My dad once told me something along these lines: “Sometimes feelings suck, but isn’t it incredible that we, us humans, get to feel? We aren’t mindless, and while that means we feel sad and angry some days, other days we feel happy and elated. You can’t be happy all the time.”
This is what he said to a seventeen year old version of myself, in the midst of a panic attack. Oh, how wise those words are now.
My evening was everywhere. I was pumped up at the gym to avoid boredom and loneliness, began my night shift being an RA, watching a documentary on fast fashion and sweatshops, and finally watching an old favorite: Hector and the Search for Happiness. Now, one of my favorite lines right now from the film is this: “Avoiding unhappiness does not lead to happiness.”
So much of our world today is focused on instant gratification. We don’t want to do the hard thing ever, because that would be choosing unhappiness. But that puts us in a vicious cycle of trying to constantly achieve our state of happiness, when all we really need is to look at our world, the one we live in, and be content with it. Right now I am in college, and some days, it really sucks. But some days are golden, and make up for all the stress and doubt.
This is something I am working on. I am on the hunt for my own sense of contentedness, and no ‘answer’ will be instant; it is always a work in progress; and at the end of the day, we define what our happiness is.