Meeting Mr. Happy

I always loved the Mr. Men.

Mr. Tickle was probably my favourite, because he had those really long, bendy arms that could reach across roads and into rooms to tickle people, which I always thought would be a really amusing thing to be able to do. I also loved Mr. Muddle, and Mr. Bump, probably because I identified with them even as a small child.

But Mr. Happy… he was a strange one. While it was completely plausible that someone could be constantly bumping into things or getting muddled about absolutely everything, it was much less realistic to imagine someone who was just happy all the time. I guess I just never really believed in Mr. Happy, y’know?

I am pleased to report that he does, in fact, exist. Last night, I met the happiest guy in the entire world, and after just a couple of hours in his company I was even starting to feel ridiculously positive myself, despite my week of doom and gloom.

I’d just been curling up in bed for the evening, planning another few hours of crying over old photos and so on, when one of my dorm companions came in and asked if I’d like to go for a few drinks with him and his friends. When the friends arrived, one of them turned out to be a travel writer, and before I knew it I was having an actual conversation for the first time in what felt like weeks (but was really just four days – misery apparently makes time crawl!).

The dreaded question came up pretty much straight away. What are your plans… how did you end up here? I decided to gulp quickly and just give a short, truthful answer accompanied by a don’t-expect-fun-and-laughter-from-me-but-please-don’t-leave-me smile. Oh, girl… we need to get you a beer! was the genuinely friendly response. Quite honestly, I did not feel like sitting in a pub with strangers. But there’s a stubborn part of me that wants to prove that I can survive this and get over it and “wash that man right outta my hair” as Grannymar said the other day. A sort of I won’t be beaten! mentality.

So off I went with several others to a quaint little underground pub, a maze of intimate rooms and alcoves, with soft lighting and gentle background music. We ordered a selection of Lithuanian beers, which were cheap and really good. And we talked about travel, shared our experiences, told stories, gave tips and advice. Oh – and laughed. I laughed, properly laughed, and it felt great. Go, me!!

Mr. Happy

Mr. Happy

And Mr. Happy? His name was Tomás, a sweet guy from Chile who’s out on his own like me. His eyes had a permanent happy sparkle, he smiled so much I was certain it had to be hurting his face, and he had only positive and encouraging things to say about his life, his experiences, and everyone he’d ever encountered. I felt almost guilty about my current state of heartbreak, and felt the need to apologise when he wanted to talk about me, as if I would drain away some of his joy or infect him with my melancholy. But he shook his head, and said in a delightful accent that made everything he said even more charming:

You must learn that it is OK to be sad. The Sad is not to be ashamed of. The Sad is a part of life. But it is to be a ladder to greater things, not a stone that is thrown at you and makes you fall. You must take The Sad and let it grow you. You must climb up. You must let pain make you stronger and wiser. The Sad is not your enemy unless you let it attach to you and choke you, and pull you down. You must feel The Sad before you can leave it behind you. Everything happens for a reason, it is true. But that does not mean you cannot have The Sad, for a time.

I almost asked him to repeat it all, so that I could record him for future reference. He made a real impression on me – so friendly and open and full of fun that his cheerfulness rubbed off on everyone there. It was a lovely night. Maybe I’m going to be OK after all.

The Sad will only be for a time.


14 thoughts on “Meeting Mr. Happy

  1. Nelly says:

    Wow! That is something I won’t be forgetting. You must take The Sad and let it grow you. I’d call that guy Mr Wise.

    Something makes me think you’re going to bounce back sooner rather than later – you inspiring person, you!

  2. I am going to steal that quote and use it again.

    What do you mean ‘Maybe I’m going to be OK after all.’?

    You are OK already. Being around positive people makes you positive. Every time you feel the clouds of darkness creeping in…. stop and think of that smile and those twinkling eyes.

    Why not print out that quote and keep it in your purse/wallet/pocket for a quick reminder.

  3. mumsthoughts says:

    Aww. I like the idea of The Sad. Sounds so much better than being depressed. And as long as it’s followed by The Happy . .who cares!

  4. Wow, that guy sounds incredibly inspiring. The Sad is a brilliant concept. And you are so definitely going to be ok… it sounds to me like you’re already on the right track.

  5. McBouncy says:

    I am glad you had a good night. Proves that travelling alone can be fun. Had you stayed in Estonia or even come home you would have never met Mr Happy!!
    Everyone should meet Mr Happy :-)

    Talk soon
    xx big hug xx

  6. I’m glad everyone likes my Mr. Happy. When I am overwhelmed by The Sad, I will think of him and remember that there is much to be happy about!

  7. Alex Oviedo says:

    I know Tomás, he`s a mate of mine from here in Chile, I’ve spent birthdays with him and we even competed in a decathlon together while at university, and he is genuinely a very special person, I’m glad that his attitude could help you, I’ve often shared many conversations with him about this very subject, melancholy and sadness and loneliness and such, and José Tomas has an attitude which truly allows for a gumby flexible attitude in life, and it is true. As he says, sadness is only temporary, and it is a part of life, the more you rejoice in your sadness, the greater the contrast with hapiness you will feel, and when you truly get back to your hapiness (after all life is a wheel) it will feel so much better than before!!


  8. Andres Castro says:

    Life is a box, you never know what is inside until you open it. We must start living our life with happiness and joy, with sadness, even we have to be a time alone, so then, like my brother said, we can really live through our life.
    I hope we all just get something from Tomas! He is my brother, and he is the happiest guy in the world.
    Cheers from Chile

  9. The happiest guy in the world, yep, that’s Tomás! I don’t think I’ll ever make it to his level, but I’m really trying to learn from his attitude. I met him at just the right time!

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