Hey there, it’s been quite a while. I apologize for that. I’ve been meaning to write more, but some days it seems to gets harder and harder to write a blog post when I’ve just finished a Russian Culture paper or an Early America essay. Cut this poor (in more ways than one) college goer some slack!
A lot of people have recently asked how I’m liking Bowling Green State University. I usually respond with “I’m happy here” which is then followed by a long line of experiences I’ve had and organizations I’ve gotten myself into within the past couple of weeks. Some of which include food, broomball, Women in Business Leadership, swing dancing, a learning community, nerve-wracking job fairs, food, University Dance Alliance, internship interviews, ice skating, food, 8 am classes, picnics, Harry Potter (for the first time… I know, I’m insane) pictures, delicious ice cream, a dodge ball tournament (2nd place baby), heavy wind, food, bible studies, freezing football games, a roommate photo shoot, inconvenient fire alarms, lots of laughter, impromptu soccer games, the freshmen fifteen, food, road trips with old friends, and countless memories with new ones.
With my time at work crew combined with my time away at college, I’m learning a lot about the difference between happiness and joy. While I’m loving these new experiences and the constant activity makes me happy, they do not fulfill me. Often times, happiness is contingent upon our circumstances. We just finished watching our favorite Channing Tatum movie? We’re happy. Our hair doesn’t look like Albert Einstein? We’re happy. Netflix just released the latest season of the Office? We’re happy. We are hungry and Chipotle is still open? We’re happy. But what happens when these circumstances don’t align with our preferences? Step Up has a big ol’ scratch on it, the wind ruins the good hair day, the internet connection is as weak as I am, and the guacamole is still extra. If happiness is based on our ever-changing environment, we end up in quite the sticky situation. We find ourselves hopping on an emotional rollercoaster and we struggle to rid ourselves of the nasty headaches and vomit that can accompany it. We strive to ensure that each aspect of our lives is perfectly perfect so that we may experience happiness. When we fail, which is inevitable because nobody’s perfect, *cue Hannah Montana* we are left wanting more and stuck wishing things were different.
Joy, on the other hand, is something that is eternal. While happiness is ever-changing, joy is continuous. Joy is not based on a quality day or an entertaining conversation. It is a condition of the heart. No matter who is by one’s side or what is going on around them, they are joyous. But how? How can someone be at the lowest point of their life and still be joyful? This joy can only come from something consistent and unfailing. Unswerving, inexplicable joy seems impossible, but maybe that’s because we are looking for joy and fulfillment in earthly things. Eternal joy can only be found in the eternal Redeemer. Redemption allows us to receive salvation and nothing can take that away. I’d say that’s something to rejoice in.
So yeah, I’m happy at BG. Sure, these experiences put a smile on my face and that’s perfectly fine, but I’m learning that my joy is not found in these momentary things… No matter how much I love Ben and Jerry.