Now that I am living on my own, I have been reflecting on my desires for my future. There are countless people who have inspired me with their journeys in life, and I am especially inspired by those who lead simple lives. Their lives are full of experiences and relationships rather than materials and money. I can see the true happiness in their eyes, and feel a deep connection with this style of living.
Over the course of my own life, technology has become central to daily living. When I was younger, the most that we had was a VCR player and Nintendo 64. These are a stark contrast to the smartphones and video streaming corporations that are prevalent today. As I thought back to my past, I realized that true happiness was easier to come by. I ran around in the dirt and let my imagination run wild. I connected with my friends rather than staring at my social media accounts, making real connections rather than virtual ones.
As I see people return to what may be called the ‘good ol’ days,’ I feel compelled to join them. I can remember the moments in which I have felt bursts of pure happiness and joy, and all of them involved spontaneous connection and courage. One of these moments occurred on our first family trip abroad in 2012. I was a freshman in high school, and we were visiting the British Museum. We decided to go to the food court for lunch, and sat down to eat at the ends of one of the tables. As my mom brushed off the crumbs with a napkin before sitting down, the woman in the chair next to her said “you must not be English”. This sparked a wonderful and hilarious conversation that lasted for two hours, and left an impression that has outlived all of the moments in which I saw the world through my smartphone camera.
I yearn to experience this world in this way. When I visited Italy, the stark contrast in lifestyle made me pause and reflect. The streets were filled with families, the restaurants were filled with friendly chatter, and the smiles were infectious. This is what it is like to simply live, I thought. Ever since that day, the excess at which many people tend to live never appealed to me. My desires for life are to follow my passions, foster meaningful relationships, and to help others.
I declared my undergraduate major last week, and have never felt more in sync with my true self. I am now an official Religious Studies major, and could not be happier. I wake up every day with a sense of profound joy, for I am following my passion. I want to become an engaged global citizen and have the world be my home. Traveling from place to place, and meeting people from all walks of life. I want to return to when happiness was composed of relationships and experiences, and I want to simply live.
Donating to organizations has always brought me true joy. For my birthday I have loved choosing organizations to donate to, for I feel as though I am making a tangible difference. One of the organizations I am going to add to my list this year is Kiva loans. This organization allows you to donate or lend money in the form of microfinance loans to people around the world who are working to escape from cycles of poverty. I have had such a positive experience when making these loans, and I know that I am helping someone follow their dreams and passions.
I also desire to eat simply. To buy fresh foods, eat communally, and reflect on animal and environmental welfare. To bring back sustainable and humane practices would help many global communities, and I aspire to work towards this goal. To end cruelty, both to animals and people, is one of my top priorities. And to take care of my body to the best of my ability will allow me to live to the fullest.
As I think about my next steps in life, I thought I would share my thoughts with you. The future is exciting and holds many wonderful opportunities, and I am excited to embark on this journey of following my passion. I’m excited to live simply and simply live. 🙂
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Here are a few of the people who have inspired me with their adventures and their pursuits of happiness:
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