'But why, why had she only been happy then? Cutie mark or not, she had everything else she had ever wanted. She was queen....There was nopony to challenge her rule. So why had she only been happy when she raised the sun, when she thought the ponies of Ponyville didn’t fear her anymore?
What had made her happy in the past? She knew it hadn’t always been like this, and, thinking back, memories Nightmare Moon had tried to bury began to bubble to the surface. She knew what had made her happy in the past, and it was not power or a crown. It was not an object or a trinket.
It was ponies.
....It was all the residents of Ponyville who had once looked upon her with smiles and happy faces, as just another citizen of their humble little town.' - Past Sins
Reminded a bit of Jefferson who said he would rather be back on his farm than ruling the country.