Happiness Isn’t A Final Destination — It’s Something You Have To Keep Working At

Photo by  Frances Gunn  on  Unsplash

Photo by Frances Gunn on Unsplash

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about happiness. I should be happy, I have no reason not to be. Yet throughout the day I am overcome with a lot of emotions and sometimes happiness doesn’t even come close to hitting the radar. I’ve been feeling empty, frustrated, consumed, irritated – everything that I shouldn’t be.

The thing about happiness is that it’s not something that you ‘achieve’. It’s not a final destination like once you have it you’ve got it forever. That’s not even close. Happiness is something you have to work on day in and day out. It’s something that you can feel one minute and lose the next.

I’ve felt happy and I know what it feels like to wake up every morning and be completely happy with your life, to go through weeks of nothing but smiles and laughter. Most of the time that's exactly how I am. I know that it’s possible to feel that way and that it’s possible to free yourself from worry, but it’s hard at times. 

It’s tough because you can go to bed in the best mood but wake up feeling alone and sad. Or vice versa. It’s hard because you can know you have a lot of love and people supporting you in your life but sometimes that doesn’t necessarily matter. Sometimes you can be surrounded by a bunch of people who you know care about you and it doesn’t matter because you still feel alone. Sometimes you just can’t talk yourself off the ledge you’re toeing.

There are times when I’ve felt happy but even more times where I’ve felt incomplete. Times where I’ve felt good until I compared myself to someone, or saw someone ‘like’ a post on Instagram, or where my best friend gave more attention to a stranger than me. I’ve found myself in plenty of situations lately where I’m faking a smile, where I’ve felt happy for a few minutes then wanted to break down and cry.

It doesn’t make sense and that’s the most frustrating part.

Happiness isn’t something you can define, it’s not something you can come by easily. It’s complicated and it’s hard. It’s a constant struggle to get there.

The worst part is – I have no real reason to be anything but happy. I “have it all” if you will. I have a job I LOVE and get to travel for, a supportive family, I’m doing OK financially, I have friends who are there for me, but sometimes it seems like that’s still not enough and that makes me feel so fucking selfish but I can’t help how empty it makes me feel.

I wonder a lot why I feel that way but I also know that if we go through life thinking the goal is to be happy then we're going to be completely disappointed. Happiness isn't an end game. Happiness is a constant that we have to work on all the time. It comes with learning yourself, becoming confident, becoming comfortable in your own skin and even those things don't come easy. 

I think being happy can sometimes feel overrated and you have to realize you can't feel happy constantly or you will never grow. There has to be periods of doubt, discomfort, growth, anger, sadness, and wonder because without those emotions you wouldn't be able to feel happiness at all. 

There are days I want nothing more than to lay down all day and do nothing. There are times when I want to cry just to release some type of emotion. There are nights where I want to sit and talk about everything that's going on in my head with the people around me, the good, bad and ugly. 

Happiness isn't a final destination and I think that's okay. I think it's important to not put that kind of pressure on yourself, honestly. I think it's something that will continuously change as we grow.

The happiness I felt when I was 14 is different than the happiness I felt at 21 and different than I feel now at 23. Sometimes I look back on periods of my life and think those times were amazing, because they were, but I also have to accept that if I were to go back those same things wouldn't bring me joy anymore because I've grown and changed, and so has my definition of what "happy" is. 

Happiness has a different meaning to everyone and I think it's important to realize we can't always be happy, and that's a good thing. 


You can purchase my new poetry book Careless here: 


SelfBecca MartinComment