Lately, I’ve been in a rut. Trying to balance out future career decisions with frustrations and turnover during our slow season at work. I’m fresh off of back surgery and the slight loss of feeling in my right glute is making the muscle soreness last longer than it should. I find myself utterly bored with the things that are going on from a day-to-day basis and I hate it.
To pick myself up, I try to think about the good things. How thankful I am for staying with my grandma during the week. It takes 40 miles off of my daily commute and provides me with some delicious meals (much appreciated, Grandma!). How much money I’m saving working 60 hours each week without the burden of paying for rent. How great it is to have no college debt. How nice it is to have a partner to talk to about everything. How cool it is that I booked a vacation to Hawaii with that same lady. Then I remember, as if I just had an epiphany, that life is good.
I struggle with being happy even though I put off the impression that I always am. Subconsciously, I think the reason I’m blogging now-a-days is the same reason why I road tripped around the US last summer: to be more comfortable with myself. Journaling is a proven way to overcome stress, so perhaps this will help alleviate some of that. In the past, what has helped me escape from these bouts with negative thinking was new experiences. I find when I’m happiest, I’m taking a risk. I’m doing something out of the ordinary. I remember how much thrill came out of these affairs. Big sporting events and running from porches as one of those dreaded ding-dong-ditchers when I was younger brought me this happiness. Sneaking into a hotel pool with my buddy Kevin when we didn’t have access to a shower the night before a wedding on our road trip was awesome. Hiking Angel’s Landing at Zion National Park helped me push past my fear of heights. It’s moments like this where I feel joy. When I look back at some of the best memories in my life, I think about the times I spent taking risks. While the joys don’t stem from the ding-dong-ditching like they used to, I still find ways to experience those same feelings.
Think about the things that have brought you the most joy in your life. Perhaps it’s a wedding, a vacation with family, or a summer night. Maybe it’s spending time with a specific someone or doing one specific thing. After we experience nights that bring us great joy we have the ability to create more. I recently stayed up all night talking to a friend about my dreams, my goals, and my passion. The conversation was rejuvenating and helped me make an important decision about my future and feel good about it.
Being happy is part of being healthy. Live more, laugh often, and if something’s bringing you down, do your best to shake it. You do not have enough days on this earth to spend more than a few in sadness. Life is everything. It’s beautiful. It’s sad. It’s frightening. It’s exhilarating. The way you choose to define your life will always be dependent on one person and one person only: you.