"You look so much happier these days."
I've been hearing this a lot lately. I guess I didn't really notice but I am!
This year has been filled with so many changes, distancing myself from toxic people, taking better care of my health and body, and feeding my soul. I started making adjustments in my perspective, attitude and expectations as well. I can't pin point the moment it started changing and I definitely can't say what it was exactly because there wasn't an aha moment. But they were all necessary changes and everything had a purpose.
I'm not a naturally happy person, as surprising as that may be. I know I might come off as a happy individual. But that's not my default. It's easier to be sad, at least for me.
It's easier to feel sorry for yourself and to mope and do nothing. I've done plenty of that in my life. Years and years of it, so I'm guilty. But that's ok! It was definitely a season in my life, many seasons.
A lot of people say I would be happy... if I had a better job, if I had a significant other, if I made more money, if I had kids, etc...
For a long time I thought if I could retire my parents, if I had a husband, if I had kids and if I had a stable career with no financial struggles that I would be happy.
Someone asked me earlier this year, if I had all those things right now, in this exact moment, would I be happy? Initially I said "of course". But as I thought about it, I realized the truth is, no. All those "ifs" wouldn't make me happy. Sure, I might be more comfortable but it wouldn't bring me happiness. Why?
For myself, I've come to realize that a lot of those things are ideas of what I thought I needed to have a good life. I needed to be a good daughter, a great wife, an amazing mother because that is what I always defined as success.
But those are just circumstantial things and they would not have made me happy. Yes, I would have hit the check list. Felt accomplished. Financial burdens and stresses would have been lifted. But the unhappiness would have been momentarily masked and I would have found myself unhappy again. It would have been a temporary bandaid on a much deeper wound.
I'm currently unemployed as my film wrapped a couple weeks ago and I'm not shooting anymore shows. I'm on a constant hunt to find a new job and my days are filled with constant rejection. Having no job, no financial stability, no spouse, no kids I should probably be very unhappy - and for many many years I was. But I'm not seeking circumstantial happiness anymore. Because you can lose your job at any moment, you can lose your home, your loved ones, your health. Tragedies happen in life every second and I don't want to let circumstances define who I am.
I don't want to wake up one day having checked everything off the checklist with no memories of how I got there. I'm going to enjoy this time and be happy with who I am regardless of what I have. It's just one chapter of a very long book. Don't be so quick to turn the pages. Enjoy the journey, or at least try to and who knows, you might find happiness before you reach your destination.