An Ode To When We Were Last ‘Truly Happy’

You may have seen that meme going around that features a bunch of 2014 Tumblr posts and aesthetics and goes something like, “POV it is 2014 and you were truly happy but you did not know it.” I love relatable memes but that hit way close to home. 

I lived for the Lele Pons vines, showcasing her fun, free-spirited summer-y life while I was still in middle school. Watching the “cool,” adults or teens show off their Coachella looks and nights out was fun to watch as I, too, was discovering a new world of freedoms, style, and abilities as a middle schooler and early teen. 

Having the first tastes of freedom and expression coincide with liberating and personalized apps like Tumblr, Vine, and WeHeartIt allowed for this creativity and individualism to soar high with the (let us be honest) super aesthetic world of teen angst. Yes, we were all going through it, but the blurred and filtered images romanticized the angst and promised the soon-to-be rebellious adventures we could have with our teen friends- you know the images I am talking about! I think that the new aesthetic, style, and world of apps to create and compile your interests was new in general, but having this newness be a part of your own personal newness was refreshing. Those were the days where we were noticing our crushes and they were us, the days of hastily putting on a “revealing” and tight Aeropostale outfit and mediocre makeup, and starting to have tastes of the rebellious adventures that Tumblr so promised us. Not was I only exploring outfits and style, but I was personalizing my own phone and even listening to cool, grown-up music. I would have “Sweater Weather” on repeat, Lana Del Rey memorized, and wonder what all the innuendos Kesha and Pitbull in “Timber” meant. 

Anyways, the meme I saw brought me back to this new and exciting world. Some things feel the most amazing at the beginning even if you have been in that world for so long. Growing into a teen obviously meant exponentially gaining more personalization, individualism, and even freedom, so this era did not stand out to me as a unique time of such things. Even as I was able to develop all the things my eyes had opened to in 2014, those times truly seem the best. 

However, after some reflection, those were also awful years in my life. In 8th grade, I had few friends as compared to 7th grade and would go to school each day, extremely anxious about who would receive me in my classes and at lunch. Yet, the newness of the time still tells my mind that those were truly the golden years. This is because those awful times did pass, and now I have the privilege to indulge in all those amazing things. 

This is not an article to tell you that every day will one day turn into the golden years, which might be true. But it is okay to think of one time as being the best because it is okay to not be grateful for every time of your life and force yourself to appreciate every era. We might have a lot to be grateful for this past year, but we are allowed to absolutely hate it and not find any beauty in it. I have not liked the past few years’ style or trends, and I did not find much joy in following these trends or hopping on social media as I did about five years ago. And that is okay. Just as you are allowed to like one kind of artwork better than another, you are allowed to appreciate the past more than forcing yourself to be content with the present. And you are more than okay yearning for what the future holds rather than forcing yourself to fall in love with the past, as the meme I referenced above might make you feel like doing. 

The moral of this article is that it is okay to be obsessed with the “superficial,” it is allowed to be mad or indifferent at your current situation and life, and that everything truly will pass eventually. Do not be ashamed to admit or feel like you have more potential to live or enjoy your life than your current situation, and feel free to enjoy your current life by pulling from and embracing the good ol’ days. How you enjoy your life is up to you, collegiettes!