In Pursuit of Our Happiness: Where We Are and Where We’re Going

Life is full of moments that bring us fleeting joy and feelings of happiness. Yet, these teasing feelings of what feels like happiness, leave us feeling empty. We say to ourselves: “If I could just be there, I would be happy.” “If I could just do this, I would be happy.” “If my body could look like this, I would be happy.” “If this person could love me, I would be happy.” “If I could experience that, I would be happy.”

Everyone has goals, dreams, and hopes, but what are we willing to do to get to the said point of “happiness”?

How many people are we going to hurt? How many times are we going to hurt ourselves? Is hurting other people and ourselves inevitable in order to grow? How could true happiness manifest itself?


 

Lately, I’ve been feeling quite perplexed. I’m in this weird transitional phase of life, and I’m not quite sure how to navigate it at the moment. For the last two years, life unfolded in ways I couldn’t have planned. I graduated from high school, decided I didn’t want to hop right into college, lost myself in an identity I thought was an answer but proved to be a stepping stone for a drastic change in life, stayed working for Aldi, met lots of influencing people and never intentionally chose any of this. Life grabbed me by the throat and said, “We’re going for a ride!” but now feel unsure of where I got off at.

I’m physically and mentally healthy, my job is steady, my family life is stable, I’ve been seeing more of my friends, nothing is really hindering my current “happiness,” but I don’t quite feel content where I’m at. If I was living truly in the present, I would have no reason to be feeling this way. For some reason though, my mind has been preoccupied with thoughts of the future. “What am I doing?” “What would be best for my future?” “What will make me happy?” These questions circle in my mind, bouncing off one another with possibilities and scenarios, to no absolute resolution.

Don’t ask if I’m happy, you know that I’m not
But at best I can say I’m not sad

-Lana Del Rey


 

A lot of these thoughts and feelings were stirred up today with two, awesome women I spent the morning with. I met them in Aldi, and they invited me over to “hear my story” (what I cool way to invite someone over, I think). One of my favorite parts of my job is all the people I’ve met and continue to meet and truly believe each and every person has served a purpose in my journey. We three, pretty much strangers, shared our life stories and some philosophical outlooks. At some point in the conversation, one of them says something along the lines of: “When we are self-seeking for ourselves and our own pursuit of happiness, we don’t think of the path of destruction that comes with the self-seeking. If we’re hurting all these people in getting to what’s supposed to make us happy, then is that even real?” It’s kind of mind-blowing when people who really get it share things that you haven’t actually realized.

I love hearing other people’s life stories and journey’s as it continually helps me figure out mine. Seeing these two beautifully minded women in places in their lives that neither had expected to be right now, yet thriving, brings different realizations in my own current plight.


 

I think to several times in my life where I’m in my stride to finding happiness, and whether or not there were casualties in my quest. While there were people in my life I hurt in trying to be happy, the biggest person I hurt was myself. I was the one who was dealing with the repercussions of my decisions and I had to realize that everything that I had sacrificed to achieve this happiness was for nothing. I was empty, more lost than I was, and overall unhappy. In this past year of reflecting and trying to “find myself,” I’ve still led a path that has hurt some people, still including myself. Why is it that we can perpetually hurt ourselves and others while being completely aware of what we’re doing? Does that make me a sociopath, a narcissist, or just human? I have and continue to put myself in situations in an attempt to be “happy,” even though I know it’s fleeting and hurting different people.

However, these self-seeking decisions are important to all of our paths. With this hurt, failure, or selfishness, there is ground-breaking growth. We have to get to this vulnerable, raw piece of ourselves to truly see this part of us we’re masking in trying to find what we think we’re looking for. So I ask myself, “Am I fearing beginning or ending something in my life for happiness because of the change, pain, or revelation that may follow?” The answer is yes. What I went through last year changed my whole life, but for the better. What if I go down another path that is completely toxic for myself and others around me? Or I make more decisions out of impulse and emotion, without rationale or logic? But then, what if I do nothing at all? I can remain in my content bubble of not sadness, but also not pure happiness. I can wait for life to grab me by the throat again and just go with it, or I can be the one to grab life by the throat and say, “YOU’RE TURN!” Knowing pain and hurt is almost inevitable makes it scary to want to try to find what we’re looking for. Especially when there is no guarantee that what you’re looking for is what you’re going to get. Sometimes you’re going to have to hurt other people when getting to the end result that may ultimately benefit you and the person(s) in ways you couldn’t have imagined. The place you end up is not the one you had envisioned or planned for, but it’s the one that your decisions and hurt have led you to. This is what will bring you true happiness, and there was no way you could’ve ever known.


 

Perhaps the happiness we’re all searching for is just a facade, or perhaps you just have to go through some shit to truly realize and find it. I’m 20 years old, and despite feeling like a 76-year-old woman in the mind, I know I still have A LOT of learning to do and a lot of things to figure out about myself. I know I’m going to hurt more people and myself along the road. Being conscious about this I can make efforts to try not to, but in the end, isn’t this what being human is all about? Fucking up and somehow coming out on the other side a more deepened version of yourself? Who really knows.

We’re 24 days into the New Year, and I’m in no current place to make a drastic decision to “better” my life or state of happiness. I have a few options and possibilities I’m pondering, but fear is what holds me back. I don’t have any strong pulls in my life right now that make me think, “If I do X, I will be happy.” I suppose that’s a good thing because none of us know what will truly bring us happiness. That’s for the universe to know, and us to find out. For now, I will continue to absorb, reflect, and make an effort to consciously learn from the actions I’m doing currently and see where it takes me.


 

Where are you at in life your currently?

Have you reached a point of true happiness; and what did it take to get there?

Are you currently in search of your own happiness, and are potentially  hurting other people?

Open discussion for any and everything pertaining to happiness!

Until next time,

Taleah xx

3 Comments

  1. This post definitely made me self reflect on the past year. I learned a lot about myself . I also figured out what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I’m a college student currently and up until the fall of 2018, I was clueless. I thought figuring out what I wanted to do would make me happy. That I would feel… more fulfilled. “I’d be happier if I knew my career path” was a thought that ran through my mind every single day. I stressed so much about it that I was miserable. I felt like a failure. Once I figured it out… my unhappiness was still there. I just don’t feel like shit because of that anymore. Figuring it out did make me happy but I’m not 100% happy yet if that makes sense. I’m just happy that one thing on my list of “what would make me happy” is checked off.

    I’m also in that weird transitional phase of life. I have some direction of where I’m headed but right now everything other than the career that I’m aiming for is a big, massive, ugly question mark. A lot of it has to do with the question “What Would Make Me Happy?” . I’m 100% in search of my own happiness and I believe it starts with me. I’m not going to be happy with whatever I believe will make me truly happy unless I’m content with my own being. And I’m not. I have this idea of myself. Kind of like a vision of who I want to be. Right now I’m a weed and I want to bloom into a beautiful flower. Like yes I’m pleased I figured out a career but……. I’m not the woman I want to be yet. Does that make any sense?
    Have I hurt people trying to become happier with myself? Yes, unfortunately. My shitty attitude and hate towards myself caused issues with family. I felt like I was at war with everyone but really I was at war with myself. 2018 really was that year of figuring out myself and who I wanted to be. I still have lots to work on of course but I’m in a much different place and mindset than I was this time last year. I’m grateful and pleased with the change. I’m not that beautiful flower yet but I’m on my way.

    Thank you for this post. I really enjoyed reading it and will be reflecting back on it whenever I need that pick me up. It really did make me look back on my own life. I look forward to more posts soon!

    Best wishes ✨

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Don’t look at yourself as a weed, but more of a seed. We’re all seeds, seeking sunlight and water for nourishment and growth. Throughout life, weeds will grow around us and try to take away from our true beauty and what were meant to be. Then, there is someone or something to pluck the weeds away from you and allow you to blossom into that beautiful flower. Continue where you’re headed, because you are on your way to being that flower-we all are. It just takes time and tribulations to get there.

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  2. I can see my own current state in these words more than you know. I guess it’s strangely comforting to know that someone else is in the same “state of being” (because it’s hard to describe) as me. I’m 27 years old and I feel like I spent probably the last 4 or 5 years of my life chasing what I thought would bring me to that point where I’m finally “in it” so to speak. Where my daily life has clear goals and when I think about the future it’s wide open with possibilities and no one will be hurt if I chase them full force.

    But it’s funny how it seems more and more as time goes on that getting to that state means making the decision to preserve that idea and to fight for it every day. That means being completely open and honest about your life and how you like to live it. With yourself first and then with your peers. That way you and everyone around you can be comfortable knowing “who” you are. We all know “what” you are will change as sure as the seasons will. So maybe that’s a good place to start.

    I can remember times where I felt truly happy and content will life and all that was and was not happening for me. That was probably around the time that I started to read a lot books that gave my highly analytical brain something to grasp onto to explain life and how and why we live it. Because I truly believe if it wasn’t for a real wake up call about “life”, about 5 years back and why it’s worth living, I would have given up. I would always say damn I can never get it all so lets just END it all and have ignorant bliss instead. That dark place is not so dark anymore due to a feeling of responsibility to give what I have inside of me to the world in whatever form it takes. My credit card statements and student loans say that these messages should come out of me in the form of music, cinematography, and art in general. Funny how much you can spend when you feel you have nothing to lose. (no kids btw lmao)

    The search for happiness will inevitably hurt other I think. Only because if EVERYONE is searching for happiness while just trying to get through the daily struggle then we are bound to bump into each other at the wrong time or expect things that are just not meant for us. So with everyone running around trying to be content there has to be those that seem like they aren’t as close as you are. I think the best way to go about finding your own happiness is to do so while hurting as less people as possible. Because in the end you only have yourself and the choices you made. So you better be able to live with them.

    Maybe depression for me is a springboard that is just too wound up to launch. I feel like I have a clear end-result in mind but because I can’t let go of certain habits or things in my life, I’m left with a fully cocked pistol and a wall to shoot at that just sits in front of my target. Doomed never to hit the target unless I break open the wall and let the light in…. But damn that shit is bright… I can see all of my blemishes and scars and it’s hard to keep the wall down. I like to think that when we really step out of our comfort zone is when we will realize not only how much better life is when you face and overcome challenges but also that all of the time before was needed in order to face those challenges with courage.

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