Self Preservation

Happy New Year to my loyal readers. Sorry it’s been a while since I’ve written, but I want to resolve to write more this year. Tell all your friends.

In the spirit of the new year, and a new semester for me at college, I wanted to address something so cliché but so important in my life, and it’s happiness. I hate the whole idea of people saying “do what makes you happy” as if that’s how we’re supposed to live. I don’t believe that. I do, however, believe that you should be happy in what you’re doing, and that depends on you alone.

That sounds really contradictory, but you know I’m going to explain. To the first statement: don’t live your life making every decision just because it makes you happy. That’s bogus. Happiness is a moving target. If you’re constantly chasing this idea of being happy, you’ll never be content and satisfied in your life. That being said, if you don’t like something about your life and it makes sense to change it, change it. But don’t run around doing whatever your heart desires from day to day. Live. Just live. Life isn’t actually short. It’s the longest thing you’ll ever do. I know, another cliché, but it’s true.

My contradiction- you should be happy. There is nothing worse than living a life where you are dissatisfied all the time. It’s just not a good way to live. It’s not healthy, and it’s kind of a waste. I think people often do this to themselves when they let their happiness depend on someone else’s. Of course, be empathetic, and try to help the people you love if they are not happy, but there has to be a balance. I read something recently that said, “Try to help your friend if they’re burning, but don’t set yourself on fire in doing so.” That’s my mantra. The people that live with this dark cloud constantly over their head often do it to themselves. Obviously there are situations like abuse or something like that where the person may actually be trapped, but the people I’m thinking of are in no such situation, they just live like there’s nothing left to live for. If you’re in a relationship with someone like that, I advise you to get out. Okay, I don’t know all of you or how your relationships work, but something should change if their misery is interfering with your own contention.

I’m being selfish. I’m a selfish person. But you know what? Life is a selfish thing. You have to be selfish in order to survive. What I have come to understand is that you should never be sorry for being happy. I have had friends go through rough patches of life, and for a while I would not tell them how I’m doing because I was doing great. And that’s not fair. Why should I feel bad because I have a good hand this round? I shouldn’t. I realized that. There are times when I’m the one not doing so well, and it sucks, but life moves very fast and more often than not I’ll be winning the next round. Of course be a decent person, you don’t have to rub it in your hurting friend’s face that your life seems perfect. But when I ask my friends how they’re doing and they say “not so great,” I listen to what their going through, offer my advice if necessary, then let them handle it. If they need help of course I help, but when they ask how I’m doing, I refuse to lie if I’m actually doing well. you shouldn’t be ashamed of being happy. Ever.

I hope some of this makes sense. I just think people need to smile more. Life isn’t that serious. I believe that. Maybe I have a super idealistic view, or maybe it’s just because I’ve seen worse situations that most people can fathom. Smile, people. You’ll feel better. 🙂

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