In the past three years, I have lived in seven different cities. I’ve visited dozens of countries and made friends from all over the world. I’ve studied linguistics and art and culture. I’ve watched the sunrise in the Sahara desert, swam in the serene lake of Faaker Sea in the Austrian Alps, spent weeks in deep Bavaria, and visited cities I had always dreamt of exploring. At times, I have felt so lonely; even in a crowd of hundreds of people or just in a room of new friends.
I’ve spent weeks exploring Ireland on my own or studying in the eternal city of Rome. I’ve visited my best friend from when I lived in Nice twice in Amsterdam and spent ten days in the United Kingdom with my brother and sister. Out of all the trips I go on, the ones I find myself enjoying the most are the ones when I am accompanied by the people I love.
When I think of the life I want, the life that I expect to truly make me happy, I usually think in terms of a career. My whole life I’ve dreamt of being on Saturday Night Live or on a comedic television show. But the older I get, the more I realize that what will truly make me happy is having strong relationships.
Most people base their hopes of happiness in the past. They base them on their experiences. The times in my youth that I felt most lonely was when I isolated myself from my friends and family and when I switched high schools. I really felt like I had no one. Then, the times where I have felt most happy were when I had deep and meaningful relationships. That was after I graduated high school and found a group of friends who cared about me and loved me. That was when I finally healed my relationship with my little sister or when my baby cousin was born, bringing a whole new chapter in my family life.
So though I would love to be successful, make people laugh, and inspire people, I would also love to love. I see myself being happy with the strong lifelong relationships with my family, close family friends and my best friend, Erika.
When I got to the point when I knew I could pretty much go to any new city and start over or go on the trip of my dreams, that happiness lasted two seconds. I had one friend in Brussels who left before me and was very lonely. In Rome, I had one amazing, dedicated, loyal friend who I had only met a few months ago and I had an amazing time, mostly because of her.
My true happiness doesn’t lie in the experiences I have or traveling or material items. My true happiness comes from the people around me. Even if it’s a new friend that I just met, who actually wants to get to know me and spend time with me, or my brother, or my best friend. My true happiness comes from the relationships I have. My true happiness comes from love.
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