Back to the basics

Blake Hughes

Things seemed so much simpler my freshman year. I’ve been trying to get back to the basics of things.  The past four years of wondering where I will go have left me more disoriented than I’ve ever been.

What’s next in my life?

What will make me happy?

While I feel my time at Wayne State has helped me to better understand myself as a person, it seems to be leaving me with more questions than answers. It wasn’t until my junior and senior year of college that I really began thinking hard about my knowledge of the world and where I stood in the mess of it. I keep returning to the simplest solution, one I’d like to share with anyone willing to listen.

No one can be completely right.

No one can assert that their worldview is correct 100 percent of the time.

It’s astounding (and infuriating) how many people—young or old, smart or dull—will claim authority on issues far from their understanding.

I’m still not sure if “faking it ‘til you make it” is the best strategy for guiding your life; however, it’s astonishing how many full-grown adults have glided through years and years simply pretending that they know the right way to do things. There is a fine line between boasting a friendly facade to help get through the day and masking your insecurities with shallow arrogance; the world seems to be full of people who make a crutch of the latter.

My senioritis is hitting me hard, and throughout all the noise going on in my life it’s been surprisingly calming to simply say, “I don’t know.”

The most personal issue with someone believing they know with certainty how the world operates is the problem of maintaining happiness. Someone’s lying if they’re telling you that they know the path to make and keep you happy.

Sure, your buddy may have received that job offer; your cousin may have gotten married; you may have finally chosen what you want to do with your future. None of these things will make a person happy in and of itself.

I see so many people—young and old—striving to reach something just out of their grasp in the hope that attaining it will lead them to happiness. Many of us have been told for most of our lives that the “next stage” is where the happiness lies. This sets a precedent that follows us throughout our lives:

“When I decide what I want to do, I’ll be happy.”
“When I get that job/get promoted, I’ll be happy.”

“When I get married/have kids, I’ll be happy.”

These thoughts rest on many individuals’ shoulders, even if only at a subconscious level. Happiness is not a destination, nor a journey. It’s a choice.

Choosing to be happy may have been the hardest choice in my life. It requires more mental work than anything I’ve ever done.