” Happy? “
by Anella Schabler
Mirror, mirror, on the wall,
Am I good enough for society at all?
Do I have to find a job right away and pay my bills
instead of admiring life from my windowsill?
My head isn’t in the clouds, I’m simply misunderstood
Many people never had their childhood.
I want a simple life, doing things I want to do,
But according to society’s to-do list, that’s too taboo.
Apparently, I’m not allowed to dream anymore
They say “grow up, life is hard, you’ll never know what’s in store”
And it’s true, I won’t know when death whispers sweet nothings in my ear
But I don’t want to waste my life waiting in fear.
If my biological hourglass is running out of sand
Then I’d better do everything I ever wanted and give it everything I have
Because my biggest fear isn’t spiders or snakes or never being kissed,
It’s realizing on my deathbed that I had never lived
Why do I compare myself to a summer’s day
For I live my life in a different way,
I am only a dream in the pale moonlight
I want to see beyond what is in plain sight
Dreams, love, emotions, I want all of it
Instead of being stuck in a boring work office
I want to dream, I want to live, I want to draw, I want to cherish every day
But these aren’t what will make me happy, will they?
I can’t fathom why being in dept and working where you don’t want to
is our definition of happiness, our default go-to
how can being miserable all your life make you happy?
Is this a trend or a new category of insanity?
We are blind, we are bitter
we refuse to look in a mirror
Because we are afraid of the truth when we stare into our own eyes
So we let the fear and comfort promise us lies
I do understand that I need to make money
To get a house to support my family
I would like to have a job that can please me
Not only with money, but give me joy endlessly
Fantasy and concrete,
Life and what’s beyond it
I want to fly yet be grounded
Mirror, mirror, on the wall,
Is my definition of happy really being happy at all?
Should I follow my herd like a wise foolish sheep
or take a leap of faith to pursue my dreams
“Happy?” by Anella Schabler is a poem written to express her questioning the definition of happiness in her culture. She also expresses her confusion and indecisiveness about how she will fit into society as an adult; worrying if her different views on “the perfect life” will possibly set her apart from the rest of society. Using a well-known quote from Dead Poet’s Society by Tom Schulman, she presses her fear of realizing when she dies “that she never lived”, that she is afraid of not reaching her dreams; being stuck in an undesired future with a boring job. “comparing herself to a midsummer’s day” and that she is “only a dream in the pale moonlight, wanting to see beyond what is in plain sight” refers to how a summer’s day is vibrant, clearly visible with sunlight, and plain, contrastingly to how conceptual a dream at night is. This shows how she feels singled out compared to others with her plans for the future, and how she feels her opinion is less appreciated than others, similar to the sun is preferred over the moon. The sun and moon themselves symbolise the concrete and the mysterious aspects of life. Although she feels the need to pursue her wanted career and life choices, she still understands the need for the fundamentals in life, like a job and other necessities. She understands the consequences of being to carefree, using the short animated film “Mr. carefree Butterfly” as an example of her understanding.