Walking into our beloved residence manager, Tannie Yvonne’s office the other day, I was met by a gallery on the walls that had grown over the years. There were pictures of memories going as far back as the 90s with groups of young men and some of the young women from the two residences she presides over who had met at the university and had eventually gotten married to each other. I was in shock! Who would have known that there would be a happy ending in the uni-love roller coaster?
Ever since I can remember, true happiness has been portrayed as the feeling you get when you finally meet the one who was meant for you. As a little girl, all of my favourite princesses would not be truly happy until they met their perfect Prince Charming. Always, when something happened to tear them apart, the girls would be devastated and unable to think of anything but their true love. Even now it seems hard to stay single when all your friends have found ‘happiness’ in the arms of some guy or other. From an early age we were taught that you are never happy alone and were made to idolise these pretty little royal figures who could not survive without a soulmate, and now, as we live our own lives with career goals and other such dreams, we find ourselves incomplete and hunting for a special someone to make all our dreams come true. Cliché, isn’t it?
One of the many challenges we face as university students in one of the most vibrant cities in the world is finding true happiness in a relationship. From true-to-the-word f*ckboys, to girls who are just looking for ‘blessers’, it is hard for the more serious people to find ‘the one’. A seemingly genuine guy can turn out to be only after one thing from several women and not the other way around. As for the girls, they are really after the big bucks these days. If you don’t have a ‘vrr-pah’ and can’t spend lavishly on them, then you shouldn’t even be asking her out to begin with, or so they say. With wolves like these walking around in sheep’s clothing, people nowadays go into relationships on their tiptoes, knowing fully that anything can happen. As a result people aren’t really in love when they begin dating someone – the fear of being hurt. Instead they don’t throw all their eggs in one basket so that it’s easy to leave when the time comes. How sad….
We all seem so blinded by that one goal, the idea of finding a lover, that we forget to live our own lives and do what we want to do, focusing instead on making ourselves more attractive for him or more manly for her, all these things that should not really matter if they are going to love you like you deserve to be loved. Happiness is not something you wait to find in the later stages of your youth, residing in the perfect man or woman. It isn’t starving yourself so he can finally look at you like he looks at Thando or changing your habits so she can finally consider you man enough. Although all these things can buy you a handful of joy to last mere seconds, they are not enough to make you happy for a lifetime.
True happiness comes from within. It is the fulfilment we bring to ourselves by doing whatever brings us the most joy. Yes it includes being with people we love but even that will not be enough if you are not fully content with yourself. Happiness comes from fulfilling our wildest dreams, however impossible they may seem and knowing ourselves enough to understand the desires of our hearts so we can live life to the fullest in the purest sense of the phrase. As Albert Einstein once said, “if you want to live life to the fullest, tie it to a goal, not to people or objects” and you will realise that everything else will only fall into place once you have found happiness where it really lies; inside you!