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Megha Kansra
Megha is a contributing columnist for the Fort Bend Star.
She is a junior student at Stephen F. Austin High School-FBISD.

This column expresses the personal opinions/views of the writer. If you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column, write a SIGNED letter to the editor. Name can be withheld by request with a valid day time phone number.
New Year’s Resolution: Eat Happiness  

“Madame Bovary c’est moi.” Gustave Flaubert insists that we’re all supposed to dip out of his novel with the conviction that we embody exactly what his main character Emma Bovary does. Bovary, a coquettish brunette, whiles away here brief, tragic life searching for love, happiness, and passion; she never, of course, finds any of it because she’s so intent on her pursuit of these lofty concepts.

I remember whole-heartedly eating up what Flaubert had declared when I left the book last summer. Generally, people have a tendency to chase dreams for quite a while before realizing the futility of their pursuits. It doesn’t help, of course, that society lionizes ideas of love, life, and happiness. This only forces people to hunt even more shadowy, fleeting quarry. And, in the context of high-school students, this “chasing happiness” deal is certainly true. But everyone handles this desire quite differently, interestingly enough.

There are a lot of us that put on a happy face every day and skyrocket out of our beds and houses, ready to “carpe diem” till the sun is submerged once again behind our cute, suburban lollipop trees and rooftops. This bunch is full of vitality enough to make the Energizer bunny proud. They hop from class to class, effervescently bouncing from one activity to another. They plunge into discussions, cherry-cheeked and grinning, and enthusiastically discuss this and that. So, essentially, happiness for them is a well-sculpted state of mind that’s almost constantly satisfied.

Then there’s a good amount that quietly and calmly circles select dates on calendars, continues through life always awaiting another event, another rock to cling onto on a large mountain to scale. They’d think, I only have to get through this week, and then there’ll be the party on the weekend. Get through this year and a half, and I’ll be completely freed in college. For this bunch, happiness appears sporadically, but in an exacted and planned fashion nonetheless. But this sort of orchestrated happiness leaves them generally wanting more. More than planned spontaneity and structured fun. Or it leaves them always roving and searching for the next bright light, making them classify the rest of the unappealing time in the middle as “boring.”

Of course, who can forget the bunch that hates the idea of happiness altogether and, ironically (though they’ll never admit this), gains a good amount of glee by criticizing and acting skeptical? This is the group that actually enjoys believing in the absence of happiness and joy. They trudge through life and roll their eyes, enjoying the attention coming from bubblier acquaintances who tug at their arms, insisting that they start enjoying life at once. Or they sit back in their own, personal pool of quietude and gleefully criticize others. But, really, this general stance brings a perverse sort of pleasure. This is because it’s generated by unhappiness and never really recognized by the owner.

Now, of course, these divisions are flexible. I, myself, consider myself something of a mix. Nonetheless, I consider myself one of the many unhappy minions of the search for happiness. Sounds paradoxical, I know, but it makes sense. People chase things that ought not to be chased.

So, really, in the spirit of the New Year, let’s try not to dictate or orchestrate happiness.

Let’s just let it happen.

Megha is a contributing columnist for the Fort Bend Star.
She is a junior student in FBISD.

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   Last Update:  September 07, 2006