A Recipe for Happiness | Teen Ink

A Recipe for Happiness

September 2, 2009
By Mariam Makatsaria BRONZE, Cairo, Other
Mariam Makatsaria BRONZE, Cairo, Other
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

I was walking back home on a regular Tuesday afternoon, anger painted my cheeks red. I was so angry that I was about to ram my head into walls! I was never wealthy. I had no car, clothes to the minimum, no family except for a cat and I lived in a very poor apartment.
At home, I sat on my bed to rest my sore feet and to shake out the sand and stones from my sandals. It had been a very stressful day at work – I was both tired and frustrated. I then plunged my feet into the foamy, hot swirling bath. A few minutes later I was sitting in the bathtub, soaking wet and thinking. The water pelted down my skin, taking the dirt from the dusty dry weather with it as it trickled down my body and spiraled down the drain like a small tornado. What a treacherous day! I sat there, watching the flowing faucet and listening to the sound. Rhythmic, echoing.


That was exactly how my life went. Drop after another – just like my monotonous days. Nothing new, was it ever going to change? I thought things would get better when I got my job promotion, but the promotion never came – It went to someone else that day. I thought maybe a partner would help, but he never came either. I longed for a car, new clothes, a better house, children… Maybe spring would bring brighter perspective to my life, but spring came and never blessed me with anything I wanted.

Not until winter – and winter was my least favorite season of them all. It was drizzling when I first looked out the window, but by the time I had a shower, got dressed and all ready for work; it was raining heavily. Soon, I was outside my house, my boots sinking in the snow. The infuriated rain dropped and lashed down on the ground. I kept on trudging forward, picking up my trailing scarf and remembering to pass by the Xerox shop. I had to photocopy some work papers.

To my dismay, I found the small shop closed due to the terrible weather and the next one was probably a long walk. I swore under my breath, mumbling to myself complaints of all sorts. The papers were so important! I had to go. No other options.

Clumps of snow were falling off the skinny trees as the wind puffed by. I was pacing down a narrow sleeping street. The houses were dark, shutters tightly shut. There was a small white church now in sight. It had a circle-like shape, representing eternity and a dome; perfectly spherical. Even though it was almost covered in snow, the strength of its structure and the beauty of the architecture were breath-taking. I approached the heavenly building, gasping at what I saw. A body laying there, a being either dead or fast asleep. The old beggar was covered with nothing but a ragged, harsh blanket that lay unwashed for days –if not more. I got closer. Then, I began rummaging in my bag for my purse and picked out a few coins. His cold hand was extended, cupped as if waiting for someone’s mercy. He flinched when I placed the cold coin in his hand and just when I was about to whirl around and leave, he said something.

‘Thank you.’ His voice emerged so weak and frail – almost inaudible.

My heart skipped a beat. I had forgotten the last time I’ve been thanked. My boss never thanked me, even though I did my job brilliantly… A smile flitted across my lips. My heart suddenly leaped! I felt happy all of the sudden for some reason. If helping a single beggar made me feel the way I did, what if I aided a whole lot of them? So, I did.

I still had no car, even lesser clothes, the smelly old cat living in the same apartment – but I WAS wealthy.

The author's comments:
I want people to understand that real happiness isn't about having that certain car, or that trendy pair of jeans, or even a hot boyfriend...it's something bigger than all of that. I wanted to show people that happniess isn't based on getting what we DON'T have, it's about appreciating what we DO have and don't value.

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This article has 3 comments.

on May. 7 2010 at 3:31 pm
psychedelic_wAves, Austin, Texas
0 articles 0 photos 32 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Life sucks, but in a beautiful kind of way"~ Axl Rose quote


my favorite line was "representing eternity and a dome;perfectly spherical"

solot said...
on Sep. 24 2009 at 3:25 pm
This story shows that the little things in life are what should make you happy. At first she was only looking at the negative and thought to herself, "I was never wealthy. I had no car to the minimum, no family except for a cat and I lived in a very poor apartment." But later on when she helped a beggar she changed her mind. It says in the second to last paragraph, "My heart skipped a beat...." The purpose of the story was helpful and more people should try to have a better outlook on life.

on Sep. 24 2009 at 2:20 pm
burningembers GOLD, Union City, Ohio
10 articles 0 photos 51 comments
Wow. You did a brilliant job! Your purpose came through really well