As time flies by, we begin to realize that our future that was once so far ahead of us is just around the corner. It all seems so unreal to think that before we know it, we will all be on our own. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always had the plan to live life to the fullest—and it’s always been a fear of mine for some reason to not fulfill that plan.
In my eyes, a perfect life consists of a career I can truly embrace and that I can be excited to come to every day that will potentially impact others’ lives in the most positive of ways. I hope to be successful, giving me the opportunity to go out and experience new places, new people, and new adventures that I wouldn’t be able to experience casually otherwise. I hope to be surrounded by people who make me laugh and who bring out the best in me, but most of all, I hope to be able to look back on everything once I grow older and be content with everything I’ve done, being happy that I experienced everything that I did and not regretting the opportunities and learning experiences I may have missed out on. Everyone is different and everyone has a different definition of a “perfect life” so I was curious to see what different types of people believe their ideal life would be.
Thus, I talked to three people who are different in many ways. One strives for great grades but also loves going out and having fun; one strives for success in his sports and loves having a great time as well; and the last just goes with the flow of things, living immersed in the now. These three aforementioned people are Liam Pooler, Jake Wolff, and Isabella Fontanini.
Although we may know these people in different capacities, I decided to go a bit deeper to find out what they define as a fulfilled life for themselves. As I read these people’s responses, they all correlated in unique ways–such as that they all want to strive to live life to the fullest while being able to support themselves so they can fulfill their interests and hobbies.
First, Liam stated that he wishes to continue life as an athlete while supporting his family, but also wishes to make an impact on others. When I asked Liam what his definition of a perfect life he replied with, “Perfect is a very subjective word. Honestly the word perfect is not a real thing. Nothing is perfect. So I would like to change the word perfect to ideal. My ideal life may be similar to some but a lot of people focus on having so much money that they have no worries.”
I completely agree with Liam on where he’s coming from here, and he’s right—there is no one definition of the word “perfect.” I do believe that each person has their own definition of perfect. When it comes to a perfect person, a perfect house, a perfect job, or a perfect lifestyle, everybody has their own idea of this imaginary perception of “perfect.” Liam thrives in his athletics and feels his best on the field competing. He wishes to pursue some type of lifestyle revolved around athletics while being able to support his family and wishes to give his family the opportunities he had as a kid. “I would ideally have a stable job as a sports reporter, a writer, or a T.V./Radio personality. Money isn’t my main goal in life; I want to be able to support my family as best as I can and give my children opportunities that I was blessed with growing up in Lake Forest.” One of the biggest things that I believe fulfills many people–no matter how different they may be–is making an impact on others. Liam voiced what he thought of this as well and stated, “I will be able to make an impact on the world and my community–even just one person.”
Jake Wolff, another senior, strives to live his life one day at a time while living in the present. Living in the present could mean things such as not stressing over the past or the future, staying off our cell phone, and not focusing on what may be going on somewhere else. Living with the people you’re surrounded with and embracing each person and each situation with open arms is something that is very important to him. It’s one of the most stressful things to be unable to move on from the past. I know it’s much easier said than done, but events from the past cannot be changed, so the best way to look at unfortunate events, mistakes, and whatever else is to simply see it as a way to grow and something to learn from. It is my belief that most people become who they are and become stronger individuals from unfortunate events and mistakes they endured throughout their lives.
If I was to look back on my own past, I wouldn’t want to change anything, even the things that I may have considered bad at the time. Each event leading up to the present has made me who I am today. It’s also important to not stress over the future because this can lead to discouragement and may even result in not ending up where we wish to be. If we immerse ourselves in the now and do things we love with people we love, we will be more content individuals which will set us up to be happier as life goes on. Jake takes pride in always trying to find the fun in every situation. Jake stated, “I just try to have fun and laugh with people. Some people take things too seriously, so I just try to have fun no matter what I’m doing. Obviously, there are times where you have to be focused and serious, but most things should be fun in life I think.”
Senior Isabella Fontinini dreams of a house on the west coast where she can fulfill her hobbies and interests and succeed as an individual. She wishes to work with environmental and biological sciences—which reflect her “granola” side perfectly. She’s attending Montana State University, the perfect place to pursue her hobbies such as skiing, rock climbing, and playing guitar. Her school is also a great place for the field she’s going into. When I asked Isabella about what she wishes to do after college, she stated, “When I’m out of college I want to live in Flagstaff, Arizona or somewhere in Colorado. I want to surround myself with people who are just as outdoorsy as me and they will keep me happy by supporting me. We will be able to enjoy our similar interests and hobbies together.” I think what Isabella said here is a perfect representation of such a large aspect of happiness—relationships.
Discussing this brought me back to a movie I watched when I was in Mr. Dewar’s English 1 CP class. We watched a movie called Into The Wild which centered around a young man named Christopher McCandless who left his home town and ran away to get away from society. Throughout the journey, he grew lonely and when he wanted to come back, he realized there was no way back. He did not survive in the wild due to eating a poisonous plant, but he left behind a quote to share with the world once people found him and it said, “happiness only real when shared.” This movie is based on a true story and I really recommend it to those who have not seen it. Considering what Isabella shared, it is so important to grow and bond with people to experience life, laugh, and to make memories to cherish.
Although these three people may be different, I believe it is easy to come to a conclusion that no matter how different some people may be, we all strive for similar things to fulfill our wants and needs in life. We all wish for low-stress, happiness within our relationships and experiences, and to support the people we love, while having the ability to pursue our hobbies and interests at the same time.