Have you ever had a time when you were completely content with what your life looked like? Don’t answer that rhetorical question until you understand what I mean. I mean a time when your life was so magical that when you tried to sleep, you couldn't wait until the next day because you knew that it is going to be just as wonderful as the last. Now you can answer. If you have had a time like this, I would love to hear about it! The pursuit of happiness is much more fun when you know that you are actually capable of attaining it.
I often reflect upon the summer of 2014 and wonder how it happened. Why was I so happy and of course, will I ever be that happy again? As always, there is a wonderful little story to tell that involves alcohol, many photos, more alcohol, southern summertime, more alcohol and a group of very beautiful people that I am fortunate to call friends.
The year 2014 was promising to be more of the same struggles that we all deal with as young college kids. Class, work and trying to fit in are all things we struggle with. I was planning on it being just another year. It was the year I would turn 21 which promised hope, but I had lost the most important person in my life at that point, my grandmother. In a turn of events that are worth a story all their own, I emerged from the loss as a new man, ready to take life by the balls and live it on my own terms. I am pretty confident that is exactly what I did.
I had a group of friends who brought character, charm and alcohol to just about every occasion and I loved it. Getting into the college bars as an underage douchebag was easy when you made friends with the bouncers. Apartment parties brought me to new social groups where I quickly realized that we all had more in common than we realized. My friends knew people who I knew from other angles creating a complicated web of wonderful relationships.
Summer came and as you would expect, things did get hawt with a “w” in it! The world cup was on in the background as we played flip cup by the pool and worshiped the sun in the sweet southern summer. Wednesday night karaoke became regular routine as did chugging down pitchers of beer that we bought for a penny. A calm night meant we’d be on the porch, half dressed, under the glow of twinkle lights, exchanging beers, music, stories and plans of travel as we looked over the dim lawn that lead into the wood covered creek.
A weekend meant spending the day on my uncle’s pontoon boat, with a few coolers of beer, we would dance our way through the day with the sunset across the southern sky as our backdrop. I began working at my dream college job, where I continued to meet more amazing people. Reading many books, The Secret and its message spoke to the way I was looking at life. I promised myself to be one of the top leasing agents and it was a promise that I kept. I loved my job. I loved my friends. I loved where I lived and I had even began to love another human...a story for another time. It seemed as though I had all that I really needed, because I think I did!
Every one of my friends from that summer called it the best summer there ever was; So why did it have to come to an end? I have pondered this question over and over again in my head as I replay and reflect on the photos from that year. I tried to recreate the entire scenario that we all loved but no matter who showed up, what the weather was like or where we went, it was never the same. Why?
The only answer that I have come to settle on is that there isn’t one. I know, depressing and not what you wanted to hear! As a mortal human being, I have to accept the fact that life does it’s own thing. Things change. People move, date, breakup, win, lose, fail, change, evolve and grow. It is what we are supposed to do. Because I have come to accept this fact, I have also found it so important to realize the happiest moments in my life as they are happening. When I feel happy, I take a second to take a deep breath, realize where I am, and take a mental snapshot of that moment to archive in my memory. I believe that we can only do so much to create what happens in our life. Happiness comes to those who take the time to realize it. Having had this high time in my life and then watching it fade to fall, I have learned that nothing in life is permanent but you can sure as hell enjoy the high trips while they last. I thank the lord jesus and god above that I have some of the greatest friends in the world and that we can all call that summer, the best summer there ever was.