What makes someone genuinely happy?
It’s the simplest questions that are the most difficult to respond to. After the numerous life crises and scholarship essays I’ve had to write over the course of this year, I’ve needed an answer.
Happiness is illustrated among a series of ways. It could be something that we have the tenancy to glamorize. A Free People shirt that is on sale has finally reached your hands. Your bank account has finally hit a number that pieces together what’s left of your sanity. You have your Audi parked in your driveway. You have one the biggest houses on the block. It’s the American dream. You have finally gotten all of the things that make you “happy”. Some actually see happiness as this, but I never could understand as to why that is. Maybe in the moment it feels good, but all of those things go away. It’s temporary. They rust. They tear. It gets spent. You lose it all.
People watching is one of the greatest luxuries. I can’t help but to wonder what others have been through. I wonder what they think about. I wonder what type of person that are. I wonder what makes them happy.
Was it because you passed that man that is always singing around campus? He doesn’t have a care in the world. It’s actually admirable. You question if he is an actual student, but you look up to his dedication. He does it everyday, even in the rain. Was it because the cute boy on your floor is drawing outside of your dorm room? You wonder what he is drawing, but your too afraid to actually ask. Was it because you met a blind man that was one of the happiest human beings you have ever met? You kick yourself because minutes before you were complaining about how unlucky your life was, but then that one man made you think differently. You have your sight. You can walk just fine. You can breathe. Stop your whining. There is always someone that has it worse.
Happiness is… having joy rides with your best friends. You blast Stacy’s mom even though you have no fucking idea who Stacy is. It’s eating peppermint ice cream around the holidays; it reminds you of your grandmother and how excited she got when she saw it in the market. It’s hearing a friend laugh at the pun you just made even though it was an awful one. It’s passing the Hartford University School playground on the way to your Communication class. You don’t want to go. You see children having fun with games you forgot existed. The toys they play with aren’t materials. It isn’t their iPhone. It wasn’t that “lit” party from last weekend— I hope to god it wasn’t. They use their imagination— a gift that we forget to utilize at our age. You continue to walk to your class. Your no longer dragging your feet, your looking ahead jamming out to your favorite Lumineers song. You drew a setting of where you dream you could be up ahead. Instead of turning back to the comfort of your dorm, you start running. Your excited for what is to come of this day. Our mentality is our reality.
Their spaghetti sauce smiles got you through the agony you created for yourself. Your best friend makes your head hurt, because you can’t stop laughing when your with her. The thought of your grandma makes you cry, because you can’t stop thinking of all the great times. Their the good tears. Sometimes in the heat of it all we forget that. We forget that it is the simple things that matter. I hate that I sound like a Hallmark card, but I know no other way to explain the way I feel.
The four letter word we all want to hear. The feeling we all want to feel. We see red. We see roses. There are those stupid fluffy bears out and about. Their brown eyes stare at you— they know that you are still single. They have a snapchat streak of 300… They have been dating since high school. Another Channing Tatum movie that reminds us of our dating history is out once more. We still haven’t had a boyfriend. We still have yet to have a New Year’s Eve kiss. Isn’t life just so great.
We still ask ourselves why our Facebook status still says single, and we definitely have our predictions as to why that is. Our body is too big. Our teeth aren’t straight enough; I swear we have a snaggletooth. We don’t drink enough water. Our skin as dry as the Sahara Desert. We are too nice. We look like a skittle.
Why is that? Why do we still feel like we aren’t enough? My heart hurts. My brain won’t turn off long enough for me to grasp positive thoughts. Life is good. Life is good. Life is good. Our soulmate is out there. He likes books. He listens to John Mayer. He can’t live without coffee. He loves Red Hot Chili Peppers, and he despises Metallica. He lives in some city like Seattle, Washington. Whoever “he” might be likes us just the way we are.
We have so much love to give, and we feel like we have no one to give it to. You have all of this energy to use, and you don’t know where to put it. You feel like you have the worst luck with guys. Everyone you have been interested in— the ones that made you feel like you wanted to jump up and down with excitement went with another pick. You wanted that one to recognize you. You wanted that one to be the one— the one that would gravitate towards you in a sea of girls that you dream you could be like. Just you.
You didn’t want to believe what others told you. Boys aren’t like the ones in movies. Chivalry is dead. True love doesn’t exist. Boys just cheat.
Maybe I am just oblivious to reality. Maybe I am too much of a hopeless romantic. Maybe I am too philosophical. But, all I really know is that we need to listen to what the universe is revealing. Signs present themselves, but we are too stuck in our ways to see what dots we are suppose to be aligning. Listen to your intuition. Be with who you want to be. Be single. Ask a guy out to coffee. Tell a girl that she is beautiful. This love is different— in this decade, in this society, in this generation.
But, we have to come to terms with that. People are changing. The world is evolving. If you want love to be like the kind of love you see in movies— make it happen. We are too busy criticizing our bodies to see the truth. We spend too much time making excuses for the life that we live. It is what it is. No, it isn’t. Boys are just like that. No, their not.
There is this thing called destiny. Couldn’t tell you what yours will entail. But, it will be beautiful.
Home sweet home. That’s what they say, right? Typically, a home is a paradise. Your paradise. Your own little island. There aren’t any palm trees or coconuts tumbling towards your feet, but it’s a island of what you make it to be. When life gets difficult you run home and life is at a stand still. Time is paused. There aren’t any clocks. You can finally keep up with the pace of the traffic and the movement of your feet. You can breathe suddenly. Your no longer a brick on a college campus. For these few weeks your not a sucker to the education system. Your you— whoever that may be.
This home reminds you of old times. These were the streets you once walked on with old friends. Friends that you still talk to. Friends that have stayed all these years. Now those people you called your friends walk past knowing the things they know—your secrets, insecurities, dreams, but now your just another a entity. Ebbing through the crowd, trying to stay afloat. Some of these graduates have lost them self to drugs. Some think it’s still cool to be failing their classes— blowing thousands of dollars their parents bled for. Some have been miserable, and you’ve lived your own life never knowing all the tears they shed while you were laughing with a set of new ones.
Your home could be a traditional home— two parents, a dog that isn’t afraid to let his hair run wild on the carpeted floors, your artwork from the fourth grade is still plastered on the refrigerator, and your bed is still made. It’s calling for your body. It could be a cold room of unopened envelopes and used paper plates. Your father is busy working. He is simply surviving, trying to at least— in this economy or better yet this society. Your embraced by your grandmother, sister, brothers, nephews, and family friends. All the hugs and memories they bring. The pressure of each squeeze. The warmth of each heart. It is different. All are different.
These are bits and pieces of a home— none of these qualities come from just one. We wish they did. Each idea is represented within a different door, different living situation, different last name. You can tell which ones have counted the days down until your arrival. You can tell which ones have called since you’ve been away. You can tell if they’ve spent a second of their day remembering a memory you both have shared. Do they remember the sound of your laugh? Do they remember how cold you get at night? Each subdivision, city, state, country, galaxy there is a person out there thinking the same thing. Do they even care?
The trees may be glowing of light. There may be presents under the tree. There is hot chocolate. There is a crackling fire by your toes. There are many dinners to be made. But, there is still a life to be lived.