I, myself struggle with this question. I used to think that my happiness was my time in high school and friendships. An ever-ending friendship that will grow as the years go on. Here we are coming up on the four-year anniversary of graduation and I haven’t talked or seen one of them since the last day of school. It is funny how we think things will last forever or saying “oh that will never be us, we will stick together forever”. Four years ago, that was my happiness and as much of hurt that went between the closed doors, I believed that there could still be happiness after this time in my life. I have decided to leave this happiness behind and to start venturing for the new happiness.
College brought me much happiness, but I have never found that moment that makes me realize, “wow, this is happiness”. I still don’t know if that moment will come anytime soon, but I know that when it comes, I will be ready for it. I want to make it clear, that I have had happy moments/times throughout my life, but I have never had that realization that I have made it. Maybe it is clarity that I am looking forward to. The moment where I know that all those tough times, the struggle that I went through all was worth it.
Now, here I am sitting in my apartment, one year out of college and I still haven’t found my happiness. I thought that college was supposed to lead me to what I wanted to pursue, instead I have hit a brick wall and have settled. I have found that I often settle because of what I am afraid of. When I do this, I risk my happiness. No one teaches you what to do when you don’t know what to do because you are supposed to already have that figured out and to settle. I don’t really know when I become a settler, maybe when I settled for friends that didn’t have my best interest, but then there would have been no one if I left. Maybe, I am scared of actually pursing something that I love because I am scared of rejection. It’s funny, I am so scared of rejection, even though I have had my experience of rejection.
I use to be so brave when it came to going after what I want to do. For example, when I was told “no” about going away for college, I didn’t let that stop me. I made PowerPoints, read articles about the importance of going off to college, and made a college visit with my mother. I feel like that whole summer after graduating high school was me dragging myself through the sink hole because of the obstacles that were coming from me left and right. I remember I was in the middle of writing down the pros and cons of going away for college and my father came in and said, “we can’t afford it and you just can not go”. I felt like everything that was slipping out of my hands at the point. My only support system was my sister, she was the only one that backed me up about going away. Even my friends didn’t believe in me and said that I shouldn’t go because I wouldn’t make it. That was hard to accept because this whole time, I thought that I was having the support of my dreams, but, it was just me.
I don’t believe that society normalizes the struggle of finding your “happiness” after college. Unhappy with how I have settled with a job that does not support my dreams. The summer after college graduation, I applied from here to there and only heard from one place. So I settled and now I have settled. The job that I am currently at is not what I have attended to do when I graduated and I still don’t believe in it, but I have settled, and I am I trying to climb my way out of the closed door. It can be hard to do because this is my “first big girl job” and I never intended to retire at this place, but I am thankful for experience. I will take those experiences with me and use them in future jobs, but now I think it is time to stop being afraid and take those chances to pursue my dreams.