23 Nov 2015
Admit it or not, we’ve all gotten sucked into the realm of the Internet known as “click-bait”. “21 things to do before you turn 21!” “Things to do before you settle down!” “Why being single in your 40s is bad!”

These articles that proclaim that a happy life is dependent on completing their agendas leave you feeling bare and incomplete. With one click after another, you eventually find yourself swimming in dissatisfaction; you take a look around and discover that you are 21 and you haven’t climbed a mountain at sunrise. Or, that you’re engaged with a wonderful person, but you haven’t had a one-night stand. Or, that you’re single in your 40s and despite the fact that you were loving it before, you find yourself in a sudden desperation to settle for someone who isn’t worth settling for. And, then you discover that it’s not just the Internet telling you how to be happy, but it’s everyone around you too.

These agendas and these lists that are compiled by people to tell you how to live your life in order to succeed and in order to be happy are forgetting one important thing: everyone is different!

First off, why are you listening to people who can’t seem to keep their opinion to themselves? And, for that matter, why are you listening to an Internet blogger who is giving a personal bucket list to you? Because maybe you are 24 and engaged and you haven’t backpacked across Europe, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you are any less happy. And, maybe you’re the one who is 24 and backpacking across Europe and yet you are being told to settle down with someone. No matter what, there will always be people who want to throw in their two cents, even if you aren’t asking for it.

It’s impossible to deny that people don’t have any influence in who we are or what we are feeling. Our parents, siblings, best friends, significant others and even strangers (in person and on the Internet), begin to make us doubt ourselves, doubt our life and doubt our happiness.

When I first started telling people that I was aspiring to work in the media industry, I got scoffed at. I was told that it would be impossible to find a job in the industry. I was told that I should have gone to school for something more “practical”, for something that would give me a successful and steady career in the future. For a while, I doubted myself. I found myself wondering if it was too late to change my career path. As soon as I started doubting myself, I became less happy and I started to forget why I was so excited about working in the media industry in the first place.

It took me a while to realize that life doesn’t follow a schedule. That these click-bait lists of things I needed to do may not come at the time that I expect them to and quite possibly that they might not happen at all. That travelling across the globe could happen when I’m retired. That falling in love happened sooner than expected and most importantly, being successful depends on what my idea of success is.

Happiness is subjective and each person’s happiness is their own. So, stop falling for the click-bait Internet posts that drive you crazy. Stop listening to that one co-worker who hasn’t learned when to keep her mouth shut. Stop worrying about a schedule and just live your life the way you want to.

Besides, if you’re going to listen to anyone, listen to the people who just want you to be happy, no matter what.
Natasha Soda

Natasha Soda

Quirky, hard-working and a lot of fun. She is the Social Media Manager for VIV and an aspiring television producer. Natasha enjoys writing poetry for her blog and is a professional violinist, performing across Southern Ontario at different venues in her violin and cello duo: ilaria duet.