I’ve always thought that life itself is like climbing one giant, continuous mountain range. Basically, life has its ups and downs. We work so hard to reach the top of a mountain and once we’ve finally made it, we pause, admire the beauty, and then we continue climbing up and down this mountain. At times you may find yourself stuck at the bottom of the mountain wondering, “how on earth will I ever make it to the top?” The only advice I can give to you is to think back to the time you had finally reached the peak of the mountain and were standing there admiring the breathtaking view. Let that feeling overwhelm you and inspire you to continue your journey.
Now you may be wondering, “why are you talking about mountains so much?” Remember, it’s a simile. What I’m trying to explain to all of you through this long story about mountains, is that the key to happiness and peace is to not let yourself become discouraged and defeated when you are at your “low points” in life. When you find yourself in a “slump”, remember the beautiful moments you’ve experienced and use those truly joyful memories to keep you moving forward on your journey through life.
Sometimes we quickly brush off our happy experiences and don’t think much of them but I cannot stress how important it is for you to cherish those specific memories. It’s those moments of pure joy that will keep you moving day to day.
After you’ve finished reading this article, I encourage you to take a few minutes out of your day to sit down and think about your happy memories. What are some recent happy memories and what are some that have happened a while ago? What are some happy memories that you may have completely forgotten about and what are some of your truly unforgettable ones?
To add to my message in this article, I’ve compiled a list of the happiest memories/the happiest days of some of the closest people in my life. I hope you take the time to read each one because they’re truly beautiful to hear and I can’t explain to you the incredible feeling I got while learning each person’s story. I hope their stories of joy inspire you and affect you the same way they’ve affected me.
“Thinking back on the seventy-plus years of living, it is impossible to pick one moment in time that was the very best. However, there was one moment that stands out in my mind that changed my life forever! That would be the day I found out I was going to be a grandmother! That knowledge added a whole new dimension to my world, and has been duplicated each time another grandchild has entered my life. Seeing the world through a child’s eyes, especially a child who loves you and trusts you unconditionally, brings me such joy each and every time we are together!”
“The happiest day of my life was one that didn’t really involve any big event, but rather my daily routine for the summer; waking up way too late, attempting to put on fake eyelashes for half an hour, and driving to my show [Anything Goes] that night. Before every show, we’d be in the dressing room dancing around, blasting the soundtrack to Hamilton, and talking about anything that comes to mind. It sounds cheesy, but closing weekend I looked around the dressing room at the partial chaos amidst the blaring music and I thought, ‘yeah, this is what life’s about.’ It was nothing extraordinary, but in that moment I could say I was truly happy. That day I fully realized that life isn’t only about milestones or life-changing events, but rather the things that happen everyday. You can find happiness in every corner of the world, but only if you look for it. That day I did, and now I really couldn’t be happier. That’s what made it the happiest day of my life.”
“‘Look to your left, right, front, and behind you,” the speaker said to the gym full of freshmen, a few foreign exchange students, and me, a Junior transfer student. ‘What do you see?’ she asked. The announcer went on to talk about the great diversity that stands at our school and how even in our broken beautiful city of Milwaukee, one of the most segregated cities in the country, she spoke about how we could stand together as an example and be here for each other. And right then I knew deciding to switch to attending this school was the right choice for me, and I began to cry the happiest tears. Then I smiled really big.”
“The happiest moment of my life was during this summer when all of my friends and I were boating on Pewaukee lake. The sun was setting, and it was one of those sunsets that you can never forget. Everything was so serene and peaceful, and I didn’t have a care in the world. It was at that moment, surrounded by the ones I cared about, that I realized that I was truly happy.”
“The happiest days of my life were the arrivals of Kayla and Bria from the foster system. After Kayla was in the family for over three years, and Bria for over one year, they were finally adopted. Less than two months ago, two more children, Mariana and Conner, came to our family. While still years away, I hope they will become full members of our family through adoption.”
“Happiest memories...winning the running contest at the neighborhood park on the fourth of July when I was nine years old. I remember my grandpa cheering me on. Some more memories I have would be dancing and singing in plays in high school, traveling to Europe and seeing castles and mountains for the first time, traveling out west and seeing the beauty, traveling other places in the world, getting married, buying a house, having children, graduating with a Master’s degree, and learning to ride and own a Harley!”
“My happiest memories all have to do with my family. Whether we’re on vacation together or experiencing an important milestone in my children’s lives. The day they took their first step. Their first day of school. Seeing them perform in a play or a concert. Seeing them smiling and having fun when they don’t think I see them. And finally, just knowing that they’re happy brings me joy as well.”
“My most favorite of memories happened this summer when I went up north with my best friends. We had been driving in my friend’s jeep for over four hours and it was ten o’clock at night when we finally arrived to my friend’s cabin. So naturally we decided to jump into the lake in our clothes. We swam to the middle of the lake and looked up at the stars because holy cow you don’t see stars like that in suburban Brookfield.”
“The happiest moment of my life was on top of the Tooth of Time at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. After backpacking with some of my best friends for nearly two weeks, we scaled this landmark on the final day of our trek. I remember sitting there, legs dangling off the cliff, and feeling nothing but pure joy, accomplishment, and serenity.”
“One of the happiest days of my life was probably nationals for volleyball in Orlando last summer because I was with my awesome team and had the best opportunity most people don’t get. Another happy memory was one night at Nick’s [our friend that lives on Pewaukee lake] house when we were on his boat and it was so much fun because everyone was laughing, talking, and having a great time together. In that moment, I realized how lucky I am to have such great friends and how lucky I am to live the life I do.”
“Well this is a difficult question because I have so many happy memories that it’s hard to pick out a favorite. One that stands out though is a baseball memory. I love baseball and got the chance of a lifetime to go and play in Maryland with my team. It was the best experience of my life and some of the best baseball I’ve ever played. I was hitting the ball well and even created my own highlight reel on the field. The coolest part though was meeting new kids from across the U.S and enjoying it with my team. That, I’d say, is one of my most favorite memories.”
“One of the earliest and happiest moments of my life would be when my little sister was born. My little brother was fun to play with, but it wasn’t until my sister was born that I got super excited- I would finally have another girl to play with! Having another girl in the house meant someone who could play Barbie's with you, play dress-up, and put makeup all over. Having a little sister has definitely taught me a lot of things, and even though we do get in fights about the littlest things, having a sister has been one of the greatest things.”
“One of my happiest memories was getting a phone call from my dad when I was younger saying that we didn’t have to move to Indiana anymore. It was early May and we were supposed to be moving in June/July, and I was absolutely heartbroken about having to leave all of my friends and family members in Wisconsin behind. It makes me so happy when I look back on that time in my life because I know I wouldn’t be where I am now or with the people I am friends with now if it weren’t for that phone call.”
“One of my favorite days was the Walk the Moon concert because it was my very first concert and it was so much fun. Also, some random dude came up to me and just said ‘you have the prettiest eyes’ and I guess I had never really felt pretty enough to make people think about me and that moment was just so awesome. He later on told me to never date a jerk and to respect myself and in that moment it just seemed like God himself was telling this boy to go and give me a compliment because she is awesome and she should know it. I try and go back to that day and those specific moments when I have a bad day.”
“I would say one of my happiest moments was surprising my best friend back from where I used to live. I had come back on vacation to visit and I hadn’t told him, but I had been working with his family to make sure it would work. It was so hard keeping my arrival a secret, but when it finally came time to surprise him and I got to see him after almost two years of being away, that moment was amazing.”
“There isn’t one particular moment that I’d call my ‘happiest memory’. Although, I do have a series of memories that are some of my favorite. For example, the days I spent in New York City were some of my favorite. The atmosphere is completely different than life in Brookfield and it was something I’ll never forget. Another happy memory includes summer nights this year that were spent at friend’s lake houses. These specific nights were some of my favorite hours of the summer where many favorite memories were made.”
“My happiest memory was when I was six years old. I was in California and I was in the car with my dad and we were headed to the beach (just the two of us). We had never really done anything with just the two of us so I thought it was pretty cool. I don’t know it’s just something I’ll always remember.”
“My happiest moment/memory is probably spending a week at the beach with my grandparents by myself. We just did a ton of awesome stuff and it was great to spend the time with them and relax and be at peace at the beach.”
“One of my happiest memories is when I went to Christmas Eve mass in Guangopolo because I saw the joy with which people celebrated the holiday. Even though they didn’t have much material-wealth, the people were eager to be thankful and to show love to everyone in their community. I have never felt more connected to the global human family than I did in that moment.”
How could I write this whole article and not tell you a little bit about some of my very own “happiest memories”? Like many other people I’ve talked to, it’s almost impossible to choose one specific event that stands out as my happiest memory. So for now I’ll just quickly go over some of my favorite memories I love to look back on every once in awhile. First there’s the night of my school dance [Spring Fling] during my Sophomore year (it was a perfect mix of amazing friends, lots of laughter, and lots of dancing!). Then there’s all of the nights I’ve stayed up way too late just enjoying a peaceful night with a lovely scented candle and my cat lying next to me. Other moments that stick out are my trip to Disney World (I really love Disney), the time I went to see Vance Joy at Summerfest with my sister, all of the lovely summer days I just sat out in the sun and painted, and the nights I’ve spent with my cousins up north watching the endless amount of stars in the sky. For one reason or another, these are all some examples of significant moments I can look back when I’m need of a little motivation.
Now it’s your turn- what are some of your happiest memories? Think back to those moments when you literally felt as though you were on top of the world and take some extra time today (and everyday from now on) to cherish those memories you may have taken for granted. Continue to spread joy, make happy memories, and enjoy your journey through life. Seeya at the top of the mountain!