Life, Love, and the Pursuit of Happiness

There was a time when I was younger that I thought life was all about who had the biggest G.I. Joe base or who had the most Ken Griffey Jr. baseball cards. When falling in love only took 3 days and falling out didn’t hurt so badly because girls were icky anyway. When you could have a girlfriend and she didn’t know she was yours (my little brother is famous for that, he’s 9). Life was simple then, the worst thing that could happen to you was going through the lunch line and there being no chocolate milk left or getting hit in the face with a dodge ball.

Then getting into late middle school girls started becoming a little more important and dodge ball became a little less so. I still played with my G.I. Joes but only when no one was looking. Everyone still played with their kiddy toys but we were all too cool to admit it. When we hung out we played video games and talked about how great the Bulls and Cowboys were (I admit now that I was a bandwagon rider cowboy fan for 3 years of my life).

Later than that life changed again, the Bulls kept winning, all Philly teams were still losing, but for a little while it didn’t matter who was winning. All that mattered was that girl with the amazing smile who sat 3 seats in front of you. Her name was Kristy Steinmentz (and don’t ask me if I spelled that right) in my case. Life at that point was still pretty easy; although most of us have no idea it was easy till we look back on it.

This is about the point where our life changes, for most guys; girls take center stage. Most of us say “bros before hoes” but almost no one means it. Then at some point in your high school career you get lucky and you fall in “love” and at 15 you have met the girl you are gonna marry. You aren’t old enough to vote, drink, buy smokes, or drive but you are damn sure this girl is the one. And when you get your heart broken, you are just as sure that your life is over and that you will in fact die a virgin because without her what’s the point of living. Then something amazing happens, in the middle of despair something makes you realize life is worth living. For me three things come to mind, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin giving the stunner to Santa Clause, My little brother telling me to call Terry no matter what was wrong (that method usually worked, I hope you all have a Terry in your life), and walking on to a football field in tears because I was so upset and somehow turning it off and playing the game of my life.

Now I am 24 years old, working 2 jobs and going to school. Once again I am caught thinking “can it get any worse”. Well yeah it can, and it will. I guess my point is it can always be worse; it doesn’t matter if you are 12 and your cat died, 18 and the woman of your dreams just dumped you for your “best friend” or 24 and you still haven’t found the love of your life. Life can always get worse and it will so enjoy what you have now and don’t ever forget all the fun you have already had. Don’t forget the people who made a difference or the moments that were magical. Be humble but have confidence, be crazy but not stupid, laugh, cry, and love every minute of it because you never know how bad your next “worst day of your life” will bring. “All you have are your smiles and your cries” don’t ever forget it. I guess what I am trying to say is enjoy every minute you can because you never know what the next will bring.

14 replies on “Life, Love, and the Pursuit of Happiness”

  1. scaringly accurate…

    very good article hector.

    makes a very important point, and done honestly.

    thank you.

  2. Good article!

    The tough times teach us the lessons so that we can turn future experiences into good times.

  3. Hector, I have to say once again that you are an awsome writter. I hope even after all the school and jobs, and when you find “the one”, that you continue to write and express your wisdom of this world. Hey maybe you can become famous!

  4. well, like i already said, this is an excellent article. I have to say that the whole “love and marriage” notion that society forces down our throats means shit in the end. Everyone seems to be running this race to who can get married and have kids first. the way society judges success is really fucked up and it screws with peoples heads.

    be happy with yourself and dont worry about having to “settle down” or find the “love of your life” there could be a million people you are compatable with and if one day it works out that you choose just one, then that is great, but if not thats ok too. dont buy into the whole idea that love is a point or a goal that you must reach. i hate that mentality. live your life and be happy, dont bother with the meet-market mentality of all the little hipster 20 somethings. it is all a bunch of bullshit and it does bad things to good people.

    glad you posted it!! rock on.

  5. Great article. It’s something everyone can take heart in, even if they’ve become an eternal pessimist in the matter.

    Been there, done that, and there’s always something that tells me to push on. Honestly I still don’t see the light at the end or the point to what I’m doing or any definite goal for myself. Still, I go on. We all go on for some reason or another. Sometimes, it just helps to have a reminder.

    Again, great article.

  6. Dear Hector,I Have always said that my kids have taught me everything about life:how to live, priorities,and most importantly, how to love….you are a shining example of everything you hope a child will learn in life and have served as a reminder to me to chill out and stop and smell the flowers…….I love you very much…MOM……PS..You’re a helluva writer!

  7. You know that was scarily honest. Why do you always put things in perspective for me? =)No matter if i tell you my problem or not you give me the answers. i love the part about your bestfriend and girlfriends at 18…i’ve been there.

  8. Very true. Sometimes we don’t want to admit it, but it seems like it always comes down to that. I guess when you hit rock bottom, the only way is up. But, how do you know when you’ve hit the absolute bottom? Things can always get worse, but we just have to dig ourselves out. Good job on the article. Keep it up ;).

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