The Cost of Happiness

Written By: Amanda Paulhus

January 5, 2018

Dr Parker quote: Sometimes the things that are free are those which cost the most

This quote of Dr. Parker’s immediately struck a chord with me upon reading it. For myself the ‘free’ thing that is being referred to in my mind is happiness, the thing we are all striving to find in life.
The want for happiness is what has me returning to post secondary for the second time, despite the struggling financially on simply trying to pay rent and bills. Why would I choose to not only be adding debt to that equation, but also losing the ability to work full time to cover it, due to classes? The reason is simple; I want to be happy. I know working with animals has always been my mission, one way or another, and this is what will truly making me happy. I went to college for photojournalism, with dreams of working with magazines that invested their time on stories to raise awareness for animals. So far this has not panned out and though I will still try to achieve this dream one day, I have realized I need to turn my day job into something I enjoy and look forward to being a part of. Thinking back to my love of animals, I have applied for veterinary assistant.
My first degree did not send me in the direction I thought it would and now, a couple years later, I have a new idea of how happiness can be achieved and so though I know it will cost me financially, I have to go for it.
But cost has other meanings as well. It is not always money that the road to happiness demands. There have been a few times where I could have taken a different path that may have led me to being happy and financially stable and doing something I might have enjoyed but it involved joining the military. I come from a military family so it is no surprise this route was suggested to me and for some members of my family seemed like the obvious choice, but it demanded too much. I would have had to move around to several locations over the years of training, which meant leaving my friends behind, as well as my cat for the better part of it. To me it also would have meant given up a bit of my identity to become uniform with how the military expects every cadet to be in appearance and personality.
For myself this was a cost I was not willing to pay. Maybe that means I don’t deserve to feel sorry for myself for the situation I am, since some would see this as unwilling to make it better, but there are always other roads to take.