Like most people, I can get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. I can get caught up in the “latest trend,” the hottest style, the best electronics the world has to offer. However, the more I struggle to acquire these things, the more I realize they don’t matter. What matters most to me is what my best friend thinks of me, the paroxysms of joy that my dog goes into when I walk back into the house from a long stay at school, and a long hug from my boyfriend or my mother.
I believe that material things can never make us happy. In the beginning, or when you first acquire the “newest” thing, you may feel happy. That feeling may persist for a day, a week, or a month, sometimes even longer. But eventually, what was “new” and novel will no longer be exciting, and there will be some new “newest” thing.
When my parents talk to me about what I want to be and where I see myself in the next ten years or so, I struggle with my answer. I struggle with whether or not I tell them what they want to hear or tell them what is in my heart. As my parents, they want to hear that I am going to major in a field where, after graduation, I can get a high-paying job and be well taken care of and successful for the rest of my life. On a personal level, they have concerns about the occupation that my boyfriend has chosen, and whether or not he will be able to support me in the long run. I don’t know how to tell them that this doesn’t concern me at all.
Sure, I would like to be well off and not have to worry about money. I would like to be able to give my future children everything they can dream of. But it is simply not that important to me. I dream of simple things. I dream of a house that is a home, not just a big building. I dream of watching my children’s eyes light up at the wonder of simply jumping into a trailer filled with cotton. I dream of a home where my children will know that they are loved without basing that knowledge on the fact that I have bought them the trendiest clothes or the latest gadget. I believe in simple things. I believe in the kind of life that my parents modeled for me, one filled with love and happiness, although they may not want me to have to endure the hardships and money troubles they did.
I believe in playing in the rain. I believe in playing hide and go seek. I believe in family dinners. I believe in stretching out on the grass in the warm sun and reading a book. I believe in horse-back riding, singing at the top of my lungs, and dancing around my bedroom because I just can’t sit still. I believe in good friends, good jokes, and good times. I believe in hugging my parents and telling them I love them. I believe that there is more to life than stuff. I believe that you can be happy just for the sake of being happy. To put it simply (pardon the pun), I believe in simple things.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.