This I Believe

Stacey - Austin, Texas
Entered on December 5, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

It’s amazing how something as simple as a smile or touch of sunshine can spark bursts of astounding joy. If we allow it to do so, clinging to the happiness we find in simple things can brighten each day of our lives.

Living in a competitive, fast-paced society, I believe it is of the utmost importance not to forget to take a breath and notice the beauty surrounding me. I’m not talking about the latest IPOD commercial, nothing spectacular or necessarily innovative; I’m talking about nature, people, things I can pass by every day without actually seeing. It is dangerously easy to box myself into my own fury of anxieties and “to-do’s.” Often focused on planning and working for secure contentment, I don’t make time to experience happiness in the present. The world provides abundant beauty and opportunities for happiness on a daily-basis, most of which I do not recognize or take advantage of. Life is too unpredictable to forget to be happy today.

I am beginning to see that there are small steps to living a carpe diem kind of life, for making each day meaningful. Being able to live in the moment does not have to be a sudden dramatic change in lifestyle. Allowing randomness to filter into hectic schedules is invaluable to my happiness. Silly remarks by friends instantaneously reel me into laughter, or something like the way light dances on water will dazzle me. I’ve come to see that the best way for me to stay positive throughout stressful days is to interact and connect with others. Nothing can replace the feeling of unity when relating to someone, reminding me that I am not alone, and teaching me what it means to be human. Topping the delirious laughter that spurs from irrationally hilarious and random moments with friends would be a challenge for the greatest magician.

Embracing randomness is embracing the unique, enjoying a moment that has never happened before and will never occur again. Randomness, in itself, makes the day special and exciting. Building relationships inspires in me a love and connection that sticks with me wherever I am. Stripping away illusion and exaggeration, it is fundamentally human moments that make tremendous impacts on my happiness and inspire in me hope and optimism. When I lay in bed at night, thinking of what I am most grateful for, I think of loved ones and how lucky I am to have them in my life. I think of the magnificence of nature, and love the world. So each day, when I am planning for the future and overworking myself as I chase dreams, I pause to absorb the brilliant blue sky, or feel the breeze swim through my hair. I wake up eager to learn, to be with people I love, and laugh at the way a cucumber crunches in my sandwich. Appreciating what I too often take for granted opens my eyes to the beautiful nature of life, and each day becomes a blessing.