Are You Really Happy?

Rory - Monroe, North Carolina
Entered on September 24, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe that happiness, gained through relationships with people, is the key to living the good life. Being happy because of possessions or fame doesn’t provide true happiness, it provides fake happiness.

During my senior year in high school I thought I was living the good life. I was a star on the football team, everyone at my high school knew me, and I had the best friends in the world. I was being recruited by big schools to play football, and I was one of the most widely known athletes in my county.

Midway through football season something happened that changed my life. I broke my fifth metatarsal (the worst bone in your foot to beak) and my football career ended.

I didn’t know what happened. I was living the good life and in one moment my “good life” was over. I still had the friends and the popularity but my high school football career was over. I didn’t realize that I hadn’t actually been living the “good life” until I started getting closer to her.

When I broke my foot I felt like my life was over and I didn’t even want to go to school, but, I had the incredible fortune of sitting next to the best looking girl in the school, Coree, in my first class. Before I broke my foot she and I were friends, but after I broke my foot we started getting closer.

Over the next couple weeks Coree and I started becoming almost best friends and I started not feeling sad for myself. I even got to a point where I forgot about my foot because I was enjoying being around Coree. I wondered to myself why hadn’t I been like this before I got hurt. Now, when my football career had ended, I was happier than when I was meeting college football coaches daily.

That’s when it hit me. Before I got hurt I was living the “good life” through fake happiness. I thought my popularity and small time fame made me happy. But I was wrong; the only thing that could truly make me happy was being around someone who didn’t want to be my friend just because of my football abilities. Coree wanted to be my friend for who I was, not who I was as an athlete. The things I thought brought me happiness before my injury were just place holders for real happiness, they had no real value and were not fulfilling like being around Coree was.

Now that I could see what true happiness felt like I never wanted to let it go. Nothing ever really gets to me anymore, sometimes things get me down but those feelings pass quickly. I’m able to stay happy because I’ve made more friends like Coree, friends who like me for who I am, and are there for me whenever I need them. I’m able to be happy with these people instead of being happy with my small time fame.