The above quote is from Brooke Davis for the TV show One Tree Hill. This quote has always resonated with me but particularly this year. So far in 2020 we’ve had the death of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, a global pandemic that has affected millions of people, and the Black Lives Matter movement that has seen massive protests around the world following the death of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer.

There has been a lot for young people to be stressed about, in addition to the everyday stresses they experience. The pressure on young people today is immense; from getting a good education to finding a great job and having an active social life. All while documenting it on social media. I am in my 20s, but I still fall into the trap of wanting that “perfect life”. Goals might be a great hashtag but it can also add unneeded pressure for young people.

I had made a rough plan of how I imagined my life going and it’s safe to say that it has not turned out the way I thought it would. Some of it was my fault while some of it was out of my control. I sometimes fall into the trap that a new job will make me happier or that a new dress will lift my mood. While these things may offer some fleeting happiness I now know that it won’t last.

When I was a teenager I wish that someone had told me it’s ok to be unhappy. I wish that other people would talk about being unhappy because it would have made me feel less alone. It’s ok to not be ok, and that needs to be normalised. Happiness is not permanent and this needs to be normalised. It’s ok to be sad and scared. These feelings are normal, especially right now. It’s ok to talk about these feelings and if you’re not comfortable talking to your friends or family, find someone else that you can talk to. Happiness is different for everyone and this is ok, too. Find something that makes you happy and try to make time for it as much as you can.

Just as happiness is not permanent, neither is unhappiness. The bad days will pass and you will find your happiness again.

-Michelle O’Brien
Contributing Writer
Girl Museum Inc.

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