Weary from the Pursuit of Happiness

I found this photo on Tumblr today:


What exactly does it mean to be happy?

What does happiness mean to you?

In my younger teen years, I thought that happiness meant having a special someone. Not necessarily a boyfriend, but just someone to take an interest in, to make the ordinary bleak school day seem a little brighter.

As I grew older and into the senior grades in high school, happiness to me meant achieving my goals (especially in regards to university acceptance), attaining high grades, having a solid group of friends, avoiding drama, and lying on the grass field basking in the sun and sipping on Slurpees during spare blocks. That, to me, was the good life.

As I grew into university, happiness then meant being hired for extracurricular activities, achieving academic and fitness goals, making new friends, expanding my network, and getting out of my comfort zone; constantly pushing my boundaries.

Not many people know this, but I’ve had a really rough year. I have been on the pursuit of happiness for a long time now. It feels like I’ve tried everything, and came so far, but I still lack the one thing I want: to simply be happy and content.

I am tired, weary, worn. The pursuit of happiness has worn me out. Happiness keeps evading me. Just out of reach, but giving me false hope that one day I might actually take a hold of it.

I keep telling myself that happiness will be attained once I complete something. I will be happy when midterms are over. I will be happy when hiring season is over. I will be happy when I get the EC’s and internship I want. I will be happy when finals are over.

But I’m really not.

So when will I be? What will it take?

Going back to my young teenage way of thinking, one might ask, ‘Why don’t you find somebody to love? Then maybe you’ll be happy.’

But quite frankly, romantic love and happiness are not synonymous. Even so, how can you expect somebody to love you if you don’t love yourself; if you’re not happy with who you are? I read something interesting in a Thought Catalog article today:

“We often present the idea of relationships in terms of two halves coming together to make a whole. But I think a much more apt description would be a venn diagram: two complete circles overlapping and making something even more impressive in the middle. They still retain their individual wholeness, but they share things that neither would be capable of creating on their own. You cannot come to someone else as a puzzle with a few crucial pieces missing and expect that they will fill it over with whatever spares they happen to have around.”

And I have nothing more to add.

One of the things I am most happy about since coming into university is having a strong, reliable set of friends to lean on. Friends I can call in the middle of the night when tears are streaming down my face. Friends to laugh with, cry with, and share my life with.

And that should be enough for me to carry on.

I guess even though I am still on the pursuit of happiness, at least I have people supporting me along the way; and it’s the journey, not the destination, that makes it all worthwhile.


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