What Do You Want Out of Life?
What do you want out of life?
When asked this question few fail to answer with a statement longer than one word: Happiness.
Obvious, and yet it's not. For all of the different paths taken to find one's own "Nirvana," we tend to get so caught up in the culture of ourselves that we rarely take the time to reflect on the other souls that we encounter. From the Barista that served your coffee to the guy who cut you off in traffic, every interaction - positive, mundane, even negative - the soul on the other end - not dissimilar from yourself - is on a personal path to happiness. The moments of negativity are apart of that journey.
Even the most profoundly unhappy people strive to be happy, whether they believe it possible or not. Most people come home from work at the end of the day and drink or smoke to unwind - this moment of unwinding not good or bad simply apart of that striving for happiness. Religious groups of all backgrounds have members that are profoundly happy. For some drugs don't work, for others religion doesn't work, but everyone has their escape to happiness. What judgments hold up about a person when you take a step back and remember that we are all as humans just trying to be happier.
Whether you're singing hymns under stained-glass windows, sitting in the alley drinking the night away, or somewhere in between, we're all equally striving for happiness.
The portraits in this post were shot after asking people on Pearl Street in Boulder, Colorado, what they wanted out of life. Outside of a few Boulder oddities, the answer was fairly universal: happiness. The two subjects that didn't were happy to give solutions as to what would make them happy such as "To get the fuck out of this town." as said by the man pictured below. Boulder, though a paradise for some, isn't for everyone. I hope he found his way to happiness. While most said happiness, reports such as "look around, I've already got it." weren't uncommon either; terms those in Boulder can appreciate, also terms most struggle to truly grasp. Even the squarest of types living in Boulder have had some type of Buddhism rub off on them, it is difficult not to as the town attracts such an endless summer, youth never dies type of vibe. I theorized Boulder would provide interesting answers, though without much struggle the clarity of the path was seen by most. Without expectations I'll continue to carry this project out in various locations and see how it continues to unfold.