When we were younger, we found happiness in the simpler, exact things.

I was around ten when I found happiness in a box of seaweed. It was a gift from a close neighbor my mom used to be quite a good friend of. I'm not lying when I said I would never forget how it had indulged me from the very first taste. I did what I felt the most appropriate then: I treasured it piece by piece. A bite for a day.

I was around fourteen when I started to associate happiness with a boy I was crushing hard on. A cupid’s wheel sometimes draws the unlucky, and mine would be the perfect butt of a joke: I was that typical, unpopular kid, giving too much weight to fit in, and he was the kind-hearted jock that would leave trails of happy laughter down his path. As corny as it might sound now, the moments our eyes met were the times I felt the most alive. A movie it is not, however, and to the best of my knowledge, he ends up with someone great.

I was around seventeen when I found happiness during endless laughter, late-night conversations, and trifling secrets shared between best friends in a bubble concealed from the whole world. In the sea of uncertainty about the future pre-graduation, I found solace in its harborage. A second home to vent and feel better. We are not as thick as thieves nowthe realization has once been an elegiac experience.

I was around twenty-one when I simply thought that one could feel content with an array of perpetual things, like having a nice boyfriend to spend the weekend with, laughing with some college friends until a senior called us out for being too loud, or sleeping in class because it was what the high table was for (please do not impersonate this behavior). I imagined life would be more exciting as a grown-up: working in a big corporate, going out with friends afterward to talk about the office pressure, and living life to the fullest. Happiness, it seems, is also a naive little dream.

As the world grows older, what embodies happiness varies, but what arouses such a sensation lessens. Now, I often find myself wondering about the shades of happiness. Am I truly happy when I only feel half happy, like pink is not red but also a tint of red? Is it happiness when I have tried so hard to reach it just for it to abrade my skin like some kind of a rope bruise? How strange of a concept it is the more that we mature. Is it possible that I have never thoroughly grasped what the word actually stands for?

I'm sorry if you mistake this post for my succees to define happiness. My days are now a living embodiment of covertly harboring wishes. If good things will come along, then happiness will too. Believing costs you nothing.

If you asked me years ago what would I be happy to become, my answer would pingpong from being a teacher to a writer. But if you ask me on my twenty-fifth though, I would be happy to be happy. Whatever that means.

Or maybe it is just a hard time... and I'm still a believer. A daydreamer.