. Short lived happiness just doesn't seem to work, unlike how it used to. I guess in a way, it's a good thing because I'm freeing myself falling prey to the plethora of superficial things in the world but at the same time logically speaking, it would mean that it'd be more difficult to make me happy. Not exactly sure which one is the better of the lot and I know there isn't one correct answer to a question like that. 

The variety of food at my paternal grandma's place! :-)

In the past, Chinese New Year was something I looked forward to the most because it was a period of time where I got to wear new clothes, was allowed to put on make up (as a little girl that was something really cool - now I run away at the sight of those weird cakey colourful stuff people smother on their faces though in a few years time I'd probably be taking back my words), eat to my heart's content and actually receive huge amounts of money without having to lift a finger. As a child, that was an amazing taste of what bliss felt like. But as time went on, and as I grew older, I started gaining more freedom and the privileges I received on Chinese New Year didn't seem all that special anymore. I can now buy new clothes during the year if they are actually reasonable - not that I do much to be honest, I now have more make up products (only because of prom) than my mum and she isn't going to stop me if I someday decide to wear them, I have a lot of freedom in terms of what I eat and I have no idea why but money and red packets don't seem that much of a big deal anymore, though I'm definitely still very appreciative for what I receive. I used to count the amount of money I received immediately at the end of every day but now I haven't even opened any red packets, which is really a bit strange. 

A part of me actually feels rather proud that I have bypassed the stage where little things like that can make me so easily satisfied but at the same time, there is this sense of lost, this sense of emptiness, these gaps that superficial things aren't able to fill up any longer. And then, I get tempted to go on a search, a search to fill up these empty holes but obviously it's not easy at all. 

My cousin! :-) 

It's really fun though how everything I didn't use to enjoy about Chinese New Year are the things that makes me look forward to it now. Things such as the casual banter I share with my relatives, especially those whom I only get to see three to four times a year. I used to hate it because I never seem to know how to hold a proper conversation and things just get so awkward, with me looking forward to only the part where they give me the red packet (yes - terrible I know). But now, I actually appreciate every single moment I am engaged in all these "adult talk" and the wisdom and advice they shower me with actually makes a lot of sense if you take some time to think about it. 

My cousin watching Adventure Time (omg it was my first time watching and it's such a weird cartoon - I can see why people on tumblr/ adults love it so much)

And somehow, the most pressing issue that you witness every single Chinese New Year is the depletion of the number of relatives you have. Well, I guess it's not possible to witness this change in the literal sense but I know for a fact that I am growing up, and a lot of my relatives are doing the same, except that they are growing old and the eventual passing is inevitable. If my mum ever read this post on "Chinese New Year", she'd probably reprimand me for mentioning a supposedly taboo topic but honestly, I see no harm in doing so because it's something naturally occurring and something we'd all have to accept. And Chinese New Year makes the decrease in numbers more stark so I thought I'd bring it up. 

So yes, instead of the red packets and good food, I now appreciate Chinese New Year as it's really one of the only "protected times" we get as an extended family and the time we spend together is so very precious. Honestly, this even extends to my immediate family because we rarely go out as a family that often anymore and I know that in a couple of years, things will change even more and I'm so not ready. Not ready at all. 

My maternal grandfather hehe :-) 

Anyway, yes. Superficial happiness doesn't seem to make me that happy anymore because I'd rather hold on to things that mean more to me, things that I don't want to lose that are coincidentally things I know I'll definitely lose in time to come. Life scares me and this may be really ironic but THESE PINEAPPLE TARTS ARE THE BOMB - 

They grant me superficial happiness!
And I'm honestly really quite superficial anyway. 

Have a Happy Lunar New Year everyone :-) 

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