Happiness

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Approaching the end of my life, I look back and see that I was indeed happy. Not the storybook, lovey-dovey, unrealistic representation every young girl aspires to possess before she dies, but the contentment gained from having lived a life fully with no regrets. A well-lived life has all of the essential aspects of happiness, which Alexander Chalmers believed to be: “Something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.” I am glad that I found something to do: an occupation I loved and was committed to every day. I saw no higher aim in life than to go to work, loving what I did and how it affected people around me, changing their lives for the better and living out my own passions. The passions I never dreamed realistic while I was still young are now reality. Looking back, I see nothing but my realized dreams floating through my memory. My work was my life, and I never regretted making that decision. The normality and structure of work kept me sane, because that was one part of my life that always stayed stable: having a career I was passionate about. While I did love my career and the path I had taken in my life, I have always struggled to find someone to love. I never dwelt on my loneliness; it seemed unimportant in the overall scheme of life. But, having never found someone to call my own, I gave up on the romantic outlook of life. Instead, I focused solely on my career, working horrendously long hours but flourishing under the profound affect my work had on society. I can only hope that the effect is as great as I believe.
Even while lonely, happiness never eluded me because I was so enveloped in what I deemed important. According to Willa Cather, “That is happiness; to be dissolved into something completely great.” I know the work I did as a medical examiner was great in more than one way, and I hope to have touched at least one soul or changed at least one life through my work. Nothing would complete my life so fully, but to know that all of the sacrifices I made were rewarded with a person’s peace after being given closure. I threw myself into my career. Looking back on my life, do I regret it? I had a job to do, that I loved, that completely took first place in my life. I regret nothing except that I can’t do it again.





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