What if…?

I’m anticipating this turning into a little bit of a rant, so I’m just warning (nondescript) you.

Today, I was watching this movie called Away We Go (actually, I only watched the last hour or so…) but it really got me thinking a lot about the world in general. I guess most of all, I thought about expectation and potential. I’m 17 years old, and right now, I have all of the potential in the world. I look at my parents, and think about how they were once my age–they had expectations for their lives, and they had all of this potential and now they are where they are. I mean, not that it’s bad, but don’t we all want something so much more than we have? Constantly I strive for more, and more. I am never happy with what I have, and I don’t mean material goods, because that is an entirely different conversation, but situations. Everything in life is fleeting. Every single thing. And we are all raised in an environment that breeds false expectations. I love films, but is the reason I love them because they are as a function a means of escape? Don’t we all wait for that perfect sunset that we’ve seen in countless films? We all want to be loved the way countless women are loved in films. We all want a man to stop his life, and drop everything just because he loves us. We want to live in Paris, and wear fantastic clothes and write a novel while living a bohemian lifestyle, or ride a moped in Rome while indulging in Cafe culture. We all want to be successful and make decisions that are always right. We all want to be able to fall from grace, and be helped back up and make it in the end. We all want people around us who love us and care for us when we die. We all want to make a mark on the world and be remembered.

And I know that this is dreadfully downtrodden but, we don’t all have this. There are so many variables, so few constants. What if I never get married? What if I never think I’m pretty? What if I never have kids? What if I never do anything important with my life? What if I am constantly worried all the time? What if I never make enough money? What if when I die, I’m miserable and no one cares? I know that to all of these questions everyone says, of course that won’t happen. But, what if?

How do we avoid these thoughts? How do people live their lives not wasting every breathing moment thinking about these variables? How is any one happy? Almost everyone falls from the bar of their expectations, lives below what they thought they would. How can we be happy?

For two weeks of every year I go with my family to the Outer Banks, and for those two weeks I feel truly happy. I’ve been going down there since I was little, and it’s impossible to describe but I belong there. The beach, and the lifestyle, I love it. I’ve been told that if I lived there it would lose this quality, and that’s probably true, but who knows.

How do we stay happy?


1 Comment

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One response to “What if…?

  1. I was thinking about this a few days ago, too. The conclusion I came to is that everyone has long term goals and short term goals. In the long run, I might say that I want to be married before I’m x years old, and I want to make x amount of money and have a certain type of life – that’s fantasy, not necessarily reality. Right now, we’re at the precipice of so much potential. Especially coming from the background we do, we pretty much have the opportunity to do anything we want with our lives; we’re unrestricted, the possibilities are infinite. Thirty years from now, we might look back and realize we haven’t achieved everything we set out to do, but our measure of happiness might have also changed along the way.

    To sum that all up, when I was little, I thought I wanted to go to Stanford and be a professional gymnast. Now I realize that neither of those goals are going to happen for me, but I’ve moved on. I have new goals now, so my seven-year-old dreams aren’t completely shattered, just replaced with new dreams.

    Those are my two cents. It’s such an interesting topic; thanks for writing this post. In the end, everything will be okay.

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