I assigned each year with a score of 1-10 based on how happy I think I was at that age.
A score of 1 would indicate that I was actively looking for a bridge to throw myself off of
A score of 10 would indicate that I was feeling like I was peaking on Molly and wanted to call everyone in my phone and tell them I love them.
Of course this is not entirely scientific, I may remember things being better or worse than they were at the time, but I wanted to plot this on a graph and make some observations about life, both mine and growing up in a more general sense.
The first observation is the three obvious dips.
They start at 12, 22 and 30.
This coincides with the beginning of middle school, the end of college and the end of the 20's.
Middle school was probably the worst time in my life. I believe I hit a low point of 3 at the age of 13. I'm pretty sure I was not alone in this, in fact just last year there was a movie released called 'Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life.' Middle school blows. Kids are mean, social politics are bullshit and everyone is starting to go through puberty. I can't even remember much, it's like I repressed all the awkwardness.
The next drop is the end of college which even if you didn't have a wonderful collegiate experience that I did, it's easy to see how living with zero responsibility to getting a job and paying bills would shock the system to nearly anyone.
The final drop is at 30 which likely coincides with professional frustration and angst about aging.
The next observation is the three obvious rebounds. YOUR BOY IS A SECOND HALF TEAM.
After the middle school debacle, my happiness slowly climbed through high school until reaching a lifetime high in college. FIVE YEARS OF TENS IN A ROW. Some people don't get five tens their whole lives.
The next rebound begins at 24 when I moved to Los Angeles. This shows that I was willing to make a change, if something isn't working, fix it. I had a decent run in LA before faltering again at 30, which leads to the last rebound.
At 30 I spent a year feeling sorry for myself and thinking about all the mistakes that I had made and if I had done one thing different everything would be OK. At 31, I think I just said 'fuck it' and learned to live with myself for better or worse.
I maintained a very happy childhood except for that first year where I almost died at birth, but after that 0-6 was pretty rad. I credit my mom for lots of trips to the park and Disney World.
2001 was my lowest happiness rating, it's also when 9/11 happened so I think we could argue that my happiness is unequivocally tied to the happiness of the USA.
Conversely my 2005-2010 happiness was maxed out coinciding with the first four seasons of Gossip Girl. Season 5 everything in the show and my life seemed to deteriorate, so I can blame Chuck Bass for all of my shortcomings.
It seems I have always been happier when nothing matters. As a kid? Happy as a clam? As a college student? On top of the world! Navigating pubescent relationships and the crushing realities of the real world? Not the greatest. But I've proven resilient, I've never bottomed out and I always manage to rebound to at least a 6 or 7. Life is never going to be as simple as it once was, but that doesn't mean I can't hope for the best.