Happiness: A Destination

Lesley - Pennsauken, New Jersey
Entered on November 1, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

“They say youth is wasted on the young.” I’ve heard this expression many times and wondered exactly what do “they” mean by that. Well here I am at age 25, still young by most standards, and I believe I have figured it out.

Hands down, the most common ailment among twenty-something year olds in this country is disillusionment, an overwhelming feeling of disatisfaction which makes it difficult to enjoy where they are in life. The reason is as simple as the questions we ask ourselves. It’s not what we’ve done but what we’ve felt thus far. It’s not what we have but who we’ve helped. This is what makes us feel good.

Another thing that hinders us is the fact that we haven’t learned how to deal with tragedy or loss yet.

People tend to view loss as a form of victimization when it is actually a form of enlightenment. It’s what makes us able to empathize with others, it’s what makes us human. Without loss we lose the capacity to be compassionate to one another, to help each other through. Instead of embracing these feelings of sadness that come with loss, we are taught to fight them. We are encouraged to let the sadness go but what is not realized is how it can inspire kindness and creativity.

So far in my years I’ve felt a myriad of emotion with love being the pinnacle of them all. We need to learn how to accept and distribute this feeling that makes all else seem small. We need to learn to cherish the relationships that we have no matter how short- lived or how shallow.

And now for what seems to be behind most of our frustrations–a career. All I want to say about this is that we need to seek an emotional paycheck as well as a monetary one.

As much as I’ve been hurt and consumed by sadness in my 25 years, I can honestly say I have never felt hate. I’ve never hurt someone else with intent and as for those I’ve hurt unintentionally, I’ve always tried to make amends. I’ve never felt true greed or envy. My pride has never gotten in the way of my heart and most importantly, I live to share. I live to share the music that I love, the art that moves me, the movies that evoke thought, the books that ispire me and the nature that amazes me. I’m on my way.