Chasing Happiness

For Context: This is a publication piece I submitted to a news platform called The Boston Globe Today. This is a personal essay I wrote back in my freshman year of college about where and when I feel the happiest.

Happiness is not a feeling that can be explained unless you’ve felt it yourself. Happiness can sometimes last a lifetime or only for brief moments at a time. Happiness to me is the small moments that will ever happen again and all that I can remember when I’m telling a story or showing pictures later on to someone else is what I felt at that exact moment. All my happiest memories and current states of bliss remind me of what happiness is.

            Sometimes these moments are hard to remember when I’m at my lowest, but I must remind myself that it’s coming back around. There are many things I love to find happiness in. Growing up Christian, allowed me to understand the perspective of God always having a plan for us no matter what. Something I enjoy is going to concerts with my best friend. This is truly one of the times I feel the happiest. It’s the moment when the lights go dark in the arena, everyone around me is screaming at the top of their lungs trying to get a glimpse of who’s on stage, and at that moment time stops. The jitters of seeing and hearing them live for the first, second, or third time, making sure we get there on time for the opening act and shop for merchandise before everything good is gone, the stress of finding parking in high-priced areas, and finally finding your seat after arguing with someone who is the wrong one, all of these things just disappear when you hear that first note. As annoying as it may sound, my happiness lies in those moments. Vacations are another time when I feel like I can just let go and be stress-free and happy. 

            Happiness is not only found in the finer things in life. Contrary to society’s beliefs, it costs absolutely nothing to be happy. Spending quality with my friends, family, and significant other makes me extremely happy. Chasing happiness for me is not something I do very often. Why may you ask? I allow myself to find happiness in everything I do. For example, if I have to take my grandmother to the grocery store, I don’t complain as much because I just think of it as spending more one on one time with her. Memories, again, are where my happiest moments lie. 

            The idea of working towards a career that I am unhappy with is repulsive to me. I’ve always heard the saying ‘If you do what you love for a living, you’ll never work a day in your life.’ This saying has pushed me to find a major in college that allows me to do everything I enjoy and hopefully become successful one day despite what other people think. I’ve heard countless times that in my field there isn’t much to make, and I would need a backup plan. When I’m unhappy, I don’t like to dwell on it and try to change it as soon as possible. I understand that others may not have the same option as me, to choose what they want, and work freely but because I have that option, I will not waste it. This mindset is very unhealthy to have. It can affect your daily life, personal relationships, and anything you hold dear. 

            The pursuit of happiness can be a difficult road to take but, in the end, it will be worth it. I have learned that the light at the end of every dark tunnel is brighter than you think. Enjoy the small moments in life, take that picture when you’re having fun, at the end of the day when it comes down to you and your happiness only you can control it. Make the best of every day like it’s your last!