Kyla16Happiness. It is defined by Google as “the state of being happy.” I know reading this on an inspirational blogging/vlogging, site you’re probably thinking, “Oh great, another happiness speech going on and on about how happiness isn’t bought with money or blah blah blah.” And I don’t blame you; I feel the same way. But my story is just a little different.

Hello, my name is Kyla E. Stauffer and I am a junior in high school. I come from a small town in Nebraska that is surrounded by corn and flat land. My older sister, Alexa, is a frequent blogger on this site and she seems to absolutely love what she is doing.

Long story short, I am a people pleaser. I take care of others, and I try my best to make them as happy as I can. My emotions often get pushed to the back burner because I want others to feel loved and heard. Giving advice is one of my most favorite things to do, and it does make me feel good inside. I feel as if I’m making my positive mark on the world by taking care of its people one soul at a time, but I get so caught up in making others happy and taking care of their problems, I forget I have to face my own. I rather be hurting to ensure that everyone else is at peace. It’s a wonderful blessing and a definite curse.

My future is something I have always struggled with accepting. I worry and worry day in and day out about if I’m making the right choices. My fear is that I’ll pick the wrong college: one that my parents don’t approve of or that is too far away from my loved ones. Even if I really liked the college, I would rather make my family happy. More than likely, I’ll pick an affordable, close-to-home college so that I can see them and not be apart from my loved ones. It’s not that seeing my family wouldn’t make me happy, it’s just I don’t know if it would be the right fit for me. The same situation applies toward what degree I want. When thinking about what I want to do for the rest of my life, I struggle between what would make me happy and what would help me support a future family. I could become some sort of lawyer or criminal justice major, or I could be a freelance photographer/journalist that travels the world.

These decisions finally brought me to a point where I was beyond easily manipulated. I’d just go with whatever anyone thought was best for me to please not only them but the lost feeling inside of me. Over the past few months, I would become negative and angry. So much so, that recently a good friend of mine, my boyfriend, and my mom all stopped me at different points and said, “What would make YOU happy?” If I couldn’t hurt anyone, myself, or anything. If money wasn’t an issue. What would I choose to do? When my friend asked I replied, “Honestly? I’d run away and live in the wilderness or a busy city where no one knows me…”

failureIt was in that moment I realized, THAT is what would make me happy. Having that freedom to roam and see the world as I’ve always dreamed. To be able to capture the beauty of the world through my small camera lense and be forever changed by it. That is what would make  me happy. Being able to travel and take pictures of nature or of cities and make people FEEL something. Using my gifts and talents to change the viewpoints of others in just a simple frame. That would make me happy. But, of course, the doubt kicked in and I got scared of the money issue. I explained this to my boyfriend when he just stopped me and said, “… life’s too short to do something that doesn’t make you happy. If it’s meant to be, you will be able to provide.”

Yet again, another epiphany struck me. Who cares what I do with my life? Who has the right to take away my happiness? Why can’t I be happy? Why not ME? I had never been filled with more hope and inspiration in my life. I realized I needed to start making decisions for me and my happiness. I can help people but I can’t spend the rest of my life trying to please them. There are some days where it is okay to be seemingly selfish and choose what is right for you. If others can’t handle it, then it’s time to let go of some people in your world.

What’s the point of living an unhappy life? We only have one to live. We don’t get any redos or start overs. Sure, we can try to live again through ours children’s lives but then they’ll grow up to resenting us, and no one needs a bitter generation of young adults. It’s time to stick up for yourself and treat yourself. Take that bubble bath. Buy that chocolate bar. Go for a walk. Paint a picture. Write a controversial essay. Go cruising through town. Watch movies all day. Buy a junkie old apartment that’s all yours. Get a haircut. Sing in the shower. Grab a cup of coffee. Buy some new clothes. Dance in the rain. It’s time to get up and live. We need to stop being a generation of pleasing others, and be a generation that inspires others to be happy. Helps others to find their happiness, no matter the cost. That is how we are suppose to live our lives. Our whole lives are building up to that last grand finale, death. We might as well be making it the loudest, craziest, and most breath-taking adventure. How could you live a half lived life? Why give up? Don’t. Be happy. Live.

Happiness synonyms: pleasure, joy, exhilaration, bliss, contentedness, delight, enjoyment, satisfaction. None of these words tell you to please others, they just tell you how to feel. These words are meant to describe you. They are meant for those who picked happiness, and YOU decide what makes you feel that way. Choose happiness. Always.


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