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In Pursuit of Happiness

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I’m a bit of a loner, so the pressure I put on myself is greater than anything anyone else can put on me. I’ve been feeling lost lately, not sure of what my path in life is. For the most part, I’m content where I’m at, yet a part of me still yearns for more and there’s another part of me that wonders whether I even deserve more because I honestly don’t need more. I strive to do the best I can yet I feel like I keep falling off but I think that that’s because a part of me doesn’t feel really motivated to complete some of the things I do like, finishing school. Most times I feel like there’s not enough minutes in the hour, hours in the day and days in the week for me to complete the things I want to do like, write new songs. Sometimes I feel like I’m wearing way too many hats and I really hate deadlines. I like being free to do what I want, when I want. I would like to be good at my job so people can stop looking at me like an inadequate female yet a part of me doesn’t even want to work there anyway even though I make pretty good money in comparison to most people I know.

I also would like to finish school yet I’m not sure if a degree would really make me happy . . . what if I end up in a job that I hate more than this one? Not that I hate my job but I would like to be doing something else and I’m kind of feeling like that something else is not what I’m going to school for. I always wanted to be a mechanical engineer or some sort of machinist.

I like working with my hands, making and fixing things yet I settled for an electrical engineering degree because “the market for it is good” and “they make more money” but is more money REALLY what I want? What I want is to be happy and I’m sure that money will not do that. 

Since I started school, I’ve been getting a housing allowance and a books and supplies allowance from the “wonderful” department of Veterans Affairs (anyone who deals with the VA knows why I put wonderful in quotes) which has allowed me to pay off all my debt and catch up on my bills which is all I ever wanted to do anyway.

So I’ve done that and I’m feeling like, “Now what?” I know someone will probably think I’m crazy as hell for complaining about having money but know that that’s not at all what I’m doing. I’m super grateful for it and am glad to have it in case of emergencies (and no, I’m not going to loan anyone any) but the reality is it didn’t really make me happier. I mean, I’m happy to not have debt collectors calling me at all hours of the day but anything other that, I’m still me so I don’t understand why people want to be rich so bad.

Not saying that I’m in any way, shape or form rich but I’m good and it bothers me a lot when people constantly talk about money or lack thereof, not looking at all the other wonderful things they have in their lives to be happy about. Its funny how people always say they want more of something but when they get it, nothing really changes. Some people feel grateful and others are constantly wanting more, just being greedy. I think people need to redefine what “being broke” really means because if you have enough to pay a car note, rent, bills, buy food and the basic necessities, you’re not broke. You may just be barely making it but you’re not broke by any means. People talk about being broke simply because they can’t go out and buy something new that they didn’t need in the first place and that’s just greed. 

All I really want is to be happy. I want a job where I enjoy waking up every morning and am appreciated for my skills and I want to be in a loving relationship with someone who appreciates and respects me. That’s about it. I’ve had two people ask me in the last two months where do I see myself in the next five years and all I could say is not where I’m at but that doesn’t mean that where I’m at is a bad thing because it’s not. I just don’t have a NEED for anything and I never really asked for much out of life. Do I want things? Of course! I want a bigger apartment and a newer car but do I need it? Nope.

Only thing I see for myself in the next five years is hopefully alive and in good health, which I hope extends well beyond five years.  I just think people should put more focus of what’s really important to them, look at the quality of life rather than the quantity of things they have or don’t have. However, if money is that important to you then I honestly feel bad that that’s all your life is about because money doesn’t buy love, money doesn’t buy REAL friends, money can’t replace family…money simply just does not buy happiness and that’s all I want. While it is very true that a lot of things in life take money to do, it is also true that there are a lot of free things in life to enjoy and be happy about.

And while it’s also true that happiness doesn’t pay the bills, when is enough ever really . . . enough? So with that being said, I think I should try harder to strive for that instead. Make more of an effort to truly make myself happy and do what I want instead of what I thought people expected me to do, which was go back to school. Now that doesn’t mean that I’m going to drop out of school, but I think I need to take a break and really evaluate what’s truly important to me and my quality of life because at the end of the day, saying I have some fancy degree or making some outrageous amount of money just isn’t going to cut it. None of that will matter when I’m gone. 

I wrote this because late 2009 I became a little depressed wondering for the millionth time where my life was headed so I thought school would be the answer because that sounds logical right? Go to college, get a degree, get a good career, make more money, be happy . . . the American dream . . . or something like it. But now that I’ve jumped on that bandwagon, I’m not sure I like it anymore. I thought what made others happy would in some way make me happy too but obviously I’m not like other people and really need to take heed to the phrase “do you”. You know what makes me happiest? I’m happy when I’m writing, I’m happy when I’m singing, I’m happy when I’m reading a book, I’m happy when I can come home, take a nap and not have to worry about homework deadlines. I’m happy when I’m sitting in my pajamas all weekend, feet kicked up, watching meaningless TV. I’m happy when I make someone else happy, when I help others, when I touch people’s lives in the tiniest way.   

So what’s your take on life? The pursuit of money, the pursuit of happiness or the balance of both? When is enough really enough? Where are the lines drawn between wants, needs and greed? Call me crazy but I’d rather have love and happiness than to be rich . . . to me, that IS rich. I believe that when you’re happy with your life then everything else will fall into place, money included. That’s just my logic though, you don’t have to agree. 

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