Why Are We Happy And Sad?

We experience many things in our lives that changes how we see the world. These experiences can be good, can be bad and can be somewhere in between. It could be something that happened directly to you like getting to see your favorite movie star for the first time or something scary like a car crash. It could be something that happened to someone else in your life, maybe you lost someone close to you, or maybe you watched someone turn their life around for the better. At some point in life, we all have all have "that moment" it hits you like a wall. Depending on the situation, it could be like a wall of bricks. Point being, you know when it happens, you'll feel it. Everyone's is different, as mentioned earlier, some are happy some are sad. Mine, well mine's somewhere in between.

Ever since I was younger, I have always fantasized about the beach and the ocean. The beautiful, big palm trees lining the streets, standing outside of restaurants and homes. The breeze blowing ever so lightly, just enough to cool you off from the scorching hot sun. When I found out we were going to the beach my body tingled with joy. I had been a handful of times, but, I was too young to really remember the experience. Now I'm 16 and plenty old enough to remember, and it was astonishing. Watching the sunset on the beach, feeling the light breeze going through my hair, the waves brushing my feet as I sat in the sand. The blue ocean, the white sands, and the busy strip filled with people, shops, and laughs. It was all so apling.

My mom, dad, brother and I spent 6 days in South Carolina. Each day better than the last. On the second day, my mom and I woke up at 5:30 in the morning to go watch the sunrise on the beach. While we were anxiously waiting we decided to collect seashells, it was a thing she and I both enjoyed, it brought us closer together. As we were collecting shells, I spotted something shiny in the sand, so I did what any curious person would do and bent down to get a closer look. The sand was covering most of it, it was slightly buried so I had to dig a little. Once I got it out I realized it was a beautiful ring, it was silver and had flowers engraved on it, the bottom looked like the stems of flowers wrapping itself around. My grandma had a ring very similar to it before she passed. It was bulkier than a normal ring, so I knew it couldn't have been a wedding ring, I looked around to see if there was anyone frantically looking for it. But judging by the fact that it was buried fairly deep and close to the shoreline, the ring had been there for a while and was possibly washed up from somewhere deep in the ocean. After coming to this realization, I stuck it in the pocket of my pajama shorts that I was wearing and continued to collect more shells and waited for the sun to rise.

This was the first time I had watched a sunrise in years and the first time I had ever watched a sunrise on the beach. Nothing could compare to those moments I spent on the beach. The feeling of the soft white powdery sand under my feet felt so relaxing as I took in the view. I could sit there for hours with my feet in the water just watching the waves coming in and gliding back out. The tide was low and there was barely anyone on the beach yet so my mom and I got the best of the pickings of seashells. We found shells from just barely the size of my pinky nail to the size of the palm of my hand. They were in various colors, some were golden like a sunset, some were a soft blush pink, some were brown and some were different colors all in one. My personal favorite was one that started as a dark brown, almost black at the base, but faded into a yellowy pink, and into a pearly white at the top. The surface on the outside was bumpy like waves in the ocean, but the inside was silky smooth like rose petals. All the stress in my body seemed to have gone away. I felt like I could breathe again like there was not a bunch of weight on my chest anymore. The fog in my eyes had seemed to evaporate completely. My body was no longer tense with stress and worries about the little things that I made big in my head.

About two hours had gone by already, the sun had almost fully risen in the sky. The temperature was rapidly rising, the beach was getting more and more crowded, and the tide was gradually coming back in. It felt like I had just got there not even moments ago, but it was very clear that I had been there for a while. My feet ached from stepping on rough and broken shells, my skin felt sticky from the dew and the salt water in the air, my eyes drooped from being up so early. Still, my body was tingling with excitement and joy. My mom looked at me and nodded her head toward where we parked our car and I knew it was time to go. I tried not to act like I was sad, I did not want her to feel bad because I knew her body was in much more pain than mine was. But I have never been good at hiding my emotions and she turned to me and said: " don't worry sweetie, we still got 4 more days here and we can come back tonight if you want."

My mom and I had always been close, I came to her for everything. She was always there for me no matter what. She was my shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen, a person to vent to, she gave me advice whenever I needed it. However, a couple of days before the trip I had gotten in trouble and her and I did not get along so well. She furious at me for breaking the rules she had set in place and I did not see what the big deal was about it at first. I was only on my phone later than I should have been at night, I thought " what's the big deal why can't I stay up late on my phone during the summer, I don't have to be up early and every kid that I know stays up on their phone until 4 in the morning if not later than in the summer. So why should I be the odd kid out and be off my phone by 11." Needless to say, we didn't talk much those few days before the trip or the entire 12-hour drive down there. I was being way over dramatic. Looking back, I feel horrible about it, I made my mom feel so bad without meaning to or realizing it. All she wants is the best for me and keep me safe.

But this trip brought us together, not just me and her but the whole family. My dad had not been to the beach since he was 13 and this was his mom's favorite vacation spot, sadly she passed away of cancer 2 years ago. This was devastating his dad was never a caring guy and left my dad and his sister when they were little. She was all he had left of his family beside us. I could see the tears welling up in his eye when he would look out into the ocean. We all knew what was on his mind, but then when saw something so beautiful happen just a few yards away. A couple got married on the beach, they had a priest, a photographer and themselves, that was it. It was all they needed, they looked like the happiest people in the world, enjoying every second they had together. When the wedding started they had no audience, but by the time they finished everyone on that section of the beach came to witness their joy. Seeing this only made me want to move down there even more. It was a dream of mine to get married on or near a beach. Something about the wind and crisp smell in the air, it all felt so comforting like I belonged there. It was the furthest I had been from my house that I could remember, but it felt like home.

While I was sitting there taking everything in I knew that I wanted to move down here to go to college. I had finally found my getaway, my happy place, my euphoria. I was the happiest I had been in a long while, and the best part of it all is that my family was happy too and that it has been almost a month since we have left the ocean and I am still happier than I was before. My life had somehow managed to totally flip itself around for the better. Before I was always sad, there was nothing really wrong in my life I had a family that loved me, a roof over my head and food in my belly. I was not rich, but I also was not poor, I had friends that genuinely cared about me. Yet I would still sit in my room hiding away from everyone or I would go outside and play softball, ignoring reality. I had a lot and I still do, nothing has changed except my outlook on life. It is hard to explain without sounding like a sad sob or a drama queen and really I do not know how to explain it. I guess getting to experience something that you love can really change a person.


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