Hoover High School

I want to be happy when I grow up


“I’m literally so depressed.”

I was probably the single most user of that phrase in middle school. My definition of depression consisted of a big scary, gray cloud monster that follows around the moody woman during a three-minute long antidepressant commercial.

I had a vision of what “happy” was. I wanted to be a happy person all the time. Alas, I was absolutely not depressed. To me, any minor unhappiness equaled depression. A permanent state of happiness was an unattainable goal and I was blind to that.

John Lennon has a quote where he mentions a teacher asking him what he wanted to be when he was older and he said happy. I think this is great and beautiful and fantastic. But is it real?

Aristotle believed that happiness was the result of a life of virtue. Ahem, a result. I’m here to debunk the man himself.

Happiness is not a result. Happiness isn’t a destination or even a “state of mind” (whatever that means). However it is an emotion. It’s an emotion like sadness, anger and frustration. It’s okay to not be happy all the time and this shouldn’t make you feel like there’s something wrong with your life.

This realization has made me the happiest I have ever been. I don’t look at a bad day and think I have a bad life. I take in every happy moment and keep it with me like a photograph.

Now more than ever, it’s important for me and everyone to make happiness a priority. You may think this entire article is very anti-happy of me and it’s really not! It’s just very anti-being upset over happiness.

Seeing this cultural obsession of happiness is a little silly to me. Happiness is baking muffins for your family on an early Saturday morning. It’s having a good conversation with your mom over coffee. It’s finishing a good book and wanting to read it all over again. It is whatever you want it to be. Here’s to being happy… and everything else.