Happiness is a form of courage

‘Happiness is a form of courage.’
Holbrook Jackson

Happiness. According to the dictionary that is included in my computer, it is ‘the state of being happy’. I’m not saying this definition is wrong, but to me, there’s more to it. The difference between happy and happiness is not just that one is an adjective and the other a noun, the word happiness implies so much more than just being happy. To me, happiness is a state of mind, whereas happy is a mood. A mood is affected by stuff that is going on around us, and can change from one moment to the next. A state of mind is more stable. I’m not saying it’s the same all the time, but a change in your state of mind is not as sudden as a mood change. I’m not sure if that’s a clear for everyone, but hey, at least I gave it a shot. If you don’t understand, don’t hesitate to comment!

There are many quotes on happiness, but there reason I chose this one is because it immediately spoke to me. Finding happiness in oneself is not easy, and keeping it safe even more so. There are always things troubling us, sometimes it’s the small things, such as exams or a fight, and sometimes it’s something big, a relationship or our purpose in life. The trick of true happiness is being able to let these kind of things go. Let loose just a little bit. I’m not saying you should spin out of control, but when you feel like your cramping up and stressing about something, just have the courage to let go.

This may sound strange, but it was only when I left my boyfriend and practically my whole world, that I found true happiness. Sure, I had never been happier than when I was with my boyfriend, but it was a kind of happy that he provided. I admit that the first weeks in Paraguay I crumbled, big time, but I grew strong, and when I came back I had found my own happiness. And leaving for Paraguay was the most courageous thing I did. These past few months I truly felt the happiness run through my vains. I’m going on Erasmus to Ireland, I might be going to Paraguay, unless I get an internship at Cosmopolitan in New York City (!!!!!!) and the greatest thing of all, is that it is all in my own hands (except for the internship).

And this happiness has so much consequences. My first exam is next Monday, and I’ve been so focused most of the time and studying has been going really well, and I started swimming again (I’m up to a 100 laps per day, which is 1 km or 0.6 miles) and well, everything has just been great! And I owe it all to myself, which is the greatest thing of all!

A healthy mind in a healthy body, that’s for sure!


Some people are so afraid to die that they never begin to live.

‘Some people are so afraid to die that they never begin to live.’
Henry Van Dyke

In the 21 years that I’ve been on this planet, I have only gone to four funerals, two of which I only remember vaguely. The first two were of my great grandfather and my cousin’s father. The other two were this year. The first one was of my neighbor. Although suffering from a disease, he died suddenly, and I was taken aback by it. I didn’t know my neighbor very well, but I remember him as a kind man. He loved his yard, just like my grandfather does, and his grandkids came to visit every weekend. The second funeral I went to, was of someone from the parent committee from AFS in my region. She was suffering from cancer, and everybody knew her death was imminent. But still, she was supposed to turn 50 this year, just like my mother, and it got me thinking.

I’m fairly certain that I’m not afraid of death. What I’m most scared of is that, when death comes for me, I will not have lived my life to the fullest. I think this is a good fear. At least, it’s better than the fear of death. Because the fear of death can paralise you, while the fear of not living life to the fullest can only make you live more. If you know what I mean. This fear I have pushes me to my limits. I’m not saying you have to do something extremely crazy everyday, just try to do something that is out of your comfort zone.

I would never want to live forever. Or even stay young forever. Imagine that we would never die. We would miss out on opportunities because ‘we’d do that later’, not thinking about whether or not these opportunities will present themselves. Or we’d just keep saying ‘I’ll do that some other time’ and end up not doing anything our whole lives. I know it’s all a bit crazy and very hypothetical, but what I’m trying to say I guess is that there is no need to fear death. It’s like Mark Twain once said: ‘The fear of death follows from the fear of life.  A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.’