Rachel | Community Stories | Madison Community Discourse


“For me I guess a happy moment was the birth of my daughter. Part of that is the amazing experience that you just can’t know what it’s gonna be like.  You envision in the months that come…and there’s anxiety, there’s fear, and there’s excitement as well. There are all these different emotions that happen at that time, but when it actually happens nothing can prepare you for that moment.  Your child is coming out of you and someone hands you your baby that is yours. You created this person, and this life force is coming from you.  I think it’s God and you are shepherding this person into the world.  It’s this amazing experience.

The ripple effect of that happiness continues throughout your life.  You watch this child grow and change and you can see who they are.  You receive this love back from them that’s pure and this unconditional adoration. That happiness that comes from that only grows.

Not that there aren’t challenges.  It was a difficult birth. I almost died, my daughter almost died, but what’s amazing is the continuation of life in itself even with all the struggles there is a lot of beauty in that and a lot of joy in that.

I think that’s where happiness and joy start to split off some. I recently read that happiness is getting something that you want, whereas joy is getting what you need or what was meant for you. And I think having a child is a very apt example of that because no matter what comes with that – the challenges or struggles that unfold, there’s still this sense as a parent that there is this infinite joy that comes from them.  Whatever comes after that doesn’t change that. You go on and live your life and they live theirs separate from you, but I think there’s this innate joy that comes from your connection to them.  There’s that truth in that.”


We are interviewing 200 people all over Madison to create a ‘portrait’ of happiness.  If you are interested in being interviewed, please email madisoncommunitydiscourse [at] gmail.com.

To see the full portrait, please visit our home page.

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