True Happiness Is Obtainable In Your 20s

Mikela Warman
Mikela has been working in the fashion industry since 2012 with the likes of Marie Claire, Giorgio Armani, WWD and VERANDA Magazine. She passionately studies the industry of style and how it coalesces with various different aspects of life such as art, career and cultural influences. When she’s not daydreaming at Bergdorf’s, you can find Mikela at yoga, watching Netflix documentaries and taking long walks around Manhattan. As a founding member of the site, Mikela also currently heads the brand management of 20something.

Is it weird to feel like I’ve already made it?

I guess the term “making it” is loosely defined as reaching a certain echelon of stability, success, and happiness.

  • I have by no means figured out my life.
  • I’m at the bottom of the professional totem pole.
  • I am single.
  • I don’t have a solid skin care regimen.
  • I live in Manhattan, but have never frequented the Hamptons.

By my generation’s standards, I am a no one. Sure, I’ve traveled abroad. I’ve had some great internships. I have a wonderful, diverse group of friends. I can cook prepare myself three meals a day. I am part of the founding team of an exciting startup. I pay my own credit card bill. I wipe my own ass.

But does all of that set me aside from any other 20something?

Somewhere along the line of this past year, I mentally grew up. I was forced to. I had a job I hated, a long-distance relationship to maintain, friends to make, a foreign skeleton of an apartment to make feel like home and loved ones who I tirelessly ensured I’d keep in touch with. When that job was terminated, that relationship ended and the apartment flooded, I thought rock bottom was nothing but a nosedive away.

I don’t think we’re ever done evolving, but I do believe there is a significant catalyst that spurs some sort of mental awakening in oneself. It secures a hard-to-get reservation at the chicest sidewalk table in Chelsea for your brain, soul and heart to simultaneously sit down and talk social issues over a kale salad and glass of rosé. They finally start syncing up.

It wasn’t until I watched a film called Hector and the Search for Happiness in my bed, eating candy whilst nursing my face mask, that this storyline just clicked. Read these quotes:

“We should concern ourselves not so much with the pursuit of happiness, but the happiness of the pursuit.”

“Sometimes happiness is not knowing the whole story.” 

The basic mistake people make is to think that happiness is the goal.” 

“Happiness often comes when least expected.” 

“Many people see happiness only in their future.” 

How could this not make you think? I truly feel like I’m a happy person. I have my moments, of course. I have felt very defeated and genuinely heartbroken this past year. But after a weekend of “doing me” and focusing on myself, I evaluated my life and organically recognized my own happiness. Sure, I miss people in my life. I wish I was thinner. I wish I had a home in Bali. I wish I woke up feeling endlessly fulfilled each and every day. But I’m sure many people have these things that I don’t, yet they still don’t feel true happiness.

What resonated most within me was the first quote I listed: “We should concern ourselves not so much with the pursuit of happiness, but the happiness of the pursuit.” You’ve heard the saying “life happens when you’re busy making other plans.” I really think and acknowledge that this is true. And for the first time in a long time, I can recall both thinking this is true while also feeling this is true.

I encourage you to do whatever you need to do to feel happiness. Take your pleasures seriously. You’re 20something, on your own and have no one to focus on but yourself. Watch a movie, eat some candy and put on a facemask. Why the fuck not.

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