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Are You Happy?

By Kai Singh

Edited by Danika Suh

When we greet the people we know, whether it be simple acquaintances or dear friends, the question “How are you?” always seems to come up. It feels default to answer with an “I’m doing good!” or whatever variation, no matter how we are actually feeling. These sorts of daily interactions seem to have made us forget the true meaning of ‘feeling good’.

As someone who’s suffered from mental illnesses for a long time, I’ve come to see that we have a tendency to hide our true feelings. I know for a fact that I have responded to plenty of concerned questions with a smile and a reassuring “I’m fine don’t worry!” on the same days that I had cried for hours because I felt nobody understood what I was feeling.

We’ve created a society where expressing any emotion makes us weak, but that should not have to be the case! We are humans who feel human emotions and we should be allowed to express them. If we learn how to communicate more fully with others, we’d learn that perhaps we aren’t so different after all. Feeling hurt, sad, angry, or jealous and experiencing pain and regret is what makes us human. Being able to process what you’re feeling and expressing it is a base standard that we use to measure humanity in creatures.

Are you happy? Genuinely content? Allow yourself to feel fully...

This brings me to my point. Are you happy? We have this preconceived notion that going to school, working a 9-5 job, contributing to society, (both socially and economically), and then retiring is the model life. And this might just be the case for some of you! However, we are now seeing an overwhelming amount of people challenging this thought, by just doing what makes them happy.

This is the solution isn’t it? Just doing what makes you happy. For most of us, this is easier said than done. How do we drop everything - our families, our relations, our jobs, to go do what makes us happy? It seems selfish; we’ve made a commitment, so shouldn't we complete it?

Well, we are made to be selfish. We are made to get jealous, angry, hurt and we are made to feel and want and experience things, both good and bad. Do what makes you happy, what makes you feel truly content. People’s biggest regret as they wither away beside their neat and successful family and "perfect" job beside their deathbed is not living the life they wanted to live. So go travel the world, backpack through Europe, dance until the morning sun hits your face, go run through the streets of your city; feel your heart pound with all your emotions - good or bad; and feel it freely. Paint and write and read fervently through the night, drink a latte at your favorite coffee shop, and close your eyes as you taste your bittersweet drink. Learn all you can about the world and when you think you have nothing left to learn, go experience it. Romanticize living, rather than just surviving.

Live your life so fully, that one day you can look at the title of this article with a smile - and respond "Yes!" without hesitation.

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