Happiness Diaries Episode 24: Amy Wainwright (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)


Everything. And nothing.

For me, happiness is not a constant state but comes in moments, some of which are fleeting, others are more prolonged. Happiness can be found in the ease of being in a particular person's company or finding the precisely delicate combination of spices which makes that curry just perfect.

Happiness can be found just about anywhere, when I am able to look around, recognise and appreciate that moment for what it is. And do that unashamedly, without comparison for another moment or for another person's opinion. Which is much easier said than done, especially in modern society.

I am a wildly positive and annoyingly upbeat person, but I am also a person of extremes. I feel things intensely, but that doesn't mean I am always happy. It is important to acknowledge when things are hard or bad. I have always attracted people who struggle with mental health problems or going through a tough time, which I think is because of my disposition and also my line of work. Helping people figure out what their own happiness is and validating those other feelings brings me great fulfillment. But can always be very taxing on my own happiness sometimes.

Happiness can be shared and it better when it is. But I think your own happiness is the most important and should never be compromised in order to make someone else happy.

I met Amy in the common area of the hostel I was staying at in Kuala Lumpur as I was sitting on my computer with headphones in doing my best attempt at writing something about New Zealand. The first thing I noticed about her were the beautiful curves on her delightfully attractive jar of peanut butter that was evaporating under her spoon… what a champ. While I may have opened conversation asking where she found that jar, she dragged me off my computer and we spent 3 hours or so talking over peanut butter sandwiches and then coffee (that I still owe her for, oops). While she had to run off for a flight to Perth (where I just came from), we have kept in touch thanks to the wonders of the interwebs where she has been generously sharing her wealth of information about Thailand and Laos as well as being a perfect trade partner for intentionally awful selfies, and an absolute blast to talk to about anything else that may come to mind… although I haven’t attempted to bring sport into the conversation – yet!

Delightfully sarcastic and endlessly positive Amy spent a lot of her 20’s in a similar way to me, at work. Her work however was very different than mine as instead of chasing capitalistic goals, she was helping people. In our conversations I regularly see her skills in action as she is able to both make me feel slightly uncomfortable through well pointed questions and comments that in some cases make me think, and in others help my confidence and self-image. While we have yet to broach the topic of what she wants to do when (or if) she ever goes back to a more regular lifestyle, or a more appropriate way to phrase that may be where she hopes her life leads in the future, I’m sure that her vibrant personality will be making the lives of everyone around her all the better.

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