Dear Lana,

I came to this realization today — with money, you can’t buy happiness, but you can buy freedom; whether you choose to be happy with that freedom is up to you.

In reflection to my past, I realized that happiness is a lot more of a choice than I previously thought. It is not as simple as an on and off switch, but there is a mindset to have. More than that, it is being authentic towards that mindset. I now realize, although I have wanted to be happy for such a long time, there was a very small chunk of time that I was genuinely true to that narrative. There is a very big difference between seeming to try and genuinely trying to be happy.

After sinking into Kierkegaard’s demonic level of despair, it is hard to claw your way out of it. It takes a while of feeling ridiculous. But sooner or later, after clowning your way through life, things seem less ridiculous, and that’s how you know you have moved from Part I to Part II of your story. The tone changed. The characterizations are slightly off. There is an element of de-familiarization to it all, but that’s how you know things found its resolution.

Being in a suburb right now, I was thinking about the appeal of the American suburb, specifically about why the flight to suburb has represented a pinnacle American obtainment of happiness dating back to the end of WWII. Obviously, this rhetoric is also meshed with the nuclear family ideal, which has often been used to justify some pretty horrible things, but being in the suburb after all of these years allows me to reflect on the appeal of the suburb differently.

When you are moving into the suburb, you are buying space away from other people. There is an isolation and a peace about it all. Lana, I used to hate the suburb because it was so quiet; I wanted to live in somewhere crowded and hectic — to live in a space where my external reflected my internal reality. I don’t want that anymore. Now, I just want to move to the suburb. It is so quiet here, and I could use some quiet right now. It feels like I’m fading out of existence, and I love that feeling.