Thursday, July 29, 2010
Do We Know What We Want?
I was asked this weekend If I knew what I wanted and of course I said that I do. I want to be happy. I know that this is a very vague answer but it is so very simplistic in nature. Not that I consider myself old in any way, but I think that with my age and level of maturity I can really say what it is that I am searching for. I also believe that my fellow brethren who are about my age know exactly what I mean when I am vague enough to say I just want happiness.
Happiness to me is an all encompassing thing that I want to achieve in which my life is as close to bliss as possible. I realize that there are smaller goals that I need to achieve in order to work my way up to this. However, to truly achieve happiness we must first admit that we are unhappy. I think that most people in general hide the fact that they are unhappy and will deal with life because it is what it is. Of course, life is hard and there is no mistake about that.
The other thing is to understand and realize that our lives are not as bad as it could possibly be. Sure, I have my issues. I struggle everyday to survive with bills and the trying to maintain a healthy life as a single man. Not to mention the job search is not all that great. However, I have a roof over my head, I know that I can eat everyday and I have luxuries like a phone and a car. There are people in this world that cannot say that, which is why I try in my heart not to complain too much.
What it really comes down to is that we are not taught how to be happy. We are taught to be ruthless in a job market. We are taught subjects in school that we may or may not use later in life and we are definitely taught that we need to earn that money. Here is the thing: Money cannot buy love nor happiness, but it can destroy both (I am tweeting that as I write this).
Think about this and I may have said this before. We expect 18-22 year olds to decide on a major and what to do for the rest of their lives. What sucks about this is that most us do not find our true selves until our 30s. How are we supposed to manage that? What happens is that anyone us in our mid 20's can end up in a job we went to school for and end up hating it after the first year. Why? Because as soon as we graduate we are told that we need to go right into the workforce to get that money to support our habits of buying things that we ultimately do not need to survive.
This is also effects relationships as well. How many people do you know have married their college for high school sweethearts? I know of one couple who are now married and they were in love since college. That is very rare these days. People will then tell me..."well our parents have been together for so long...why cant we?" Well, genius, it is different generation and different time. Using my father as an example here, he graduated high school and went into the navy which allowed him to travel the world and see things that I never have because I went to college. What that means is that he had 4 more years of actual life experience then I would ever have.
Take that into consideration when thinking about parents who have been together for so long. When we got out of college we had to figure a way to survive at 22-23, our parents were doing it at 18-19 (and sometimes younger). Those are critical years we are talking here. Now, what makes things worse is that when I graduated in the 90s a bachelor's degree was good enough. That isn't the case now, a Master's degree is what we will all need to make the serious money. So imagine now being a college student having to stay 2-3 more years in school for something you may or may not like later in life and having to learn to survive at 24-25.
I bring all this up because I am 36 years old and I think I finally found myself. I think I am at a point in which not only can I make myself happy but I know what it will take to make another person happy. I have come to accept my own faults and deal with my place in this world. I am perfectly imperfect and I am ok with that. I spent my 20's thinking that all I needed was a woman to make my life complete only to find out that only I can fix me. Once you get to that place, fear is just an emotion you can control just like the rest.