Happiness Does Not Follow An Itinerary

One of the most important lessons that I have learned throughout the past few years is that the best things are often unexpected. I definitely think this is true, because when I think of the happiest moments I’ve had or the amazing people I’ve met, they were all unplanned.


When I was in high school, I had this long-lived dream of moving to California and going to college there, thinking this was where I belonged and where I was supposed to be. So, I applied to two schools out there with very competitive programs, and with one only accepting around 40 students. It was a long shot, but I always envisioned myself happier on the west coast of the country, and thought the lifestyle there was more my speed. This was basically me trying to plan out my happiness, which ultimately didn’t work in the long run when I got the rejection letters.


It’s common to put a lot of pressure on yourself in these years, believing that life has to be perfect. This is not how life works though, and, like mentioned earlier, the best things come to you when you don’t even know you need them.


In all transparency, the last place I expected myself to be right now was Connecticut. The thought of Sacred Heart did not excite me at first, because I was dead set on the life I envisioned: Having a school by the beach, going surfing every day, sitting on the cliffs of La Jolla with friends and watching the sunset, etc. Many days during freshman year, I would sit on my bed in my dorm and wonder where I went wrong and how I managed to mess this up.


I would think:


“Transferring is still an option, my west coast dream can still happen”


“I’m missing out”


“Things could be so much different, and better, for me right now”


“My friends seem so much more happier than me at their schools”


Coming home for breaks also felt off. My brother felt my pain and disappointment when I would confess to him that I knew I should be more excited to go back to school. Doubting your ability to find your place is never a good or productive feeling, which is why coming out of this mindset feels beautiful.


Although plans don’t play out the way we want sometimes, it does not necessarily mean that our current situations can’t be amazing. Maybe our original plans could have ended up terrible, who knows. Everything happens for a reason. Looking back, we can even become thankful for a redirection in plans, as it can bring us to another kind of unexpected happiness. Of course, everyone’s first year at college is a little rocky, but it is a great feeling to be in a place, a couple years later, where you know you can’t imagine things going any other way.


My whole purpose in writing this is that it is often a groundbreaking discovery that happiness does not follow an exact plan. In fact, it’s honestly impossible to plan this amount of joy. I follow that motto with almost everything now. Life events that happen organically are dope and make you appreciate where you are in the world at the current moment.


Being surrounded by good people makes you wonder why you hoped for a different outcome. Right now, I feel more like myself right now than I ever have and can feel myself becoming more grounded in who I am.


I wanted to represent and capture this feeling of not being able to follow a desired plan, but finding amazing things through it anyway. The word “vision” kept popping up into my head, and I decided to run with this idea.


These edited pictures of my eye portray my initial plan and vision of life compared with my outlook on life now. It was important to me to include my friends in the second edit, because they are a huge part of how complete I feel right now.


Original photo:




My desired life plan / vision:




The cool life I ended up with! :