If you follow me on Pinterest you’ll see a multitude of corny quotes on happiness and positivity (and probably a lot of Star Wars jokes and chocolate red wine cupcake recipes, too). I am one of those people that loves, that NEEDS to have these good, happy, the glass is half full kind of words in front of my face. It’s not that I am a negative or unhappy person. I keep them at the ready because I get easily pulled to the dark side (I’ve heard there were cookies there). I am one of those people that soaks up my surroundings and if those surroundings have a bad vibe after a while my mood and behavior tend to reflect it. This is why I try to keep puppies, sunshine, and rainbows on deck to save the day, or at least my mood.
One of my absolute favorite quotes about happiness, from one of my absolute favorite books by Elizabeth Gilbert:
“People tend to think that happiness is a stroke of luck, something that will descend like fine weather if you’re fortunate. But happiness is the result of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly.”
This has been more than a quote to me. It has become my mantra. I believe to my very core that happiness comes from within and if you do not work hard for it, it will elude you. If you can marinate in a pot of nastiness and negativity all day and happiness comes effortlessly scampering up to your door then color me completely green, because you my friend are one lucky duck. I have to work at it. I’ve had to fight, reach, insist, and bust my ass for it. I do my best to participate daily. I have to keep words and pictures on a board in front of me every morning as a visual reminder. I have my corny inspo-malarky board on Pinterest that I can rely on throughout the day and yet even after a day of really, REALLY trying I still don’t always succeed. In fact there are days that I fail miserably and on those nights I pour myself a glass of wine the second I walk in the door. On those nights I give up a little and just resolve to go to sleep, to wake up to try another day.
I have long since surrendered to the notion that outside forces can impact my happiness in a negative way. For instance, there are Monday’s, horrible sucky people, and just plain bad things that happen. And this sh…I mean, stuff happens daily! It can’t be controlled. All we can do is our best to counteract whatever damage that these people or things have inflicted. That’s just a fact of life and we deal with it.
The thing that I find weird about this, and maybe it’s just me, is the fact that I am OK with negative influences putting a damper on my happiness, but the second something GOOD happens that gets me all sing-songey happy I begin to judge myself. My brain tells the rest of me that I shouldn’t allow myself to be happy over something that happened or someone that’s making me smile. These cute, fluffy, pink thoughts that come bouncing happily into my pre-frontal cortex are very promptly attacked by a bigger, badder version of Judge Judy and she shoo’s them out as quickly as they came in. I’m pretty damn hard on myself sometimes.
Stuff has happened in the last year that has kept me pedaling a lot harder and faster after that inner peace than in previous years. In losing my I job I lost much more than just employment: confidence, financial security, job satisfaction, life as I knew it, and happiness. Everything changed and I had to fight and work a lot harder to maintain a smile. Some days, I will admit the smile was pasted on and incredibly fake.
But now stuff is happening. GOOD STUFF!
On Monday I will be back in a place I consider “home”, back to a world I know and am comfortable in and a job I am incredibly excited about doing. I have found myself…..feeling happy. My brain is even…..somehow….allowing the cute, fluffy, little dust bunnies of happiness in and badass Judgey-Judy hasn’t been a killjoy. It’s a weird feeling. This last year has taught me a few good things.
-It has taught me perspective. I thought I had already had that, but apparently there is always yet another way to look at things.
-I have learned more about the need for kindness, always.
-AND one of the most important things I think I have learned is to appreciate the good things when they come and let them make you happy. Happiness is fleeting and fickle. When it shows up sit back, let it in, relax for a freaking second, and let it make you happy.
I am excited for these changes not only for my career to be getting back on track, but because of what I have learned these last few months. Loving what you do every day is such an important part of our happiness. Every experience, good and bad, has taught me lessons that at this point of my life I should already know, but I’m still learning and I’m good with that.
It’s ironic that this one experience that took so much from me has given me this new found appreciation for happiness that I wasn’t sure was possible and that I find myself finally allowing myself to let the light in.
I hope you are able to let it in too ❤