Wishing For Happiness

Close your eyes. Do you remember being a kid, throwing pennies into a fountain? I did this at every fountain I ever encountered, always begging Bob and Robin for spare change to send a wish into the mysterious abyss that existed somewhere beyond the murky mall water.

Keep your eyes closed. Look further into that blackness. What did you wish for? Material items? A good grade in school? I always wished for happiness, though my definition of what that looked like over the years has certainly changed.

At the ages of 3-5, I believe happiness included toys and a baby sibling. During elementary school, happiness was good friends and good grades. By the time I hit junior high, boys started to become a staple in the happiness realm – getting my first kiss specifically. High school, well high school happiness meant dates to dances, getting into a good college, not failing French, enjoying a social life, and falling in love with my high school sweetheart. College passed by too quickly to remember what happiness looked like. Plus, let’s be honest, coins were necessary for laundry so there was no way I was throwing them into a fountain.

The other night, I climbed into bed with my laptop – the first week of school was kicking my ass and then some – silly vampire college students feeding on my soul. My Life Hostage lay down beside me watching some show on cars. Boring. But I really had to concentrate anyway so I was happy for a show I had zero interest in.

After an hour or so, I got up to stretch and crack my neck. As I was standing next to the bed, I realized something. I wished for this. This moment. Laying in bed, working, writing with him beside me. I wished for him. Not that I knew at the age of 3, 7, 13, or even 18 who him was but now I can recognize. this is my happiness and I have been wishing for it my entire life.

I know what you’re thinking – didn’t I wish for my ex husband too? Maybe. But with distance from that part of my life has come the realization that I never really fit into the world that came along with him. Hence the reason he’s my ex husband.

My Life Hostage and I live a very quiet, no-frills life void of any pretension on a completely down to earth plane. We’re extremely hard working – hence the laptop in bed – and family focused. No, I don’t believe I wished for my ex-husband (and I do not mean that offensively), I wished for the life I have now.

I remember asking my Life Hostage not long after we started dating if he would be okay with a quiet, no drama, less than exciting existence. He replied, is there any other kind?

These days, I don’t throw coins in fountains. I don’t need to. I received my wish.

Rachel Olszewski

A hot mess held together on a daily basis by dry shampoo and probiotics, Rachel is still trying to figure out what she wants to be when she grows up but for now is a communications professional by trade. A true Chicagoan through and through, she is an East Coast transplant trying to set down roots. Although the height of her high heels may be getting shorter, Rachel’s expectations are not getting lower and she is on a mission to change the world one person at a time.

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