What if I were to ask you right now, what is happiness? What makes you happy?
It’s quite a loaded question, isn’t it? For me personally, I would have a cliche answer, like a nice warm cappuccino, the smell of the ocean breeze, or a warm embrace from someone I love. So many people in this world are wishing for happiness in the form of money, love, or validation, hoping that one day happiness will come. So many of us are just wishing that one day all our troubles are going to be gone. Along with many other individuals, I too have come face to face with happiness that is just within my reach but then disappears as soon as I try to grasp it. I think my problem was that I constantly found myself trying to step out of happiness rather than into it, believing that I never really deserved it.
Photo: Jan Kahánek on Unsplash
Why was I doing that to myself? They say happiness is a choice, but I see happiness as a learning process. One day I took a step back and realized why sadness seemed to be a reoccurring weight on my shoulders all these years, so let’s go back a little bit.
Hi. My name is Michaela. I could give you all these useless facts about me like my favorite color, my favorite food, or what I like to do in my free time and on the weekends, but let’s go deeper. There are only a few things I hide from people, one of those being my severe body image issues and self-esteem issues. Now you may be thinking, why am I deciding to tell you my biggest insecurity? Well, I am not going to sit here and let it define me and who I am, and I am not going to beat myself up over something I can’t control. With time, I finally learned to take the most terrifying risk ever; I learned to let go. I learned to let go of fear. There is no guide or secret formula to happiness; it all comes down to what you hold onto and what you let go of. I encourage you to shift your focus. Oftentimes, difficult roads end up taking us to beautiful destinations, and once you obtain the happiness you’ve been longing for, then share it with the world. Share it until you can no longer share it anymore. Your influence in this world is more valuable than you can ever imagine and it could very well change lives- even your own.
Ask yourself right now, what makes you happy? Get rid of the toxic, negative people in your life so you can make room for those who are going to lift your spirits and share the same passions as you. When I did this, I met a best friend who will always be there for me. Also, take that trip to the ocean because those beautiful moments are what you are going to remember the most when you get older. Let go and always remember how important happiness really is.
Michaela Kowalski is an eighteen-year-old, college freshman at a university in New Hampshire. She’s studying marketing and minoring in public relations and enjoys writing and journalism. She's also passionate about traveling, dogs, marathons of Netflix and spontaneous adventures. Regarding the future, she hopes to give back to countries in need.