This blog is a cumulative effort. More than just sharing what makes me happy, I want to shine a light on what makes YOU happy. Each week I will highlight a particular individual who has been kind enough to share a piece of their happiness with you and me. If we are willing to impart our successes, failures, and wisdom gained from experience, just as this week’s guest author has, I think we can ultimately be happier people. It is with great joy and honor that I present to you our first Sunny Star: Taylor Freeman.
Taylor recently graduated from Foothill Technology High School where she served as ASB President and helped raise over $40,000 for Saint Baldrick’s, which is a pediatric cancer foundation. Taylor participates in softball, soccer, and golf among other sports. In her free time she enjoys wakeboarding, camping, and spending time with her friends. She will be attending Arizona State University in the fall.
Here is her story:
“So happiness is measured in many ways, whether it be love, money or state of mind. I used to think the good ‘ole saying “money is power” was the key to my life and my future happiness, but I didn’t realize I was so focused on my life at thirty that I was a zombie in my current teen life. Chasing what I thought could be happiness by dating the “hot athletic water polo player”, working at a popular store in the mall, being the ASB President, or having symbols of high status like a nice car, designer clothes, an iPhone, or a lot of friends on Facebook, but none of these things changed the fact that I had no one to eat lunch with everyday, or a friend to call me on the weekends to hang out. I wanted nothing more than a solid friend, a best friend or a companion to have my back no matter what. This is when I realized that to a teenager, loneliness is the opposite of happiness. When a true bond of friendship or love outside a family dynamic is lacking, that is how teenagers, or at least I, get to feel unhappy.”
“I have finally found love in a man and I thought maybe after 4 years of remaining detatched from any real friendship I would not be capable of love. I went so low in a search for some form of companionship that I became desperate. I was spending a lot of time with a girl who I thought was my friend, then one day she told me she had more than just “friendship” feelings for me. Maybe she was desperate too for that bond, to feel wanted. I was so in need of someone wanting me that I went along with it, and it developed in to a 4 month long relationship. Although desperate at the time I had the shocking revelation that I was in fact happy with her. Happiness was in a form I did not expect it to be, so I believe we can never put our finger on exactly what can make us happy. She was and has been the only girl I have ever been romantic with, I do like men, and I am in love with my current boyfriend, but I found out that a girl can make me happy too, and I never expected that. Loneliness is the cause of unhappiness. Dealing with it is even harder. I just made it seem as though I was always busy so that people looking in would think I had no spare time because I was wanted by so many, but this was so far from the truth. Pretending is how I got by. Nowadays I always wear my sunglasses because I’m always finding the sunny side of things.”
Taylor’s thoughts on smiling:
“Now I live by a theory: Smiling is huge. Seriously the power of smiles can change the world. Smiling obviously shows you’re happy and confident, and like I said in my grad speech, everyone needs to try and cause happiness in the world through smiles. Happiness may not be a choice, but attitude is, and actively choosing a smiling attitude is, in a small form, being able to choose to be happy. Attitude is contagious, and it is better to treat life and those in your life with love and smiles as opposed to poisoning your own atmosphere just because you choose to have a bad attitude and not smile. Of course it is impossible to demand yourself to be a Smiling Suzie 24/7, humans have emotions other than happiness, but mastery of one’s emotions when feeling sadness, rage, or any other destructive mood is key to having the power of choice in emotions.”