Why so serious?
One time when I was little, I saw this couple making out in their car in the parking lot. Kissing? In the parking lot? Gross. And so I did what any normal kid would do and started throwing cookies at them. Actually, that was yesterday. Sorry guys! But I won’t try to excuse my silliness by blaming it on how tired I was. Acting crazy is just as much a part of who we are as acting serious.
Often we write off each others’ childish antics as a sign of immaturity; and yet, it could just as easily be a sign of joy. Joy is not a reward, only to be enjoyed after a hard day’s work. Professionalism and financial success are the rewards, for an enthusiastic and whole-hearted lifestyle. When we sacrifice the latter in ambition of the former, we sabotage ourselves from ever being able to actually enjoy either.
The life of a student has become defined by its transient, future-oriented thirst for productivity. Who can land a steady job? Who can buy their house? Who can find a spouse? And who can do it all first? But what about enjoying the time you have right now as a student? As much as school is preparing us for our careers, it’s also training us to forego contentment.
We sacrifice one of our weekends to hectically research a paper. We gradually turn down invitations to hang out in favour of much needed sleep. And soon enough, we consider laughter to be a luxury.
You’re life is not going to get any less busy unless you hook it up to a leash and force it to heel.
Now before you go all Ecclesiastes on me, I understand that there is a time and place for everything; there is a time to be serious, put on the suit, and get to work.
For me personally, I’ll be going to the LLC next semester, one of the most formal environments in Canada. If you know anything about me, you will definitely be worried for Parliament if I get in there. These are the people who make national decisions about health care, unemployment, and war, often in inevitable no-win situations. How do I face these despairing truths but at the same time protect my joy from the horror of it?
Society tells us that the answer is to be unbreakable, those who break are weak. We tell ourselves that we can handle the weight on our shoulders, and risk trying to be something we’re not. That can work for a time, but this weight is not meant to be carried indefinitely.
Realists, and probably many optimists, might label me as an escapist, but we need to stop taking ourselves so seriously and actually enjoy this time we have in the present. God’s end goal is to glorify himself, and at times, this means we will go through trials and tribulations. Happiness is dependent on circumstances in our life, and sometimes these circumstances suck. But we are to find joy in these situations, no matter how dark the valley seems. We have a greater hope that through whatever we may be going through, we are not doing this alone. As young people, we think we’re invincible.
As much as David Guetta tells you, we’re not titanium. We don’t have all the answers, and as expensive as your suit or car is, you can’t take on the world and solve all the worlds’ problems. But you’re put here for a reason, and this life is meant to be enjoyed, not endured. So as hard as it can be sometimes, try to find the joy in those difficult situations. Quit lying to yourself. Laugh, be silly, do something crazy for once. Because as a Lincoln once said, in the end, it’s not he years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.