Chasing A Feeling
I had never felt so complete before. I felt like I was on top of the world. Like I was on cloud nine. Like I made officially made it in life. That everything would be smooth sailing from here on out.
It was when I first got into Cornell University - an Ivy League Institution! I knew all the accomplishments that I had made up to that point would pale in comparison. And the first two months were absolute bliss.
I was frolicking around the campus all the time marveling at its beauty. With my Cornell friends who were similarly in a state of bliss same as myself. I thought to myself that this feeling would never end. That it would be like this forever. I would feel so at ease. So happy. So peaceful and accomplished in a new environment.
That feeling, as you might’ve guessed, eventually dissipated. The cold winter months at Cornell kicked in and I was getting a direct first-hand taste of the bitter upstate New York cold. The schoolwork piled up in the Engineering School, and I found it increasingly difficult to keep track of all the work.
The all-nighters and late nights studying for exams and the pressure built up, and I found that Cornell was not as “easy” as high school. And my grades faltered. That feeling that I had the first two months in to my new environment at Cornell never felt so far away.
Granted, I still had good moments and bad each and every day. I still enjoyed the taste of the Dijon Burger and the Chicken Quesadillas from the Ivy Room. The grilled cheese melt from Robert Purcell Community dining. The late night sessions of basketball and video gaming with friends. The outings and BBQ’s at neighboring parks and festivals.
The good moments were still there. The moments that I could cherish for a lifetime were still there. It’s just that that eternal feeling of bliss was nowhere to be found. Happiness was still coming and going here and there. But, those first two months of worry-free bliss was something that I’d never forget.
Sometimes, I still wish that I could feel that type of bliss in the present moment. That I can somehow hold onto that feeling forever and ever and it will never go away. Sometimes, I wonder if that’s a good or bad thing. Is it healthy to hold on to a feeling? Is it healthy to chase a feeling?
My life is blessed enough as it is. I have a roof over my head. I have two loving parents. A caring fiancée. A wonderful community. And friends that I can talk to and rely on. I have it pretty good. I’m by no means Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk by any stretch of the imagination. But, all in all, my life is good enough. I have enough to survive.
I think this appreciation for the mundane is more practical for those of us whom don’t have the pleasure of chasing feelings. We can all sit in the here and now and count our blessings. Count exactly what we have in this world. Stop chasing feelings and just be grateful for the sake of being grateful.
Feelings will come and go. The feeling of happiness is a particularly tricky one. What is happiness exactly? And is it even worth it to pursue it? It’s not like it’s something that we can hold onto forever and ever. It’s something that comes and goes. Just like the tides. Just like the wind.
And maybe that’s exactly how it should be. Maybe we will treasure that feeling once it arrives, and accept it once it goes. Maybe we can gain a greater acceptance for our entire life situation, rather than living like a roller coaster of emotions and turmoil.
Maybe we can settle down and realize how blessed we are in the present. And just accept the feelings as they are. Just something temporal that should be treasured and examined - but nothing to obsess over.
I still have my good and bad days. My good and bad emotions. My up and down feelings. And they will always be there. There’s no down-to-the-wire solution on how to hold onto a good feeling. And how to get rid of a bad one.
We are all just in the same boat. The same zone of wishing for something to come. Of looking for something that is better off down the road. Not realizing that what we have in the here and now is enough and will always be enough.
There’s nothing wrong with chasing the feeling. With chasing after goals and accomplishments and victories. That’s not a bad thing in itself. After all, we need to innovate, to improve, to learn. And what better way to improve than to take action.
It’s just that there doesn’t seem to be a need to chase after something that is temporal like a feeling. That’s something that we should just appreciate when it comes and goes. And that in itself should foster a greater sense of inner well-being and acceptance for all there is.