The best years of your life

Happiness is not a state to arrive at, but a manner of traveling.
~Margaret Lee Runbeck

I was listening to a song yesterday at work. The guy was wailing about how college had been the best years of his life.

And if that’s true, it’s damn sad.

I wouldn’t call any period of my life “the best years.” I prefer to think that the best years are the ones I’m living now, and that things will keep on getting better. Naturally, sometimes things happen and you look back at someone you knew, or a particular time and place and miss it terribly, but to live your whole life staring back at the years behind you and think it’ll never get better than that? Sad.

One can only hope that this is just one of those stereotypical lines that hokey country songs like to use. But even then, it can’t be good for people to find it acceptable to look back on the past as being better than the present.

If the best years of your life aren’t happening now, why aren’t you trying to fix that? Why aren’t you actively seeking out the best years of your life, trying to make your life perpetually better each day?

No, it’s not fun to be broke all the time and live in a small apartment with a roommate. No, that was never my dream. But dammit, despite all that I’m rather enjoying life as it is now. I don’t dream of going back to my college days. While they were fun, I’m having more fun now. That’s the way it should be, in my opinion. And I am trying to make it better.

Or maybe it’s just the consumerist American Dream. Maybe I’ve just learned to accept my life happily for what it is, and not long for “better days,” even though I strive to achieve them. Maybe others haven’t. They still run and run and run hoping to catch up to happiness, when one only has to sit down and accept what you have as being wonderful.

Or maybe between the margarita and the beer I’ve just drunk a little too much tonight.


2 Responses to “The best years of your life”

  1. Dargon Says:

    For many, college is the first taste of freedom, and with minimal responsibility. I can see the appeal in that, and I rather enjoyed it myself. Having done the 60 hour workweek in a job I hated, I can understand that notion. Sometimes life traps you somewhere that rather sucks, and getting out of that is often risky and difficult.

    That being said, I don’t know if it counts saying right now is the best years, seeing as I am back in college. And the other best years were when I was also in college. But the worst years were also when I was in college.

  2. Man, there isn’t anything but the now, so why dwell? Just a waste of time.

    Love the post!

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