Somewhere inside our brains, we are hardwired to believe that happiness is some beautiful destination. We think that it’s right around the corner, and our whole lives are dedicated to finally arriving there. Happiness comes right after our next promotion, that new car we’ve been saving up for, or that pretty engagement ring on our finger. We fool ourselves into thinking that all of our efforts will add up to eternal bliss, so long as we take one more step up the ladder.
There is so much weight placed on being happy. If you’re not happy, you’re too picky. If you’re overly happy, you’re delusional. Being sad or hitting a low makes us feel like we are a burden on the people around us. We worry that people will see sadness as a sign of weakness or that we won’t be successful until a pearly white grin is permanently plastered on our stressed out faces. We chase it, but we can’t win. So in the end, this quest for absolute happiness leaves us feeling anything but happy.
The glimmer of truth we can gather from this reality is that there is no “destination happiness”. It’s a facade, and we spend our whole lives looking forward to it, straight into our graves. So let’s say we give up the act and stop looking for things that don’t exist. What if, instead, we focused on being free?
I don’t want fake happiness. I want real freedom. The type of freedom that lets me be whoever I want to be without strings attached. I want to be free from soul crushing expectations and every stigma that has ever been placed on my name. I want freedom to love the people I love and chase the things that actually make me excited to be alive. Why should I chase after the unattainable when I can give myself the freedom to create more pieces of happiness on my own?
There is so much power in taking life into your own hands and deciding who you are and what you want. Being happy is not linear, and part of actual happiness is accepting the lows along with the highs. We have to realize that our bad days lead us to good ones, and we can’t get too comfortable with wherever we are at. The only thing we can make ourselves sure of is the ability to choose our lives. We are free to create the life we want and know with certainty that no one else chose it for us. We didn’t let anyone shove us into a box and turn us into what they think we need to be. We made it here, and we choose where we go now.
Stop chasing a mirage and take control of the things you can actually take control of. Take the hard times and let them make you thankful for the good ones. Move your life in the direction you know you want to go. After all, when we finally give ourselves permission to be free, we are bound to find more happiness along the way.