My latest piece, on finding happiness as well as accepting the stage you are in.
- delighted, pleased, or glad, as over a particular thing: characterized by or indicative of pleasure, contentment, or joy:
- favored by fortune; fortunate or lucky:
- apt or felicitous, as actions, utterances, or ideas.
- obsessed by or quick to use the item indicated (usually used in combination)
What defines happiness?
Happiness cannot be defined. At least not right now, with where I stand in my life. We all have our own variations of what true happiness is. You may see moments or days of happiness, only to be rudely awakened the minute something goes wrong. In high school, I was looked at as the “rich” girl, who didn’t talk and was taller than half of the guys, by girls who hated me because I didn’t fit into their specific mold. I am not rich. I am very tall. I didn’t grow up with money and cars and a fantastic family dynamic. Looking at pictures of me, dressed up at a fashion show or wearing expensive pants, is not who I am, though a picture doesn’t give you the option to know the true me. Life revolves around expectations and assumptions, and ultimately, more disappointment. I, and maybe you, get to a point where you feel happy, until life begins to tumble down again. Your boyfriend breaks up with you (in my situation, Ben & Jerry disappear into a puddle of liquid, melting in my hands), you fail your math test or don’t get the job you wanted. Your parents get in a fight and divorce shortly later. Your best friend, maybe family member, succumbs to trying a drug at a party, and never once acts the same again. You feel stuck, attempting to move forward, and only finding yourself taking 3 steps back, attempting to find inner peace as well as care for the people around you.
It all seems so easy, in time, to find this passionate desire to live. To be wanted, to be loved. To be accepted, and to find the niche you fit best into. To find a passion that supports you, and hopefully one day the family you will build, or person who you will wake up next to every morning.
To find a group of friends that you feel you can be completely pure and honest around, makeup or no makeup, sweatpants or dresses, heels or sneakers, takes time. I grew up feeling surrounded by people and empty inside, longing for the sister I had to own up and take responsibility for her part in my life. I still find myself waiting, day after day, on a response I want to come from her but likely never will. Through this process of accepting that the definition of family is not what is listed in the dictionary, I’ve grown up learning to have no expectations, for family, for friends, or when it comes to falling in love. That way, you don’t have a chance to be disappointed when life doesn’t work out, or you’re let down by a person you never expected to let you down.
Growing up and experiencing high school (until sophomore year) without a core group of friends has made me insanely thankful for the friends I have now, because I cherish every moment I spend with them, consistently reminding myself of what life was like when I didn’t have many friends. I never trusted advice coming from basically anyone in my family (I’m still living in the “rebel against family” stage), though the one piece of advice my sister and mom taught me is you don’t have to have many friends to be content. Maybe they only said that in frustration at the Friday and Saturday nights I used to spend home alone on my couch, angry and upset at how I never fit in, even though I look back now and realize that comment is insanely accurate. One, two, three or five honest friends can be enough. The “popular” girls I used to admire in high school, whose parties I was desperate to be invited to and frequently disappointed when I wasn’t, are the girls that are the loneliest inside, attempting to live up to the glamorized concept of status that will only leave them as disappointed as me. Never judge what is on the outside until you have a chance to know the core of a person. More times than not, you’ll be surprised at what you find.
Intimacy. Opening your heart to someone, unsure of what the outcome will be. Allowing one person to corrupt your entire mind, so much that you can’t focus on anything besides them. A passion I’ve come close to having, though have yet to fully experience. I haven’t reached happiness, and I haven’t fallen in love yet. Do they play hand in hand? How can you expect someone else to love you if you don’t love yourself?
Appreciate the little things that make you who you are. Give back. Make a difference. Lose yourself in the process, and came back clearer and stronger. It’s all part of the journey. Allow yourself to love, to be loved, and to heal when someone breaks the bond. Allow yourself to be content with where you are in life, as well as the path you are heading down. The path becomes blurrier during some stages, which is only part of the journey. Never compare yourself to someone else, because jealousy is the evilest power.
Luck. Intimacy. Passion. Heartbreak. Sadness. Inspiration. Desire. Fire.