Questions

Lana appreciates her happiness. She knows most people like to be happy, but sometimes she doesn’t feel like they truly realize the extent to which happiness is important in life. She watches her friends pursue other things so actively that she wonders whether happiness actually matters to them at all. She worries that they won’t realize how much it does matter until it’s too late, and they’ve crashed trying to run through life without it.

She fears that her friends base their sense of achievement in life too much on their accomplishments. They don’t allow themselves the chance to bask in any happiness those accomplishments might bring, because their only focus is on racking them up, believing that it’s the only way they’ll find fulfillment in life.

Lana’s friends have asked her, “Don’t you want children?”

Well, she wouldn’t mind having children, but she doesn’t want them for the reasons her friends do. Kids make her happy. She likes being around them, and she likes being the “aunt” to the children of her friends. She doesn’t want to have children simply to have them, though. Children aren’t an accomplishment. They’re something to be appreciated and adored, in Lana’s opinion, but not something to be sought after in order to bring someone fulfillment.

Lana loves her cat, Chance. She loves the way his eyes seem to glow a brilliant green when he flops down in the sun by the front window. She loves the way he brushes against her legs, purring, when he wants attention. She loves the little pink beans of his toes and how, sometimes, he lets her hold his feet in her hands.

Lana treasures her time with Chance, because every moment with him brings her happiness. He’s worth everything she has ever given to him: time, money, worry, and affection. All of it, because he brings her joy, and she would like to think that she brings him joy in return.

Lana works a regular, mundane job as a teller at a bank. Sometimes her friends ask her, “Don’t you want to do something more?”

Not really, no. She doesn’t love her job, but she doesn’t hate it. She likes her coworkers. She likes helping people, and putting a smile on their face. It brings her happiness, and to her, that’s what matters. She doesn’t really care about the money, except that she needs it to continue to live and pursue the things that make her happy.

One of those things is reading. Lana loves to read. She spends so much time reading and enthusing about what she has read that her friends have asked her, “Don’t you feel like that’s a waste of time?”

She doesn’t. Not at all. More than any of the other questions her friends berate her with, Lana hates this one. She loves deep, immersive fictions with large fanbases, and small, individual, well-crafted novels that people love but don’t talk about in-depth. They aren’t just books, they are experiences that were crafted with hard work by authors and refined by editors into something beautiful.

Lana likes good books and bad books and everything between, so long as it seems to her the author cared about what they were writing. She’s not someone who wants to write, herself, as her friends have often asked. She sees her role as a consumer of writing as important, especially since she likes to involve herself in online communities. She likes the idea of bringing the joy of her consumption to the authors she supports.

Lana’s days tend to fall into a predictable loops: she wakes, she goes for a walk, she goes to work, and then she returns home. There, she reads. Sometimes she goes out to dinner or movies with friends. They ask her, “Don’t you get bored?

But to Lana, boredom is just an absence of pleasure in what you’re doing, and Lana appreciates her life and the little pieces of joy she finds along the way. She is content, and she finds happiness, and appreciates it where she finds it. She hopes, more than anything, that her friends can stop asking the questions they ask of her and that they can find the right questions to ask themselves so that they, too, can find their own happiness.

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