Discovering Happiness: Making Space For Colossal Success?
This, as far as I can tell, has been the best summer of my adult life.
It has not been the best summer of my adult life because it has been the easiest, the most fun, or the most successful summer. My life is neither problem nor stress free. In fact, I am still struggling in many ways as I always have.
It has been the best summer because I have been happy. This is a new experience for me, being happy, and I highly recommend it.
I understand now that happiness is a set of skills more than it is a set of circumstances. I am truly grateful for that realization, because without it, I would still be miserable. And terribly stuck.
I also understand that having discovered happiness does not mean that I will never again experience pain, sadness or loss. Life just doesn’t work that way. The good news is that I can use this set of happiness skills to find my way back from those times. Chances are that I will need the practice. I’m still new at this.
I originally started this blog for the sole purpose of marketing the business that I was planning to start. I knew that it was necessary. I did not know that I could write, that I would love to write, or what I would write about. I did not know that anyone would enjoy reading what I write. I have now officially become a firm believer in trying new things.
I think that writing might be one of many keys to my happiness.
My goal in my writing is to “be useful”. This is blogging advice from the first blog I ever read, Penelope Trunk’s Brazen Careerist. I think it is probably the only advice that I really needed because it stuck with me and I often forget things.
“Being Useful” has made me look for different perspectives on the things that I think about. That more than anything has helped me in my quest for happiness.
I’m not talking about putting on rose-coloured glasses and denying anything. I’m talking about recognizing that some days, beauty won’t show up in my living room, so I have to go out and look for it. Even if it is raining. I’m talking about practising gratitude, even on the days when life is extra difficult. I’m talking about taking positive action towards the biggest problems that we all face, no matter how small those actions might be.
I am also talking about faith.
It would be so easy to take a look at the surface of my life and see reason to despair. I have made that a habit since I was a child.
I’m still living at a standard of living that makes it difficult to fulfil all of my needs. I’m still going back for yet another season to a career that is not serving me. I have not started a business. I still struggle with focus and discipline. I’m still single.
But here is what has changed.
I have fallen in love with writing and what it does for me while, I hope, benefiting others. I can’t help thinking that I should explore this further to see where it leads since the very small amount that I have done on this blog has been so rewarding. This idea feels right, in a way I don’t often feel.
I am not talking about becoming a writer, but writing has taught me things that I desperately needed to learn and so it makes perfect sense to explore what else it might have to offer and see where that might lead. New frontiers and all of that.
I have spent a fair amount of time exploring the things that I can have in my life that will enhance it, while not taking too much if anything from the Earth, and of course, at minimal cost to me. Activities that do not increase my consumption of resources or carbon emissions. (This would be an example of taking positive action towards the biggest problems.)
I will be taking singing lessons again this year. The bus that gets me there each week will take that trip with or without me, as will the bus that gets me to rehearsal for the choir that I think I just committed to joining. Fun and rewarding 0 emissions activities.
Just planning to get back to my music has already inspired me to play my guitar which had been gathering dust for the past year.
I am coming to understand that while I do need more income for my long-term survival, the matter is not life-threatening if I don’t think of it that way. So, I’ve decided to gift myself with the time to explore. It is clear that I am attracting more abundance in my life. I only need to be comfortable while I find out what else I need to know. I am comfortable now.
I have recognized that while my work situation is far from secure or ideal, I can choose to accept it for now and I can also choose to focus on the many benefits that it offers me. I vow to make a greater effort to appreciate the fabulous people who I get to work with daily, and all of the other people I get to meet with each production. While, I am a lot less excited about building costumes than I was years ago, I can still make a greater effort enjoy the process, as well as my own expertise. I can still choose to grow. I don’t need to waste energy on what I’m not getting.
I am very, very, content with being single which doesn’t mean that I can’t dream of the day that will change. I know that this place of contentment is a place of safety. The days of bad relationship decisions made out of fear are behind me. I no longer fear being alone the way that I once did.
I have wonderful friends, and low self-esteem no longer keeps me from enjoying their company, nor the company of those I might meet in the future.
My bag business is right where I left it, ready to pick up and carry on at any moment should I choose. It will stay there while I discover what other possible options that I haven’t dreamed of yet.
While I have been planning this for some time without writing about it here, it was Penelope Trunk who inspired me to write today.
She wrote in her most recent post about a fourteen year old blogger named Tavi Gevinson , who writes a blog called Style Rookie that I have never heard of before. I am not inspired simply because Tavi at 14 has become a seriously successful blogger. Stories of success are always inspiring. But, what inspired me was the last paragraph of Penelope’s post.
“We should all throw caution to the wind like we’re Tavi. She jumped in, tried something, gave herself permission to fail colossally, which also made space to succeed colossally.”
I suspect we should all be trying to do more of that!