My whole life I watched my father work himself into a never-ending exhaustion. It took me until I was about sixteen to realize why he was never home. By the time his work day was over it was past the time for hanging out and having fun. We all pretty much just went to bed. When I met my friends and was welcomed into their homes I discovered how strange it was to eat dinner at eight o’clock. This is why I choose happiness every time.
I would be lying if I said it wasn’t fun growing up with nice clothes and cool electronics. My house was very nice and the kitchen was always full. But it wasn’t nice seeing what my dad had to do in order to raise four kids and keep a roof over our heads. Before my eyes, my father aged quicker than any other of my friends’ parents.
My father slaves away at a job that makes him miserable and puts an overwhelming amount of stress on him. It saddens me to know there is nothing I can do to lighten his load. He always stressed the importance of his children’s success and happiness. Blaming those two things for the reason why he works so hard. I have thought about that every day. For those are why I choose happiness every time.
Every time someone asks me my degree I get the same eye roll and follow-up question, “What are you going to do with that? How are you going to make money?” Everyone is so caught up with having a big house and the newest and nicest things, that they completely forget about all the important things in life, such as happiness, love, and joy. I chose my major in English easily and without question. Reading and writing at a very young age I found so much joy in sitting down with my father, when he had time, talking about the stories I was creating or jumping through in my books. I found such comfort and happiness in expressing my passion for English with those who also had a flame burning in their heart for the subject. I knew going into this journey that the road would not be paved with gold and my pockets would not be full with cash. I also knew that although never easy my job would be fun. My mind would run wild, free from restrictions and back, never heavy from all the untouched possibilities of the future.
My father posses a creative mind, one with such strength from intelligence and experience. Rarely do I get to see these sides of him. Instead the normal is for me to see my father sit behind a desk in a room where there is no joy or happiness. It would pain my father to see me in that position, as much as it pains me to see him there. So I follow all that he has taught me and all that I believe in. Cliche yet true, there is no amount of money that could compensate to the point of replacement the satisfaction and love I get from writing.
I choose happiness every time because no one’s life and future should be so heavily dictated by the numbers in our bank accounts that we are zombies instead of human.