Finding Strength in Happiness
I had a conversation with Steve a few weeks ago about writing an article for his blog, and decided to write about something that has been weighing on my mind in different capacities for a greater part of the last year. For those who don’t know me, I lived with Steve for about 5 months while in India together last year. I am originally from Philadelphia, moved to Houston, Texas when I was 7, went back to Pennsylvania for college, and currently reside in New Jersey about 10 minutes train ride into Manhattan. If you know me, you know I’m pretty passionate about all of these places. (WE ARE!!)
I recently finished the book Into the Wild by John Krakauer (synopsis), and was particularly moved by a few lines in the book. The words are part of the diary of the main character Chris McCandless, who writes, “You are wrong if you think joy emanates only or principally from human relationships. God has placed it all around us. It is in everything and anything we might experience. We just have to have the courage to turn against out habitual lifestyle and engage in unconventional living.” As many in our generation can relate, I struggle with this every day. We are tasked with determining how we chose to live our lives: through the relationships formed with those around us, or by the deep burning passion to go out into the world and see what no one else has seen before us.
It’s assumed if you are reading this blog, you are likely friends with Steve in some capacity. I think he is a fantastic example of what I outlined above. Went to college in 3 states, traveled 3 months through Southeast Asia, moved to China to teach English, decided to run a marathon in North Korea, moved to India, met the girl, moved to Texas, married the girl, and then got a puppy. Did Steve get rid of the travel bug? I don’t know. But he has proven time and again that wherever he chooses to be, happiness is never far behind.
Without wasting your time with too much ramble, the point I want to make is we each have a decision to make about what we want to do with our lives. Some choose to make the milestone decisions sooner than others. The important thing to do though is to ensure that you are happy doing what you are doing. Happiness and joy can be found everywhere, in anything, from anyone – so go out and explore. Do something you may be uncomfortable with. Take a step in a direction that you know some of your closest friends and family would look at you with contempt. Do what makes you happy, and ultimately everything else with fall into place.
It is easier said than done, and I get that. If I impulsively did what I wanted, I’d be lying on a beach in Thailand right now. It’s as much about the little things as the big. If you are unhappy with something and don’t see how you can change it, look at the positives in the room and focus on those. There is always a path to happiness, and I encourage you all to take the path less traveled to get there. You never know what you might find