I’m happy right now.
I’m not really sure why – whether it’s the weather, the tacos I just devoured, the Ke$ha I loudly jammed out to last night on the way back from my 1 AM Cookout run, the fact I get to see my family, or the cocaine all over my face – but I’m happy.
The last three years have been an emotional rollercoaster for me, so happiness has honestly been a fleeting emotion. It’s been consistent, but also fleeting. This makes sense, because – well – I started college about three years ago, and I don’t think anybody knows what they’re getting themselves into when they ship themselves off to that magical and poisonous combination of Neverland, a first sleepover, and an overseas factory.
But your parents know. And, as you’re driving away to college, they’re probably sharing an inside joke, laughing, and saying, “That kid’s head is about to get SO @*#&ed up.”
Overall, a few things stand out as major contributors to this recent emotional rollercoaster:
1. Finding out what fulfills you is nearly impossible. I often compare myself to a kitten chasing after a toy on a string: I get intently interested in one activity or interest – jump after it, run after it – and then God drops the string, and I’m left with the toy mouse just lying there. Suddenly, it’s pretty boring, and I notice a ball of yarn or a stray wire out of the corner of my vision that requires my immediate attention.
2. All of the sudden, watching Fresh Prince reruns until 2 AM, getting fast food with your friends, and having a love for poop jokes isn’t enough. You start to compare yourself to your peers – who’re (haha, funny word) getting jobs, exploring foreign countries, playing gigs, and fitting like 20 marshmallows in their mouth at the same time – and you start to realize that you want to do impressive stuff, too. And you start to realize that time is running out.
3. Getting older. #@$*. Seriously. The other day, I enjoyed a hard candy, and I called somebody “Son.” I don’t have a son. Oh, and yesterday, I actually used the word “synergy.”
5. Not having a son. This is completely unrelated. Writing it in #3 just made me realize how thankful I am for being unburdened by a little diarrhea monster.
4. A love life. Need I say more? I’d like to pretend that I keep about 20 girls in the closet for when I get bored, but that’s really untrue. (It’s really just 2, and they’re more into each other than they’re into me.) Suddenly being the older guy with the car isn’t too important anymore. Oh, and Van Wilder college movies should NEVER be viewed as how-to videos; I say this out of experience.
5. Boxers or briefs. This is the most confusing matter of them all. I change my mind every other week or so. And boxer-briefs have changed the game so much that I’ve had to completely rethink my position. I may or may not be currently wearing all three, just because I couldn’t decide this morning.
The beginning of this school year was pretty emotionally rough for me. I started this blog to escape that rough patch of the first couple of years of college, and find out who I’ve become after emerging from it.
Unfortunately, I didn’t emerge as the same guy I was in high school. I can never be that same emotional superhero, armed with the superpower of naivety.
But, I’ve taken a better look around me, and what I’ve found is that everybody is messed up in some way. More and more, I’ve found that nobody can lay claim to total happiness or contentment, and that everybody has some sort of emotional problem.
The problem is that as we get older, we become more aware of the lack of purpose in life. In grade school, we existed to stay up later than we were allowed to and to become old enough to buy a lottery ticket. That was happiness. But we’re not content with that anymore. We’re not content with much, because suddenly happiness becomes a high stakes game.
But, in a way, that’s the challenge and thrill of life. Honestly, I’m willing to bet that any one of you could walk into a doctor’s or therapist’s office right now and come out with a prescription. It’s not abnormal. In fact, it’s human. If somebody ever actually found this elusive “happiness,” – this toy mouse – I’m willing to bet they’d paw at it for a few seconds, then be immediately distracted by a ball of yarn in the corner.
Enjoy the emotional rollercoaster, because at least it’s a rollercoaster. You may be going around in circles, but what really matters is if you throw up your hands and let out a big, exaggerated scream – just for the pointless hell of it. Just because you can.