A New Year, Another Year Older and Am I Happy?

Austin sunset

I’ve been encountering many people who are down in the dumps lately.

Maybe it’s seasonal depression, though that’s difficult to diagnose in Austin when January has seen eighty degree temperatures.

Or maybe it’s that the new year brings a slew of questions and few answers.

The majority of the people who claim that they’re sad, lonely and confused are also saying they have no idea what they’re doing with their life.

A new year, another year older and am I happy?

Some of these individuals are highly established in their careers and personal lives, while others are not.  It doesn’t matter if you’re a famous filmmaker or an aspiring musician/restaurant server- we’re all in the same boat (which is also a nice reminder not to compare yourself to others).

I spent a great deal of my twenties asking this question. I drifted from East Coast to West Coast to Third Coast trying to discover who I was and what I wanted to do with my life. There were many nights drinking alone, calling my parents sobbing with endless question marks and pages of journal entries that would give Morrissey a run for his money. Even though I can honestly say that I’m the most grounded and clear-headed I’ve ever been, that doesn’t mean that I’m 100% content and won’t stop questioning.

I try to remind my melancholic friends that questioning and discontent are good.

Being self-aware is good.

Their fall-down-sobbing-arms-raised-to-God moments are good.

Those moments when you feel that your brain is going to explode from thinking, over-analyzing and freting too much are good.

It is those who don’t strive to move forward that have the most to worry about.

If you don’t attempt to change your unhappiness then you’ve committed to letting your soul wilt away.

The unexamined life is not worth living.

So, remember this: if you’re one of those people who are sad, lonely and confused right now- you’re not alone.

You’re going to be ok.

It’s all temporary if you want it to be.


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  • Reply Trina January 29, 2013 at 11:33 am

    YOU MADE ME CRY! I have been feeling very down, but this helped me feel better and less alone. Thank you ♥

    • Reply hipstercrite January 29, 2013 at 5:32 pm

      Oh, I’m so glad, Trina! Seriously, you aren’t alone. A lot of people (including myself) have been in a funk.

  • Reply Michelle January 29, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    “The unexamined life is not worth living.” – So, so true.

    • Reply hipstercrite January 29, 2013 at 5:32 pm

      I remind people that when they say they’re embarrassed to go to therapy. I think they’re strong human beings for going! I went and it changed my life.

  • Reply @distract_me January 29, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    Thank you for posting this, I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently, and it’s good to know I’m not the only one… xx

    • Reply hipstercrite January 29, 2013 at 5:33 pm

      You’re definitely not the only one! I’d say most of the people I know, friends and family and MYSELF, have been feeling that way.

  • Reply bobby January 29, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    Hi hipstercrite I am really glad I came across this. I am 25 and I have lived in LA and now I moved back to my hometown in connecticut. I feel as if my soul is being sucked outta me here. Idk even know what to do anymore

  • Reply Rachel January 29, 2013 at 10:02 pm

    Thank you so much. So much.

    • Reply grace b January 30, 2013 at 1:32 pm

      Ditto. x1000. I needed this. 🙂

  • Reply INFP February 2, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    Personally, I dropped Facebook about a year ago and my level of happiness has grown steadily ever since.

    I found that the never-ending stream of pics, posts and posturing from my friends doing things which I *wasn’t* doing, hanging with pseudo-celebrities and having experiences that aspired to be TMZ-worthy amounted to little more than a desperate three-year-old child shouting “Look At ME!” to gain affection and attention from their parents.

    Instead I have a rich, fulfilling existence based upon conversations where I can remain fully present, focused on the people I’m currently spending time with instead of being constantly distracted, checking my mobile device to see what ever-impossibly cooler events my friends were sharing.

    It ultimately results in a zero-sum game where no one is truly enjoying where they are, what they are doing or who they are with.

  • Reply Bethany March 9, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    Oooooo you can’t even know how badly I needed to read this today. Thank you for writing. Thank you thank you thank you.

    You have a new fan.

    xo, Beth

  • Reply Benny April 1, 2013 at 8:59 am

    This article definitely gets me thinking about depression, or whatever you choose to call it, in a different way.
    It’s ostensibly about Abe Lincoln, but it’s really about depression in general.

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