A Happy Life.10.2.2017

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“Be so full, that even if they take and take and take and take, you can still be overflowing.”…as usual, some random quote on my Pinterest feed deeply affected me (I just typed the most millennial sentence of my young life). And while I write that with a pretty heavy hand of sarcasm, it’s not completely untrue.

This year, I had a quarter-life crisis (or told myself I did…probably, I’m just dramatic) and spent too much time throwing a party for me and my self-pity…I had balloons, streamers, the whole shebang. However, while sitting there surrounded by the darkness that I had allowed, I realized something. Something that should have been a lot clearer, a lot sooner. And that was that the only person responsible for how happy I am or how much I get out of life is me. And so I got up, turned on “Man in the Mirror” and started.

I started looking for the silver lining in situations. When someone acted like a total pain in the ass, I swallowed a big pill of pride and tried to see things from their point of view. When good moments happened, I worked on being really thankful for them…like “maybe nothing this great will ever happen again” thankful. I started living for the next great thing to show up instead of waiting for the other shoe to drop. I forced myself to just assume that maybe it wouldn’t…which was extremely difficult.

For years, my entire life actually, I have been doomsday prepping for the worst, putting defenses up around my emotions that would make Fort Knox jealous. Guarding my heart and sanity with an army of 300 Spartans…I mean people may get in, but they were going to have a hell of a time. What I didn’t realize, was how damaging all of that would end up being anyway. Protecting yourself from any lows, eliminates any highs. So I dug my heels in…am still digging my heels in daily…to change that about myself.

And by forcing myself, saying “you’re happy, you have every reason in the world to be embarrassingly over the moon,” everything did start feeling better. And when everything felt better, the bad things didn’t feel near as bad. I know there are still things that can and will rattle me, unforeseen poor circumstances that will hurt me… I’m not naive, I don’t believe just a positive mindset will result in living on clouds made of cotton candy…but waiting for those is a complete and total waste of the good moments that are here now.

If you act like there is a black cloud following you around, then it will always be raining. Do yourself a favor and let the sun come out.

The truth is, the world is going to do what it is going to do. It is going to knock you to your knees on a Wednesday morning, after a perfectly good Tuesday. It is going to break your heart just as soon as you think you have all of your defenses in place. It is going to take your breath away in the worst way some days.

But other days… if you let it, it will wake you up and make you feel alive. It will carry you places you hadn’t dreamed of for yourself. It will take your breath away in the best way…in a way that will make you hopeful, that maybe you’ll never catch your breath again.

The catch is that you can’t depend on the world or people or things to just give that to you. No one is entitled to a smooth ride. But making the best of it…deciding one day that you’re just going to be happy, may actually produce that result. And in the end isn’t that what matters? That’s the goal right? To look back and know you were really happy. Rich, poor, lost, found… whatever you were, you were happy.

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