Choose Yourself
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Student Life

Choose Yourself

We can be happy without the bullshit

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Choose Yourself
Kevin Pintos Photography

Cliché right? “Make yourself a priority.” “You can’t love until you learn to love yourself.” “Do what makes you happy.” …blah blah blah. But lets for one-second step out of our comfort zones and this banal definition of self-acceptance and look a little deeper.

As a 20-something college student nearing the impending doom that is graduating into the real world, it’s very easy to get caught up in the stresses of reality. Managing to preserve GPAs and simultaneously applying to resume-building internships all while trying not to forget to wipe your ass. When was the last time you took care of yourself? When was the last time you were genuinely happy?

And again, I’m not talking in this stereotypical, “Take a second out of every day to tell yourself you’re beautiful” bullshit, I’m talking going against the benchmark 21st-century circuit and doing something that makes YOU happy- not society.

Did you know that in today’s job market, a bachelor of science is equivalent to a high school diploma? Who decided that putting ourselves in $100k + of debt wasn’t enough?

Did you know the average hirable college graduate suffers from depression, despite nailing a 6-figure salaried job right out of school?

You aren’t busting your ass at the part-time job to cover your bills and tuition costs because it makes you happy. You’re doing it because you’re told you have to in order to gain this endless happiness and success.

We’ve become these robotic young adults who are so afraid to show emotion other than happiness in fear that our feelings aren’t validated or don’t benefit our growth.

But since when was this fear of unhappiness a motivation to fall into a routine?

Happiness is an emotion. It is not a state of being, and it is not a destination. It is a feeling that comes and goes when it wants to; sometimes happiness is fleeting, like laughing at a friend’s joke, but sometimes it decides to stick around and make a home for so long that we forget how to breathe without it.

So when happiness decides to move out, what do we do? How do we go on without its exhilarating warmth running through our veins, without its beautiful song playing to the beat of our hearts?

We as a society have convinced ourselves that feeling anything other than bliss is undesirable, that we are empty without it. But other emotions are what make us humans, complex creatures that can love and hate and scream and cry. If we are just blindly happy every second of the day, it would stop being special, wouldn’t it?

Constantly striving for this desirable emotion should not determine how we live our lives. Following the stream shouldn’t come with the price of a diluted and colorless life. If you want to travel the world, buy your tickets tomorrow. If you need to take an extra semester to complete your degree, do it.

Life is about trial and error. You make mistakes and you learn from them. You take the roads less traveled for the experience, or whatever it is Robert Frost was cultivating. Forced happiness is the saddest kind of unhappiness.

So the next time a hurricane threatens to take over your body and you feel like your tears could end droughts, cry until you can swallow that lump in your throat. When your heart is shattered and you feel like the only person who can fix it is the one who broke it, turn on some sad music and engulf yourself in the safety of your bed sheets until you’re ready to face the world again. Life can’t go on without a little rain.

When you think the fires in your heart threaten to burn down everything you are, dance in the thunderstorm and scream at the heavens until the only thing burning is your throat. When your hands tremble with anger and hurt, take a deep breath and let yourself be mad at all the ways you’ve been broken until the weights lift off your shoulders. The heat of the sun keeps life on Earth moving on.

When you are looking for an excuse to choose yourself or you can’t place words to your emotions, know they are still valid.

We are all human, and it is by feeling that we know we are alive.

Happiness blooms where it is planted, and where it is watered. Instead of throwing away our lives on things that don’t excite our souls, we can learn to nurture our passions, become better communicators, and to open our eyes to the beauty all around us.

We can be brave without being selfish, and we can be happy without the bullshit.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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