America, Assault Rifle Ban, Assault Rifles, Crime Rates, Death, Election, Family, Gun Laws, Guns, Homicide, Ideals, Life Lessons, Politics, Self Improvement

Assault Rifles: To Ban or Not to Ban

Someone once said that in order to conquer a nation, one must first disarm its citizens. I don’t know exactly who said it because there isn’t solidification anywhere, but nonetheless the quote holds true still today.

This brings into play the proposed gun legislation that President Obama would like to put in to effect.

I feel for the president because I most certainly would not want to be in his position. I feel whether or not he made this decision would have been a lose-lose situation for him. However, nonetheless I will say that I do not agree with his ban on the selling of assault weapons.

America is a land of opportunity. We love our second amendment like we love Old Glory. Many people feel like their rights are being infringed upon by this proposed ban. Some of these people include prior military personnel and gun enthusiasts. They feel that they should not be held responsible for the actions of a few other people, especially when those people were mentally disturbed.

Let’s look at the facts: America has the most gun murders of every country in the world. However (sources for the following come from Wikipedia and can be viewed here. It also appeared on other sites, but cumulatively came from Wikipedia):


The US had 14,738 total homicides last year. With that statistic, we had the most violent gun crime rate.

Brazil had 40,974 homicides last year
India had 40,752 homicides last year
Mexico had 25,757 homicides last year
Ethiopia had 20,239 homicides last year
Indonesia had 18,963 homicides last year
Nigeria had 18,422 homicides last year
South Africa had 15,940 homicides last year

So, we have the highest amount of gun killings, but we are still killing less that the rest of the world. Africa as a continent had 169,000 homicides last year. Central and South America had 130,000 homicides last year.

And there sits the USA, with 14,738

The common denominator here is people, not access to an AR-15 or AK47. That homicide rate listed above fails to even compare to the brutal murders in other parts of the world. And that statistic includes our “Most Violent Gun Country” title. The problem is a lack of humanity, not access to weaponry. Say of those nearly 41,000 Brazilians that 10,000 of them were killed by guns. That still leaves 31,000 other people killed in other ways. I can think of a few weapons to kill someone: knife, rope, poison, rock, vine.

30,000 people

The United States crime rate also has been steadily declining over the years as well, despite the gun issue. The crime rate in Honduras is 91.6, the crime rate in the United States is 4.8. People say that guns need to be taken off the streets as soon as possible to ensure safety. When is the last time any criminal has cared about laws and rules? I’m pretty sure that they don’t. Criminals will still be able to get assault rifles on the black market; that much you can be sure of. And then no self-respecting citizen will be able to protect themselves from someone who does have and assault rifle.

There is no correct solution for this, but in order to be fair, I feel that if the average American citizen cannot have access to an assault rifle, no one should; that includes the secret service, CIA, FBI and various other government bureaus. This includes the president and his family. I feel that the president should not be protected by bodyguards with assault rifles if he feels they are so detrimental to society. His secret service that protects him and his family should not be afforded a privilege of being protected by an assault rifle if all of America isn’t either. That is the only way I feel that law would ever be truly fair. The only people who would then be allowed to use those weapons are those in the military that are currently serving. The mass shooting that have happened are truly terrible, but this is not the solution for the problems. I could list many more viable options:

a) Arm the teachers in schools, or at least have the school guarded by an armed police person. If a killer would happen to get in, someone should be armed and ready to take that person down.
b) Perform psych evaluations on people who are trying to buy guns that seem like they could be a threat
c) Make gun safes essential in homes, perhaps lower the price of them so that guns can be locked up more easily
d) Parents need to teach their kids gun safety if they have guns around. Teach them that guns are not toys

These are just a few options. However, one thing cannot be denied: If someone wants to kill another person, they will find a means of doing it. The same week the Sandy Hook Massacre happened, a man entered a school in China and stabbed 20 people. Yes, a knife.

People need help, and they need it fast. And taking away a responsible person’s weapon isn’t going to help anyone.

Focus on mental health, focus on people.

Because the day an AR-15 can hop over a fence on its own and shoot a bunch of children is day that I do not want to be alive for.

Beauty, Dating, Death, Dying, Family, God, Ideals, Life Lessons, Loss, Love, Relationships, Self Improvement, Self-Help, Sex, Uncategorized, Women

The Hardest Question

“It’s the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more.”-Albus Dumbledore.

As I sit writing this, I know that my grandpa is fighting a battle in the Intensive Care Unit in the hospital in Florida, approximately 1100 miles or so away. That means that if God calls him home, the blog I wrote a few days ago about him and my grandma will be one of the single, most precious pieces I have ever written in my entire life. You can read it HERE.  Nestled in his hospital bed, he sleeps and fights, and this could possibly be his last showdown. At his home in Sebring, Fl., his wife lays in the twin sized bed that is in their room, the bed that was soon to be replaced with a king sized bed so they both could sleep beside each other. Out in the living room is a new set of furniture, and an empty space where a chair he purchased a few days ago to aid him in getting up and down will be going. And my grandma, through all of her thoughts, wonders if he will ever get to see or use the things he just purchased. She wonders if he will make it back home so that she can change the bandages on his legs. She wants to be able to cook him dinner and hear him call her “Buddy.”

She wants her husband, and her best friend to come home.

That’s the part that makes me so sad.

I made peace with the fact that he would be dying about four months ago when these rounds of hospital calls began. What I haven’t made peace with is the woman he is leaving behind. And it scares the crap out of me.

My grandparents have been married 57 1/2 years and the dated for two years before they got married. That means that my grandma has been staring at my grandpa’s face every morning for most of her life. She has been making him dinner every night. She has helped him run businesses. She took care of him when he was sick, to the point where he nicknamed her Florence Nightingale. She had my mom and my uncle with him and instituted Sunday dinners. The Sunday dinners are still in effect, except when they are in Florida because we reside in Pennsylvania. Her whole life has essentially been devoted to loving one man and the family she created with him.

And now, she may be on the brink of losing everything.

The hardest question I have had to ask myself throughout this whole ordeal is a simple question: Why do we fall in love when we will ultimately be separated from that person? I fell in love almost two years ago. And I will be perfectly honest and say that the idea of getting married scares me. If he asked, I would say yes. However, I’m not scared of the marriage; I’m scared of him not being there someday. I’m scared of watching him fall apart right before my very eyes. I’m scared that I will devote my whole life to this person and that old age and diseases will separate us anyway.

So why do we do it?

If you believe in soul mates, then you believe that there is someone out there with the other part of your soul. You believe that you must then find that part of your soul and make it one with yours. I believe that my grandparents are soul mates, despite the fact that they have the single most dysfunctional relationship that I have ever seen. They are polar opposites. But, I guess that is what makes them compatible. I also have learned throughout this whole ordeal that everything kids are taught about fairy tale love is mostly inaccurate. Sometimes love isn’t about thinking the other person is dreamy and getting bit by this mystical love bug. Sometimes, love is more than that. If you’re lucky, love is about respect and security.

Maybe we are only meant to have our soul whole for a little while, but I don’t think it’s very fair. I don’t think its fair that my grandma will have to go on with half of her soul missing. This will happen sooner rather than later, but it still is something I haven’t made peace with. I’m scared for her. I’m scared knowing she will have half of her soul in heaven and that she has to carry on alone. I’m not looking forward to when that happens. It makes all superficial relationships you’ve ever had seem rather stupid for crying over.

Here’s my lesson: Your stupid minor relationships won’t break your heart when you break up with that person. You want heartbreak? Date the same person for 60 years and watch them deteriorate. Date someone for 60 years, and then have to carry on without them. That’s heartbreak. Don’t let minor setbacks seem like heartbreak. You will prevail.

I don’t know if it’s going to be easy to let myself continue to be in love forever because it’s scary.

But I will probably do it anyway.

And I can only hope that when the day comes where I have to go on, that I will be able to. And that maybe, just maybe, I will understand this when I die.  Because quite frankly, I’m not sure that being alive is enough to understand the powers at be with this sort of tragedy. Love is hard and complicated.

I just hope when the time comes I can be strong, thankful and understanding.

Love, here’s to you.

Beauty, Dating, Ideals, Life Lessons, Love, New Year's Resolutions, Relationships, Self Improvement, Self-Help, Sex, Uncategorized, Women

The Secret of Life, Part Three

His eyes seemed like endless pools to his soul. What color were they? Brown, maybe hazel. They complimented his skin tone and his smile.

It was safe to say that I was completely and totally infatuated. He even seemed to be reciprocating the feelings. That was a plus, right?

Well, maybe not.

I tried making plans; hanging out, getting food. You know, the usual types of things that I thought would get me what I wanted. And he at least entertained the ideas and said they sounded awesome.

But we never did those things.

Because there was always an excuse he made. Last minute plans….they always so frequently came in right at the exact time we were supposed to be going to dinner. This scenario went on for months, and I let it go on for months. I was on the back burner and I let myself be. I was waiting for a relationship that was never going to happen. It was like a sickness I had. Yet, for some odd reason I couldn’t bring myself to swallow the pill of realization.

I was being played. It may not have been entirely intentional on his part, but I was being played.

Finally, it got to the point where I said it: “Ali, you deserve to date and be with someone who wants to show you off and isn’t keeping you in the shadows. You deserve to have someone who tries to make you happy every single day.”

And on June 10, 2011, I handed my number to this random gentleman in the bar that I had never met before. He was quiet and reserved until he got a couple of shots of Crown Royal in him. I was bartending that night so I gave him said shots, but he had a certain mystery that I could not quite figure out. I went out to the dance floor because the DJ had put on “The Edge of Glory” by Lady Gaga. I started to dance and the next thing I knew he came out to the floor to dance with me. At the end of the night I wrote my number on a napkin and handed it to him. He was waiting for it, hoping I would give it to him. Despite his friend’s plea for him to get out of the place. Then I waited for him to text me and I thought I would be waiting for a day, maybe two.

I waited ten minutes and my phone lit up with a good night text. It’s 2013 now, and we have been together ever since.

Part Three: Don’t Settle for Anything Less that You Deserve

I have blogged about my boyfriend before, but I’m not going to talk about him in this blog very much. I’m going to talk about an epidemic that is plaguing the females of the nation, and that is called settling for penny when you could have a 100 dollar bill. If you didn’t get that analogy, I mean, women settling for crappy significant others.

I know quite a few girls that let themselves make this mistake. And I can’t help but wonder what our society has become that this is allowed to happen. Women are more independent than ever it seems with their careers and their money. So why shouldn’t that be the same with love?

The epidemic was probably started because women constantly feel like they are either too fat or worthless to actually deserve a happy relationship. They settle with what they have because they are afraid to go after something bigger and better. It’s sad because all of those things that females are self-conscious about make a lot of men swoon. Then there are women that go back to their exes. Why? What exactly has changed? Because 95% of the time your ex has not changed. Again, we have the worthless factor. “I’m too worthless to actually have a meaningful relationship. So I’m settling for something I know because I am too afraid to try this again.” That’s all it is. There is no logical reason for a woman to stay with someone who treats her like a rock in the dirt when there is someone out there that will treat her like a diamond. There is no reason for a woman to go back to someone who they broke up with that treated her poorly either.

You know how men say, “Man up!” I’m calling all women to WOMAN UP!
You know you’re better, smarter and sexier than settling for a penny. A penny gets you nowhere. It takes 10,000 pennies to make a $100. Why go through that many pennies when you can go straight to the $100? It doesn’t make sense!

Women, I give you these rules:

1) Once a cheater, always a cheater: Unless God intervenes, a tiger will not change his stripes
2) If it looks like a lie and smells like a lie, it’s a lie
3) If your significant other ever, and I mean EVER calls you ugly, or makes you feel less than beautiful, away with them
4) If you break up with him and he says he has changed, you know better. Have you changed? What makes you think he’s had this radical change? His change is probably as legit as a heroin addict that says jail has changed their behavior
5) If a person strings you along, they have no intention of actually committing. Move on
6) A person in the past is meant to stay there, don’t bring them back into your present. Move Forward
7) The Ultimate Rule: You deserve to be head-over-heels ecstatically happy, DON’T SETTLE FOR ANYTHING LESS

The lesson here is not settle for anything less than happiness. Don’t be afraid to move on from the toxicity just because it’s familiar and you’re too afraid to try something new. Try something new. It’s good for you. It may just be the best thing you could have ever done. After months and months of being strung along, I met my boyfriend. He treats me like a princess. Just today he bought my mom a hot water tank for the house because she couldn’t pay for a new system all on her own. His cuddles are the best. Sometimes I take him for granted and I shouldn’t, but it doesn’t stop him from loving me. I have learned how to be myself a little bit better than I was before. I haven’t had to radically change who I am either. I’m still that same, independent woman I was….

I just have someone who appreciates the independence.

And ladies, you deserve the same thing.

Beauty, Health, Heartburn, Life Lessons, Migraines, New Year's Resolutions, Self Improvement, Self-Help, Uncategorized, Weight Loss, Women

The Secret of Life, Part Two

The next part of my series will focus on fitness goals. Everyone needs to be healthy and sometimes that requires sacrifices and determination. The harder the goal , the more people will get let down. People sometimes see fitness as an unattainable goal but it should not be. Health should always be a priority. Start small, but make your goals ever changing. Then you can make the change to a better you.

Part Two: Taking Your Health Into Your Own Hands

“You have a severe upper respiratory infection. You also have strep throat.”

But what about the migraines I have been getting?

“They seemingly get worse around the time of your menstrual cycle, so there isn’t much to be done about them. I would suggest Excedrin with caffeine.”


~Two Months Later~

“You have a severe upper respiratory infection, but what else is the matter?”

Well. I’m having problems with food. I get heartburn a lot and I eat a lot of dairy to cover up the acid because pills don’t really work. And I get a series of migraines for five days right before my menstrual cycle.

“So it’s your PMDD, but there isn’t much to do. As far as the heartburn I need an upper GI exam to determine if you have acid reflux.”

But I don’t have insurance.

“Well. It’s up to you then. I can tell you what I think you should do, but it has to be your decision.”


About a year ago is when this game started. A series of upper respiratory and sinus infections with strep throat. Followed by a week of migraines that came precisely on schedule with my pill pack. Since I got strep throat that one time, which I had never had it before, I began a road of health problems galore.

My sinuses were so clogged and inflamed that the doctor prescribed be a steroid nasal spray. That spray changed everything.

I had been on an over the counter nasal spray for a little bit before I went to the doctor. He recommended that I use this steroid nasal spray to clear the congestion as well as fix the swelling. Unfortunately for me, the spray did nothing but make my nose bleed and burn. And thus, made the clogging and inflammation worse. I gave it the ten day duration with no avail, until finally, I gave up on it and switched back to the over the counter. I began using a neti-pot to help, which does, but much to my surprise and still until this very day, I cannot breathe freely without the help of nasal spray and decongestion medication. The strep throat itself made me feel extremely weak, even for weeks after the antibiotic ran it’s course. After that bout with strep, I have had five other upper respiratory infections. The same thing happens, the weakness and pain, and I find myself chronically longing for my bed rather than doing other activities I enjoyed.

I had had the migraines before because they came like clockwork the week before I was scheduled to have my menstrual cycle. Whether or not the nasal spray that was prescribed me made these migraines worse is yet to be determined. However, much to my dismay, after the bout of strep throat, they also became worse. And if anyone of you has had a migraine, especially one that lasts for at least three days, you know that you can barely function. I find myself taking massive amounts of pain killers, having blurred vision in one or both of my eyes and vomiting at least one of the days of the migraine. After the vomiting, I would end up ultimately going to sleep because no amount of pain killers would numb the pain.

My final symptom was that of chronic heartburn. Every single day I would eat and every single day I would regret it. The gurgling would start in my stomach and make me feel like I have to vomit. It would churn and churn until it made it’s way to my esophagus. Then at night if I was laying down, it would gurgle up into my throat and choke me. Using heartburn medication alone did not help, so I tried to off-set the acid my eating dairy. I got gallons of milk and would drink as much as I could until the pain stopped. When I ordered meals, I would try to get cheese with what I ate to stifle the burning sensation. I stopped drinking pop for a brief time. It became a constant struggle because I wanted to eat, but it was painful. So I would binge when I could to try and avoid the pain. Whenever the pain started I would eat something dairy related to put out the fire. As I write this, my esophagus is burning and I haven’t even ate anything.

The collection of these events has led to one ultimate thing: I am in poor health.

I’ve gained approximately twenty pounds in my battle with all of these symptoms. A good portion of the weight gain has to do with the binge eating because of the heartburn. Along with that it has to do with adding an unnecessary amount of dairy to my diet to make the pain of the heartburn go away. I’m chronically getting these infections that make it damn near impossible for me to breathe on my own without a burning sensation. So, doing hard, physical activity was becoming difficult, thus I stopped doing it regularly. Finally, the migraines put me down for a week every month; with two of those days ultimately leading to me being in bed.

This leads me to today. Last night, I made the decision that despite it all, it’s time to get back onto the fitness saddle, even if it kills me. I would probably be able to take care of these various issues if I had health insurance that covered all of the problems, but I don’t have that option. Everything I would need: a GI exam, a nose and throat specialist and possible neurologist, would come out of pocket. Thus, I am trying another route:

Lesson number two: Don’t let your situations determine your health, even if those situations are health related. I have given myself 60 days to lose 20 pounds in the hopes that a healthier, physical body will force all my other problems to sort themselves out.

I challenge all of you to do the same. The journey will be hard, but we can do this, together. If any of you are trying to maintain your resolution to get fit, I will be there to help all of you in any way that I can. Together we can do this.

Beauty, Dating, God, Life Lessons, Relationships, Self-Help, Suicide Prevention, Uncategorized, Women

The Secret of Life, Part One

For the next month, I will be doing a series on my blog titled, “The Secret of Life.”

Life is a vastly complicated series of events. Often, people do not really know how to fully experience life. In fact, some people feel they cannot handle life and think of ways to get out of it. These people contemplate suicide because they feel that’s the only way out. This is especially true for people that are bullied. Well, it’s no secret: Everyone gets bullied. The next time you feel alone in the world, and you feel as if you want to take your own life, remember one thing: Everyone gets bullied. That means there are billions of other people out there that know exactly how you feel. TALK to these people. Do not give up on life. Life is worth living. Life may bring you down, but billions of people in generations before you did not let that bring them down. You can do this. If your ancestors could survive being brutally beaten to death and whipped because of the color of their skin and they survived, you can live. If your ancestors were thrown into concentration camps and survived, you can outwit a bully. If your ancestors helped build the Great Pyramids of Giza, you can handle living your life. If your ancestors survived the plague, numerous wars and still, STILL survived…..

You would be slapping them in the face if you did not try to outlive and outsmart a bully. They are easily slain, all you have to do is prove to them their opinion doesn’t matter.

Life is a teacher. Life is an experience. You want the first secret:

Enjoy the little moments, especially when they are experience with people much older. It will show you that you’re not alone, and how to love yourself as well as others.

Part One: Road Trips with Grandparents

For four days at the end of 2012, I traveled with my grandparents from Pennsylvania to Florida. It took us three days to complete the trip because we got caught in a massive nor’easter. Twelve inches of snow fell to the ground in our home state. We traveled six hours and only made it to Winchester, Virginia. That trip would take about three or four in normal driving conditions, at least that’s what they told me.

This trip was characterized by many memorable quotes and many annoyances, but nonetheless, it was a learning experience.

I went on this trip simply to help my grandparents. My grandfather is dying; I came to terms with that months ago. He is in renal failure, a diabetic and his heart is only pumping at roughly 15-20% on a good day. Add the neuropathy in his legs, which causes him to not be able to walk long distances, plus the fact that he is retaining massive amounts of fluid in his body, and you have a ticking time bomb. He is going to be 79 next week. My grandma is forgetful; dementia ran in her family and I think it’s safe to say she is showing signs that she will carry on that trend. Sometimes she forgets my name. She misplaces her credit cards in her over-sized Steelers winter coat. She can’t remember where she placed my grandpa’s diabetic needles in the luggage that is shoved into the trunk of her 2012 Ford Taurus. She is very little and frail and cannot lift my grandpa in and out of the car, nor if he falls onto the ground because of a misstep.

That is where I came in. I offered my help to my grandparents for a few days, the only thing I asked is that they would pay for my trip home because I was in a tight budget from the money I spent on Christmas. They happily obliged and on December 26, 2012, we began our journey.

I quickly learned, much to my dismay, that it would have been absolutely improbable for them to make the trip on their own. Even though my stubbornly independent, 78-year-old grandma would not let me drive her car, I did have to help her navigate it through the blizzard that ensued on the first day of the trip. We had to stop frequently to force my grandpa to walk around so that his legs would not retain further fluid. That was a task with the massive amounts of snow on the ground. He cannot move quickly, and given the slippery conditions, his shoes and his cane would not cooperate with his pace. My grandma frequently could not remember what road to take, and despite my pleas to take certain routes because they were faster, they were determined to go the route they always go because, “That’s what we have always done.” So that became a task when my grandpa would fall asleep because I could not actually help her. Getting in and out of the car itself was difficult because my grandpa was in pain. I had to sometimes maneuver his legs in awkward positions. And my grandma was in pain because she has various problems. This led to the ultimate annoyance: the cranky attitude of my grandpa.

I know pain makes you considerably cranky.  That is why I tried to be understanding to the complaints. My grandma however was less compliant to his cranky ways. Though, after 57 years of marriage, she’s earned her right to say how she feels, especially if my grandpa is being downright nasty. They purchased separate hotel rooms, one for me and one for them. The rooms adjoined and my grandma would call me if she needed me to help her. After a couple of beers and a basketball game, and my grandpa being cranky, I decided to go to bed. And despite the crankiness of my grandpa, the two of them spent literally all night laying in bed talking. I don’t know what they talked about, but I know every time I woke up in the middle of the night, they were talking to each other.

The next two days consisted of the same things. But the further south we drove, the more their spirits rose. Until we finally reached their home in Florida. My grandma spent most of the day rearranging various things in their new home. My grandpa spent most of the day sleeping and relaxing. Finally the day came where I had to go back home. My grandma was very sad to see me leave because she knew that she would not only have to figure out how to do everything on her own, but I wouldn’t be there to take the brunt of his crankiness. Despite it all, the trip was very enlightening and it showed me a lot about life.

Marriage is a compromise. Marriage is something you have to try at every day. Even after that person is slightly mean to you all day, you still stay up late at night and talk to them. So the secret of life I give you today is to not be afraid to fall in love, but know that love is more about the other person than it is about you. My grandparents have spent 57 married years together. They have been by each other’s sides when the other goes into the hospital. They have an argument and five minutes later have reconciled. When you, my reader, fall in love, I want you to love like they do. It’s like the Bible passage in Chapter 13 of First Corinthians, courtesy of

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part,10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love

If you spend every day keeping track of everything your partner has done wrong that is minor, you won’t ever be happy with them. If you spend your life doubting yourself, your partner won’t be happy. Your partner will love you, but if you can’t love yourself, it makes you far less desirable. Love yourself first, and it’s easier for you to love someone else. Realize you’re worthy of being loved, and the right person will love you. Don’t go looking avidly for love, it will find you in unexpected ways.

I’m thankful for the road trip I took with my grandparents. It showed me more about how to love another person, without losing myself. It showed what it’s like to grow old with a person and still love them. It showed me that while growing old is scary, it’s helpful and easier if you have someone there along for the ride.

Lesson number one: We are only as alone as we make ourselves to be. If you don’t want to be alone, then realize you’re not.  And realize you don’t have to be.

Fourth of July with my Grandparents
My grandma and my grandpa holding hands while he was in the hospital.
My grandma and my grandpa holding hands while he was in the hospital.
Beauty, Dating, Disney, Life Lessons, Uncategorized, Women

Prescription for Happiness

“There is no medicine like happiness, except maybe laughter.” -Hugh Laurie as Gregory House, M.D.

What causes happiness?

Happiness is a feeling. Some people are prone to severe fits of happiness while others search their lives endlessly for that feeling. Then again, psychologists argue that happiness is a psychological state of being caused by the release of various chemicals in the brain.

What exactly causes this state?

When I was five years old, I would tell you that happiness is taking a trip to Walt Disney World. When I was 17, I would have said that happiness was dependent on whether or not I had a date to a dance or if people accepted me. At 20, I would say that happiness would be dependent on the job I wanted to get or how many parties I would go to.

At 23, I would tell you that happiness is a trip to Walt Disney World, at least partially.

Happiness is both a feeling and a state of being. It’s easily explained and yet one of the most complicated things that people have to deal with in life. People are constantly in pursuit of happiness. But you know what the secret it is?

Happiness is inside of us, we don’t have to go look for it.

The first step to knowing that you can be happy, is by releasing the need to control everything that goes on in your life. Less stress makes for a very happy person. Lets examine three types of unhappy people and resolve on how to make these people happier and healthier.

1) The Job Seeker

Some people search eternally for the perfect job. People will move all over the country and put themselves in terrible situations just to get ahead. They’ll head off because they are sick of being at home and don’t want to be held back. Now, while I agree that not taking opportunities is, in fact, very stupid, doing it because you think you will be happier is, in fact, very stupid. Because at the first sign of trouble, you won’t be happy. Typically speaking, people that are constantly searching for something they won’t ever find crack terribly under pressure. If one cannot be happy where there at while still striving for more, then one will always be unhappy. If you’re constantly striving for more, even when you get to where you want to go, it means nothing if you can’t be happy where you’re at.

2) The Attacker

Some people spend their lives being nosey. In a sense, they live vicariously through other people, whether it be their woes or triumphs. When one person has an opinion that they disagree with, they seize that opportunity to counteract the opinion. When challenged, they attack the opposition because they were convinced they are right. If it was merely idle banter, then that’s not someone who is happy. Someone who is happy doesn’t particularly care. If it’s factual error, then perhaps conversation would be beneficial. My opinions for example are merely mine. In fact you, my reader, may disagree with every single word I have ever typed onto this blog. But happiness is me continuing to blog anyway. Happiness is me not caring that you disagree. Some people, aren’t like that. And it is quite sad. I post things on Facebook as well, sometimes merely to express my opinion or to spark intellectual conversation. I cannot count the times someone has told me I am wrong and if I defend what I say, they still tell me that I am. Happiness…..I don’t care what people say about me. I don’t care when people challenge me. The only thing I care about is when they falsely accuse me. That is the only thing I stand up for or give people the time of day for.

3) The Person that can’t let go

I have encountered multiple types of people in my life and one of my favorites to deal with are the people that can’t let go. This especially takes precedence in relationships. Everyone at some point in life falls in love with someone that they will ultimately break up with.  Then happiness becomes somewhat non-existent until he or she meets someone knew. Then that old flame becomes a distant memory…..Or at least it should. There are always those few people that try so hard to be happy with their new flame that never actually become happy. What’s the tell-tale sign of their unhappiness? Oh, it’s simple. When the old flame moves on with someone new, the unhappy person becomes angry at the old flame for doing so. They may even attack the new flame. It’s ironic because if he or she is supposed to be happy with the new flame, then he or she would not be so upset at their old flame. In fact, the old flame’s happiness shouldn’t even be of concern.

There are more types of people that aren’t happy in the world. I haven’t met every type of unhappy person but I am sure that I fully will meet every single type of unhappy person.

I’m not a doctor, but I have a prescription for everyone for happiness: realize that happiness is dependent on you, not on other people. Happiness is dependent on you as you are now, not the you that you see in the future. Happiness is dependent on what you decide to let go of, not the things you hold on to.

Be happy.

Oh. And go to Disney World.