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It’s safe to say we’re all searching for happiness somewhere, somehow. It’s what makes us wake up in the morning and it’s what doesn’t let us sleep considering the fact that we’re chasing after it.

But of course, life likes to take a crap on all of us and we learn, often the hard way, that at some point, we’re never going to be truly, fully happy. And it sucks. It sucks to know that there’s a peak level of happiness that you could reach, that you’ve known at some point, a happiness that has seized your heart fully and suddenly, something so big happens that you know you’ll never have access to that kind of joy you’ve constantly hoped for.

You struggle for a little while. The shock hits you because the damage is done. You have a hard time recovering but slowly, you start shifting how you think. Now, your definition of happiness changes. It comes with terms, conditions and clauses because happiness is different now. You find joy in the small things— making it through a day, getting on the bus on time, getting some time to think, relax and read.

While your joy is tied to your dreams and goals, you’ve learned to step back a bit and take it slow. You know now that happiness is earned, despite the fact that we all deserve it. You know that to be certain kind of happy, you’ve got to work for it because it doesn’t come so easy. What happens is that you grow up in defining what joy means to you. You change it, tweak it, and adjust it so that it doesn’t hurt so much. You don’t want to became impenetrable to the point that nothing touches you but you do look for the small things that will add up and make something big. Rome wasn’t built in a day and so aren’t you. You’re experiences will count and your joys will be real, and somewhere, in time, you’ll feel completely happy.