The definition of happiness varies from person to person and is shown in the same varied manner. I know when I was a child it was easier to achieve: Muddy hands. A drawing posted on our fridge. Climbing a tree...simpler times when rent, car payments, deadlines, social and professional pressures, and overall expectations I've created and put upon myself over the years didn't exist. Growing up it seemed as if finding what really makes me happy became a distant goal that seemed more of a luxury that kept having to wait. Looking back, that makes me sad, but not for me, I'm sad for the girl I was, and happy for the woman I am now.
Like many of y'all I was living my Plan B, my second choice. I wasn't miserable, but I wasn't necessarily happy. Survival mode will get you far enough, but not far at all. I had a good job and a good house, my life was decent. I made the best of what was in front of me, and it was the optimism that ultimately was the thing keeping me down. I had settled into my cozy familiarity, and at the time it seemed like my only reality. That's no longer my life today, and I'm very pleased to say that.
Changes brought themselves to me as if the world knew I wouldn't have made them on my own. A forceful shove in a direction I was too unsure of to even dip my toe into. It wasn't that I didn't think I could do what I set my mind to, the opposite actually. I knew I could do it. It was the steps to make that happen and the people I'd have to convince that made me question the worthiness of my ambition.
I'm not entirely sure why things happen in life; the timing and the people that present themselves in it, but I do think things happen for a reason. I try not travel too far down that rabbit hole, I just try to enjoy the journey. In the past few months, few weeks and few days I've smiled more than I had in years. My job and my life are headed in exciting new directions. I'm not sure where they will lead, but the unknown doesn't frighten me much anymore. That feeling I get in my stomach before I venture into something new is a sign that something amazing is about to take place, and I welcome them with an open heart and mind.
I have no real words of wisdom. No advice or life-altering resources I can link you to if that's what you're hoping for. I can just assure you that it doesn't have to go on forever. Change is embraceable and mediocrity is a slow death unto itself. Get out while you can, and I'll see you on the other side.
The Old Mill District is hosting an International Day of Happiness celebration on March 19 from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Do anything that helps. visit happyacts.org for more details.
Photo by Robert Hamilton.
Photo by Robert Hamilton