It struck me one day, when I was talking with one of my friends about my current job (which I absolutely love). He commented that I was lucky to have found the thing that makes me happy. And I realized that…yes, this is what makes me happy today, but that doesn’t mean it would make me happy tomorrow. I mean, hopefully what made you happy when you were 2 years old is not the same thing that makes you happy today (because that would mean that eating play dough would be ranking high on my priority list).
If you think about it, every time you grow as a person, the things that make you happy will probably change. So essentially, the more you grow, the more the things that make you happy may change. Now don’t get me wrong, you’ll probably still love doing certain things- but it just may not bring you as much joy as it used to. Or maybe it still does. I don’t know. Point is, you just have to keep checking in. It sounds really weird, but happiness actually takes work.
I realized this as I was thinking today (because finally, on vacation, you get to do that sort of thing). I finally put words to that feeling that I’ve had before: that there is something missing in my life, or something that isn’t making me completely happy. Maybe it’s because I don’t get to do all the things that I get to do in the US, but whatever it is, there is a gap.
Luckily, I have found something to fill that gap. And that thing is feminism. I’ve been reading all about it, and I can’t get enough of it. The two books that I’m reading now, How to Be a Woman, and Full Frontal Feminism, are incredible. My life makes so much more sense now, viewing it through this lens. I want to learn more, and read more about it. I identify as a feminist. Maybe other people already knew this and I’m the last one to join the wagon, but whatever it is, it feels great.
Anyway, I think the main point is that life keeps you on your toes, and your feelings change. It’s probably important to take some time to see if the things that made you happy yesterday still make you happy today. And if not, find out why and work on fixing it. Maybe it’s a small thing, like finding a new hobby. Or maybe it’s a big thing, like changing your job. But whatever it is, you should just…do it.
Because once you put in the work and figure it out, life gets so much better.
2 thoughts on “Happiness Is a Moving Target”
I am so glad you are a self-described feminist. Thank you. So often when we tell people we are feminists, negative connotations rise up, and people assume that we are man-hating banshees. This has never been the case, but that old stereotype (that is not rooted in truth) rears its ugly head time and time again. A few more books you might want to read are Backlash and Stiffed by Susan Faludi. I read both when I was in my twenties, and they were incredibly enlightening about the shifting ideals of feminism in America throughout the years, and the changing roles of men within our culture over the last century. Both books really concreted my ideas about feminism and provided more analysis of society’s take on feminism itself. But the latter helped me to understand the confusion, and many times anger and ambivalence of men (especially men of Generation X) which has been inadvertently caused partially by how nicely women have been able to adopt masculine traits to balance out our feminine traits while men have not yet come to terms with having to adopt feminine traits and achieve that same balance. And while I’m on the subject of generations, another book to read is, oddly enough, Generations by Strauss and Howe. It details how American history has been shaped by the generations who happen to be in power at the times of unravelings, crises. new highs, and enlightenments. And it can help predict how future generations will shape America based on the characteristics they possess. All are fascinating reads.
Thanks so much! I am adding those to the reading list! If you have any other suggestions, please send them my way!