HAPPY VS. SATISFIED

Dear Reader,

Lately I’ve been waking up around 7 or 8 every morning, completely exhausted, but I’ll force myself to get up and go on with my day (forgoing my daily nap, I might add) until I decide it’s time to turn in–well, until Sarah decides it’s time and I follow suit. This is normally around 10pm, but I never fall asleep before midnight.

Instead, for those two hours (sometimes more like four hours) I think about life. Obviously. Because that’s what people do when the sun goes down and the world gets a little quieter and they’re forced to be alone with their thoughts.

Tonight’s topic of choice (I mean, not that I have much say in where my brain wanders) is life in general and, well, the pursuit of happiness I guess.

It kind of started with me thinking about where I want to go in life. I still want to be a teacher. I still want to write novels. I’m on pretty solid paths to both of these careers, I’d like to think, but I’m not ready for that stage yet.

I’m only (almost) twenty–and actually, maybe that’s why I’m having all of these thoughts. All of these clichéd, angsty thoughts about how much I feel like I just don’t fit in anywhere and how much I continue to crave the approval of others. As much as I hate to admit it, I care way too much what people think. I want people to like me and when they don’t–which I always feel like they don’t–I curl up further into my shell where the wheel of self-deprecation is turning faster and faster. The repeating thoughts of how annoying or awkward or ugly or stupid I am just repeat like overused mantras.

And maybe that’s the root of my problems, but that’s not even the main subject of what I was psychoanalyzing tonight.

All I kept thinking to myself was, I am so unhappy.

Just repeating, over and over, I am so unhappy playing like a record in my head until I decided to abruptly rip the needle from the groove and force it to be silent. Because I had a correction: maybe I’m not unhappy, maybe I’m just not satisfied.

After all, I have plenty to be happy for! And I know that’s not exactly how it works, but if you look at my life or you walk a day in my shoes, you would find plenty to smile about. So why is it that I find myself crying the minute those days turn to night?

I must just be unsatisfied.

I still see myself as a pretty ambitious person. I haven’t necessarily given up on my big dreams from my childhood (besides, well, the lounge singer in England or the cellist in the Broadway pit). And maybe I’m just living a wildly unfulfilled life, but I’m twenty. I still have plenty of time to get to those big plans of mine.

But satisfaction isn’t happiness in the same way that unhappiness isn’t dissatisfaction. You can be satisfied with a performance and still be unhappy in the same way that you can be happy and not yet satisfied.

Ah, we’ve reached the part of the post where the rambling becomes mundane and repetitive, so I better wrap this up.

This isn’t a post about depression and this isn’t a post to say I’m going to kick myself into gear and finally try to get some fulfillment out of my life (though I probably should).

This is just me trying to get my thoughts down in order to understand where I’m at a little better. And I think we’ve all come to the conclusion that I’m just another average twenty-year-old girl who’s trying to gain some kind of control on her life, all too aware that she’s just another cliché.

Sorry for the word vomit.

Sincerely,

Sammy

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