When you’re 5 years old, you instinctively assimilate a hedonistic philosophy. It’s the simple things that bring you joy, laughter and pleasure. You are not told what’s suppose to make you happy, when you’re 5, you just know it. At that age, we are always told what to do, what to eat and where to go. Mainly because we lacked the mental capacity and proper motor skills to understand that cutting our own hair with paper scissors is not socially acceptable past the age of 5.
We weren’t told to make our own decisions because we were incapable of doing so.
Cynicism and corruption were not part of our vocabularies. You were outfitted on sailor costumes on Sunday mornings and you weren’t embarrassed of it. All human interactions were important and fascinating. Life wasn’t a shallow parade of networking events, gallery openings, bar hoppings, finding the perfect apartment or landing a stable job.
Life was, and felt, real when you were 8.
As I grew into my early teens, I was more skeptic if my teachers and even my parents were doing the things they had always dreamed of. But more importantly, I always wondered at what point of their lives they realized it, the “this is it!” moment.
I waited for that moment, for a long time.
“It” never came.
“It” in fact, became more symbolic of my failures and my daily banal challenge to try to find “it”.
Early in my 20’s I had forgotten that life itself is the greatest pleasure and gift, life itself is a privilege, and I deserved to submerge myself and give my entire existence to the pleasures of enjoying a content life with purpose. Instead, at 22, you were more likely to find me sipping cranberry vodkas out of a clear plastic cup on a Thursday night somewhere in Downtown LA.
I had made myself believe that the more extroverted and social I was, the more chances I had of feeling fulfilled. The more profit I got, the more hours I put it at work, the more people I met, the more selfies I took, the happier I would become.
This wasn’t true. Then a few years went by.
And the older I got the less I cared, the older I got the more I remember what I wanted to be, before the world told me what I should be.
Now, the older I get, the closer I feel to the 8-year-old version of me who wanted to do what made him happy.
Whatever “It” meant to him.