Wednesday, August 12, 2009
I'm not happy all of the time. I have a down day now and again. Usually, when I have a down day, it's not caused by any one issue. Or any one person. In fact, I often have a hard time putting a finger on it. I know that it won't last long. I know that it's not within my emotional control (ladies, you understand). And I know that it's not who I am.
Because fundamentally, to my core, I am happy.
In my Savvy Auntie Editor's Letter this week, entitled: My Own Happiness (August 9, 2009) , I write about how once I reached 40 and didn't have the things expected of a happy woman (marriage and children) that I would be unhappy.
But a funny thing happened on the way to turning 40. I became happy.
Here's why. Two years ago, I set out to live life to my potential. Two years ago, I decided to stop resisting my life because of what was not happening TO me. Just a month before I decided to start my own company, I told a friend offering me a part of his business to run, that I had to focus on getting married and having kids, not starting a business.
Just ONE MONTH before I decided to start Savvy Auntie I said NO to a creative opportunity handed to me. Handed to me!
What changed in one month? What changed was that I became determined to no longer struggle for a life that was not happening TO me, and began embracing the life I could create.
In essence, I got a life. My life.
My lesson for you, Dear Reader:
Do what you love, and you will always have success. Do what other people would love you to do, and you will always have regrets.
And here's the bonus! I had no IDEA that creating a life of potential would give me happiness. I imagined working as hard as I have for the last two years and not dating as much as I'd prefer. I imagined not being able to afford the clothes and shoes I used to buy. I imagined not eating out anywhere near as much, and not taking vacations.
What I imagined was right.
I work very hard. And yet, even with the most challenging of tasks, I know that each step I take is going up the ladder of my potential.
I don't date much. In a good way. I've become more selective; I don't date where I don't see potential or at least some fun. It's empowering to choose whom you date and not let the dates choose you.
I can't afford to buy the clothes and shoes that I love (my revenue goes back into my business/dream/potential). And by NOT buying these materialistic things, I am MORE fulfilled. I don't need them to feel confident anymore.
I don't eat out nearly as much as I used to. And when I do, it's often to eat alone. I treat myself to breakfast, lunch or dinner and a good book so that I can regroup, refocus and show myself some gratitude.
I don't take vacations to Europe or the country. Instead, I take day trips to clear my head, or get inspired. I don't miss packing and flying and sleeping in hotel rooms.
The one thing I did imagine that did not come true was happiness. I did believe I'd be happy. But I didn't know that happiness would no longer be a state of mind. It would be part of my spirit. Happiness would be so indelibly tied to my heart and soul that I would not and could not imagine my life any other way.
It's my happiness. It's the only happiness I have ever known.
It's the only happiness that has even known me.
We're still getting to know each other, my happiness and I - like an identical twin separated at birth. She knows me better than I know myself.
I'm beginning to trust she's never going away.
And dare I say it, she's beautiful.