For the past two semesters I realized that most of my unhappiness comes from lack of excitement. I constantly feel like there’s something a lot more interesting that’s supposed to happen, like in the movies. Maybe it’s my fault for fantasizing too much and for hoping too much, but let me tell you that there’s nothing fulfilling about doing the same thing over and over. Up until a few weeks ago, the emotion that took up most of days was utter frustration. I am a lot of things, and one of those is an overachiever; if I prioritize something, then I will go above and beyond to do a good job at it.
That has been a lot more difficult this year.
I guess it comes with growing up and having more defined interests. Interests that fascinate me and overshadow everything else. Unfortunately, I have to do “everything else” before I can get to do the things that actually interest me, and when I’m actually done with my chores it is 1:00 a.m and there’s not enough time.
So yes, this whole year I’ve felt like I’ve only kept straight A’s just for the sake of having straight A’s.
Calculate this, analyze this, do this, do that, focus on this, but also that, and for what?
This was my frustration. All of these things left me in standby. No movement, just plain gray static with the annoying “woosh” sound playing in the background. I have been playing it safely all along, I have followed every single rule, and all it brought me was routine and boredom. It was quite honestly the worst sitcom pilot episode, where you know it’s supposed to be fun but the rest of the series doesn’t seem to be getting any better.
With that being said, being in that static made me forget the amount of good emotions a person was capable of experiencing…well I forgot how much they fulfilled you.
I think the same can be said about many situations. When you undergoe unexpected drastic changes that leave you in a state of shock, pushing some kind of pause and everything feels like it’s moving in slow motion. Or, in my case, when something goes on for so long it becomes the norm.
I’ve had to say goodbye many times in my life, all of them come with a new emotion. The things you feel when you have to say goodbye to someone or something are anything but static.
Some come like a sweet escape. There are toxic situations that you are so glad to break free from, you feel renewed once you say goodbye. Breaking free from people who took advantage of your help and dragged you into their problems, so you escaped through the first open door.
Others are not your choice, a person leaves with no explanation. In this situation you didn’t even get to say goodbye because you weren’t planning on it, you thought that goodbye was not an option. But people change their minds and they form their own plans, sometimes leaving you behind… In very sad cases, the person had to go. Maybe a job offer, maybe to fight in the army, maybe as a refugee, maybe it was their time. I will admit, I have never experienced this type of goodbye, but I can only imagine what it feels like, and I imagine it feels like someone tearing your heart out. It is the type of parting that catches you so off guard, so quick, that you don’t even feel like it’s real.
Another one (a very cliché one), is standing with all your belongings on an airplane gate. Not daring to look back at everything you are leaving behind, yet still excited for everything that lays ahead of you.
I am quite familiar with this one.
Nothing hurts more than looking back into the tear-filled faces of your family while they are all waving goodbye. It hurts to leave your friends, and the questions that tormented me the most: Who is ever going to want to talk to me? Is my accent too thick? What am I about to get into?
And then there’s the other goodbye where you’re not too sure if you are doing the right thing. See there’s never a way to ever know what lies ahead of you, and sometimes when you choose to leave, it can be quite scary. Because it’s not until enough time has passed when you can know if you actually made the right choice.
With each type of goodbye, I’ve had to leave different people. Like I said, with each different one I’ve felt a different emotion. Except that recently I felt another type of goodbye. It was odd, it didn’t leave a void inside of me, it left me fuller than I have ever felt in my life. It was my call to excitement.
This one was like a roller coaster. It was so fast and I was having so much fun. It stopped and I wanted another go at it. But it is still a goodbye, so like the others, I had to leave. I had another ride to catch.
It happened this spring break in “the city of angels,” as it is often referred to. Los Angeles, California has a lot to offer. It has beautiful parks, a whole entertainment industry, diversity, and beautiful museums. All of its components captivated my heart. Not only was the city alive but for the first time in a long time my family was together again. We exploited every single moment together. It was when we were all together when it came to me:
“I forgot how much I missed this. I forgot how much I loved this. I forgot how deeply I loved them.”
We were waiting to get on a ride at Disneyland, I was observing the way we interacted with each other. In the midst of all the sharing of crazy adventures, I felt electricity run through my body. We were together again, no distance boundaries, no screens separating us, absolutely no limitations.
This. This is what true happiness feels like. It was tangible, it had movement.
I felt so fulfilled I started crying. Was it actually humanly possible to feel this happy?
I cannot put into words this type of emotion, it is the best type of love you can ever feel. It isn’t selfish, because you love them and they love you.
The next day, although still electrified, I had to leave.
If everything were up to me, I would have stayed forever. However, because it didn’t last forever, it was one of the most special goodbyes I had to say. It’s funny how the good things come to an end in the blink of an eye, but the things that hurt you seem to last forever. It gave me the excitement, the thrill that I was lacking from. It was bittersweet, I was fulfilled at looking back and I was a very sad that I had to return to my old routine.
This goodbye was anything but static. The remaining buzz that stayed with me is the light that motivates me to finish this year.
This was a feeling that I had never felt before, and if I have to go through routine over and over just to get to another moment like this, I will.
Where am I going with this?
I think there are periods of our lives where there is no direction. It’s different for everybody. Maybe is being overwhelmed by the amount of decisions you have to make that you can’t move. Others are waiting to feel loved, thinking that having someone next to them is going to validate who they are, and think that by having someone, they can fill the voids of their unhappiness (that’s another issue for another time). It can also be the feeling of rejection, falling short, and the fear of not being good enough, leaving you with no motivation to even try.
There’s lots of factors that rule our emotions, yet there are still so many things to look forward to. Regardless of how overwhelmed and unmotivated we are, there are things that can still electrify you and captivate you. Those are thoughts to hold on to, even if they seem far away, they are there.
I don’t know, I guess for the first time I felt lucky to have people that move me so much. I felt lucky to not feel static. I felt lucky to have people that make saying goodbye hard.
I felt lucky to have people to look forward to, and you should too.
Glitch Art by Alex Baldwin