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Young, free, and female. How to be happy in a world full of choice and pressure.

Travel blogger Tarah Mason writes a guest post about how to be happy in a world full of opportunities, pressures, and unlimited possibilities.

Posted by Tarah Mason

Being happy starts and ends with you

Life is short. Sometimes I feel like it was just yesterday that I was a freshman moving into my dorm room, and sometimes that feels like forever ago (even though it was only four and a half years ago). Some days I’d give anything to go back and relive my freshman year of college, and others, I cringe at the thought of having to relive that period of my life. There are days when I still feel like a little kid who just needs her mom and days when I feel like an independent woman just trying to make her way in the world.

But when it comes down to it, no matter how long ago college feels or how long ago it was, I am still young. And I will continue to be young for at least another few years. So, what I’ve realized is that while we’re young, we need to do what makes us happy.

For me, happiness comes from traveling and seeing the world. It’s living in different cultures and experiencing things that I never thought I would. It’s meeting new people and seeing the world through their lens, even if only for a day. It’s staying up to FaceTime my family so they don’t forget about me while I’m gone for months at a time. It’s long flights, lots of coffee, a potent cocktail, and many, many, countries. It’s a new adventure every chance I get.

Think my life peaked at Samet Nangshe A post shared by tarahmason (@tarahmason) on Nov 27, 2016 at 3:40pm PST

For you, happiness might be starting your career. It might be living in the small town you grew up in. It might be getting married and having kids. It might be getting that promotion at work. It might be going back to school.

My point is, happiness is relative.

What makes me happy could very well make someone else quite miserable. In a world where more and more millennials choose to travel the world instead of starting a career, don’t ever feel bad about choosing your career over travel. Don’t ever question your desire to move back to the small town that you grew up in. Don’t think that you are any less than anyone else because you’ve chosen to live in the house you grew up in instead of getting an apartment with your friends. Don’t second guess your decision to pursue your career instead of backpacking Southeast Asia.

However, don’t be afraid to take chances. Don’t say no to a weekend away because you are too focused on work. Don’t be scared to move out or to take a vacation, or to try something new. On the other hand, if you lead a life of travel and constant adventure, don’t be afraid to say yes to settling down. Don’t be afraid to start your career and build a family.

Our twenties are a time where we’re still figuring it out, and that’s okay. It’s okay to feel lost and to have no idea what you’re doing, but it’s not okay to settle. It’s not okay to settle because you are too afraid of the alternative. Don’t ignore the voice in your head wondering, “what if…” because that voice will never go away. Whatever path you choose, make sure it’s the one that is going to fulfill you. Make sure it’s the one that your heart is begging you to follow. Make sure it’s the one that is going to make you truly happy.

Don’t worry. Be happy.

While we’re young, we need to do things that make us happy. Because if we’re not happy now, how can we expect to be happy when we have a mortgage, a car payment, and an overdue credit card to pay? How can we expect to be happy when we spent all of our twenties being unhappy? How can we expect to be happy when we’ve spent most of our lives trying to make someone else happy? How can we expect to be happy if we’ve never truly done what has made us happy?

We were made to be different. We were made to have opposing views. We were made to have our own opinions and thoughts. We were made to find our happiness. So figure out what that is and go after it. Go after it with everything you have and never apologize. Live your twenties, and the rest of your life for that matter, doing what makes you happy.

Happiness in action

What makes you happy? What is the very last thing that made you smile? What thought about your future makes you smile the most? Are you actively pursuing your ‘what if’ and preparing for a happy life? Please share your story and what makes you happy by leaving me a comment below, or connect with me directly on Instagram @tarahmason. Travel safely and be happy!

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Tarah Mason
Author

Tarah is a California native and a graduate from the University of Alabama (roll tide)! I discovered my love for travel while studying abroad in Barcelona, Spain and haven’t been able to sit still since. After graduation, I moved to Thailand to teach English and travel Southeast Asia. Basically, I’m a normal 23-year-old, trying to see the world before her mom guilt trips her into coming home!

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