Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Thoughts on Happiness


This is going to be a bit of a different post, since this is mostly a beauty and lifestyle in general blog, but I love writing about what comes to mind and about things I believe are worth sharing, which is why today I am going to share with you some experiences in my life that have taught me a little about happiness. I am by no means an expert on the subject, I am simply sharing what I learned recently. Don't worry, I won't be writing these kind of posts frequently, I know they can get pretty boring pretty quickly.

So, anyway, I was browsing Pinterest for a few (coughs *four*) hours, you know, as you do, and stumbled upon this pin.

The first thing that captured my eye was how beautiful the image itself is: the pink, the flowers, the gold typography, the jewelry... I love it all. I love how just a few, simple details work together to create a bright, beautiful space. This image definitely goes on the list of my future home office inspiration.

However, I decided to pin it when I read the words. Be Happy. Be Bright. Be You. Such small words conveying such a powerful message! For me, the last two are the path to achieve the first. Only when you are truly being yourself, and you are determined to keep shining no matter what life has in store for you, can you be truly happy. By no means is this an easy task to achieve. I should know.

No matter how many times I try to convince myself otherwise, I was a pretty negative person. I had an unconscious habit of complaining about little things all the time. If my coffee got cold, I complained. If I had to pay a little more than I expected for my car service, I complained. If another car was being a complete asshat on the road, I complained. And I wasn't being happy. I mean, I had happy moments of course, and I wasn't miserable or anything, but I most definitely didn't feel content and happy with my life as it was.

Then last year came the trip to New Zealand, which forced me to change every single preconceived idea about myself and life in general. I thought I would move, get a job straight away and live happily ever after with my son and fiance, and go on with our lives there. As it turns out, the "job straight away" didn't happen, which decreased my self-esteem and sense of self-worth. It also meant we were close to being completely broke when a job opportunity turned up back in Colombia. In a very small, very hot, very unknown-to-me city. And I had to let go of the very rigid plan I had made for us, and start all over again. In a less than ideal place. This change shook me to the core: the circumstances were forcing me to move to a city where I definitely didn't want to live, and it made me really really unhappy.

In retrospect, I can definitely say that this has been my "it was the best of times, it was the worst of times" moment. I was so miserable the first few months after moving back, and I don't think I had ever been so negative. And then I hit rock bottom and realized something HAD to change, and fast. I realized that my whole life, my happiness had been dependent on external things: the city where I lived, the friends I had, the amount of clothes I owned, my grades at university, you name it. My happiness had never come from within me, and it became crystal clear why I had never truly felt happy: the things I couldn't control were the ones responsible for my happiness.

Now, I can fully appreciate this little pin with its few, little words. Being happy is about learning to shine and remain bright when circumstances change, or when you are in a less than ideal position. It is the knowledge, deep within you, that your life is working out exactly as it has to, and that there is a reason for everything (no matter how cliché that sounds). And it is also about learning who you are, and staying true to that. If you pretend to be someone you are not, or if you are being the person other people want you to be, there is no way you can achieve happiness. For me, the answer was blogging, because it forced me to write about things I was feeling, things that inspire me, things I like, and this is teaching me who I really am.

I encourage you to start this journey of learning who you really are, and then finding a way that works for you to stay true to that. It is not easy. But it is so totally worth it, because when you are truly being yourself, your light will be shining brighter than ever, and I can assure you that you will be able to feel happy. I was incredibly surprised when I changed my mindset, as little things weren't affecting me nearly as much as they were before, and much to my pleasure, I am happier now than ever before. Yes, even living in this tiny little hot town in Colombia.

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