They say ignorance is bliss. In the grand scheme of things, it’s not. Maddening curiosity is not bliss, nor is slowly settling into the life you know without taking a step back to look at the big picture and what else is out there. The past couple weeks, I went on vacation, and for once, I mean that in the truest sense of the word. I stopped working. I stopped lifting. I got on a flight to LAX and didn’t look back.
A few college friends of mine and I went on what was nearly a two week road trip along the west coast. We drove from Los Angeles, up to San Francisco and the surrounding area, down to San Diego, and back up to Los Angeles. We planned to visit Tijuana and Baja California, but the beauty of being free to do whatever you want and beholden to no one but yourself and your friends is that you can easily adjust to changes. In our case, my friend’s sister who had been hosting us injured herself, and we felt most comfortable supporting her in lieu of seeing just a little bit more of the west coast.
I gained many things from this trip—stronger bonds with existing friendships and news ones, stories to remember for a lifetime, a pretty sick tan, and renewed perspective—but, today, I just want to talk about the last one. Prior to the trip, I had become held up on certain desires, and my happiness began revolving around them. My friends have commented that I am driven, even on this trip, and while drive to fulfill a certain desire helps us accomplish our goals, it can also create an unhealthy mindset. You become emotionally dependent on these desires, and setbacks or failures negatively affect other aspects of your life.
That happened to me, but as I spent time experiencing California with some of the most amazing people I’m blessed to call friends and met up with friends who are nearly a decade older than I am, I shed my unhealthy dependency on attaining desires. Spending time with my friends on the road trip showed me that happiness does not just come from getting what you want but also from simply enjoying the moment and the company of others. Meeting with a couple friends who have nearly a decade more of experience at life than I do made me realize that, in the long run, present setbacks lose significance over time, and there will always be opportunity for more later. That’s not to say I will try any less harder at achieving my goals. What it means is that, in one way or another, in a month, year, or decade, I’ll achieve these goals, and that has helped me enjoy life more fully and worry less about the future or the outcomes of my actions.