Happiness is defined as: “good fortune; pleasure; contentment; joy.” However, I dare to say that happiness is a chameleon that changes shades with each individual. While the standard definition of happiness is nice, my personal shade is so much more than simple contentment or joy – It is the willingness to be brave, bold and open. It is in the clouds, the sea, and the stars. It is the warmth of the sun on your skin while you stand at the top of a cliff. It is staring into the eyes of someone you love, knowing that they have forever altered the course of your life. It is the rapid beating of your heart when you open yourself up to electrifying opportunities.
We’ve always been taught that we are in charge of our own happiness. Though, how many of you can honestly say that you believe that? There was a time in my life that I didn’t either. I thought that everything had to be aligned perfectly – that I needed what appeared to others as the epitome of a successful, even envious, life.
What I didn’t realize then was that what happiness is, to me, very different from what others picture in their mind. It took me so long to realize this because I was always afraid to go after it. When I finally did, I had to be absolutely independent. I found who I am, and could not be more thankful for my time alone to discover the complexity that is me.
I found happiness in the act of bravery. It is a brave thing to start over – to face the fact that your happiness is really just a hologram. It is not bravery from fearlessness, but from tenacity that replaces that hologram with true joy. I believe that F. Scott Fitzgerald said it best when he boldly declared,
“I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.”
It has been a rush to start all over again. I have an inner peace that I have never felt before and an urge to make the most out of the short time we have here. I was recently challenged to do just this – to refuse the monotony of life and dive into a path that leads to euphoria.
I worked a meaningless, stress-filled job. All day long I had people screaming at me for things out of my control. If you know me, you know that I am too compassionate to not let that affect me. I wanted to fix all of their problems, but there was nothing that I could do. To have someone tell you that you work for a soulless, terrible company for 8 hours every day is something I despised. So much so that it affected me when I was at home. I then received some glorious advice from someone who knows what it means to truly seek happiness:
If you’re not happy, do something to change it.
I said earlier that we have always been told we are in charge of our own happiness. Well, wake up and relish in the truth that you can and should make a difference in your own life.
I quit that soul-destroying place and am making plans to move to Colorado. This is my greatest adventure yet, and I know I am on a path of real happiness. I won’t let the world dictate what my happy ending is. This isn’t even close to the end, though. It’s only the beginning.
I can already tell that joy has emerged in my life. I am writing again, and am opening myself up to every possibility that comes my way. I will no longer allow circumstances to guide my happiness, but will take it into my own hands and lead a life that I am proud to call my own.
Stop being jealous of the life you see others living – live it yourself. Don’t be afraid to go after what sets your heart on fire. Please, lead a life that you will one day look back on and be amazed by. Don’t succumb to the triviality of it all. Be brave, and be [truly] happy.