Happiness vs. Selfishness

I’ve been thinking a lot about happiness recently. What it means to be truly happy. What makes you truly happy. How important happiness is. When you should forgo happiness for reality. IF you should ever forgo happiness for reality. Does that mean reality isn’t happy?

I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching. I feel like I’ve done this twice before in my life. The first time, I was 17 years old and about to graduate high school.


Trying to choose a college is tough when you have no sense of direction…or rather, 20 senses of direction and no idea which to follow. You’re 17 years old, you barely know who you are, who you’re going to be, or who you even WANT to be, and you’re supposed to make a decision that will impact the course of the rest of you life?

My “solution”? Paralyzation. In a panic, I chose the school that offered me the most money in scholarships and grants (and by “I” I actually mean “My Parents.”). Marquette was a great school. 100% for me? That’s a question I ask often. But I got an amazing education.

Enter soul searching #2. College graduation.

CLEARLY I've matured...

Now that I’m equipped with all the tools and knowledge that I need, I am free to go off into the real world and…do…something. ANYTHING.

My “solution”? Become completely petrified. For starters, the job market isn’t really…welcoming college graduates with open arms. And really, I wasn’t sure what “IT” was that I should be doing. I spent 4 years studying and “perfecting” this craft, but how do I even know if this is what I want to do?


Fast forward a year, and I have it all figured out. I’ve got a job…and a good job too…that is in my field of study (which NEVER happens) and I don’t know if I’m happy. I want to be fighting for a cause that I think is worth fighting for. I want to go off, sword drawn, fire blazing into the nonprofit world and help people that I feel NEED help.

But first, I want to go to Africa. Get a complete culture shock. Get a completely new outlook on life. Help people who truly could use it. Teach them WHILE learning from them. I need life experience and something to shape the way I look at the world other than the bubbles I’ve grown up in.

Which brings us back to the happiness question. Packing up my things. Leaving behind my life and people here….regardless of how long it is for (3 weeks? a month? 3 months? a year?)…to do something that I’ve always wanted to do. That I feel compelled to do. Is that selfish? Is it selfish to want to find happiness? And if I DON’T go…will I just feel resentment toward the people who keep me here?

When following your dreams, where does the selfish line stand?

~ by etau on July 27, 2011.

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