When my grandfather passed away over ten years ago, his final words were “be happy.” At the time, it felt like he was giving his family permission to feel joy even though losing him would cause pain and sorrow. However, as I get older, the meaning has changed.
I am 28 — still young but an adult in every sense of the word. I work full time. I pay taxes. I contribute to my retirement. Sometimes, when I think of doing things that I enjoy — whether it may be a small thing such as going to get a Starbucks coffee, making a change such as moving or switching careers — something always stops me. Sometimes, it’s the fear of leaving that comfort zone. Other times, it’s the worry of what others may think or whether or not they would be disappointed in me. Or, in the case of the Starbucks coffee, it’s whether or not I’ll be late for work.
I am currently going through a period of life where I am going through a lot of changes. Honestly, these changes are causing me to feel discomfort and terrified. For the first time in my life, I am taking the wheel and listening to my heart to do what’s best for me. However, as I am going through this time of transition, I am realizing that those feelings are okay, as the end goal is for me to be a happier being.
I had this epiphany the other day when I was getting ready to drive home from work. For the first time in over ten years, I thought of my grandfather’s words. I then asked myself: Why do we let certain things get in the way of what could make us happy? And, most importantly, why does it even matter? If you’re the one who is the one who is directly affected by the action, why does it matter what someone else does?
When it comes down to it, the reality is life is too short. I believe that today is a gift and tomorrow is something that may or may not be a guarantee. So, why not take chances? Responsibly, anyways. I am not saying quit your job and hike in Europe if you have a family and mouths to feed. Please don’t do that.
I think sometimes we can fall into the path of what is comfortable to the point where I am blind to realize that something isn’t working for me anymore. I know I am guilty of this. This can be for a number of reasons — money, judgement, and other strings that tie is to the thing. Comfort is definitely great and something that we all crave. However, I think that the most important thing in life is happiness. For example, when I finally decided to sell my home to tackle on a new adventure, I held back. For two years. Now that I finally did the thing, I feel like I am ready to take on the world.
The moral of the story here? Screw the comfort zones, and choose happiness.
So, here’s to that new chapter, folks. Cheers!