Happiness is acceptance of where you are at…

national parkHello!

This might sound obvious to most, but I had a mini revelation or aha moment last week. And so naturally, I had to share.

I have never been one to dwell on finding “happiness” I realise it is somewhat of an attitude, a choice and a continuous work in progress. And even when I feel swamped by my choices and place in life, I can still feel generally “happy”. I realise I am fortunate. I have two awesome and healthy kids and really that is far more than most!

I have always struggled with “what I want to do when I grow up”! It plagued me a fair bit during University years and afterwards. I realised I really craved a creative outlet and I was denying it to myself. The origin of the struggle really came from High School when I hectically pursued a career as a dancer. I quit normal school and started dancing full time. It felt amazing, until I was plagued with chronic injuries and went for a check up. I was told not only could I not dance, but I’d have to go back to school the following year and miss a few months having my spine fused. It remains to be one of the most shattering/life changing moments of my life. My whole world was blown. And I felt if I couldn’t dance I didn’t want anything to do with anything creative, because I couldn’t handle the emotions that went with it.

There is obviously lots more to that story, which I will share with you all another day. But it is hard to explain how I got to any point without touching on it. So fast forward years later and I realised it was ridiculous to avoid being creative when I loved being creative. Suppressing that wasn’t working. I found ways in the short term to help fulfil my creative desires and keep working in my career so that I could feel more balanced and happy. I still had a yearning for something more or different from my line of work, but regardless I was happy.

Fast forward again and I am not really even in a position where I can make many solid decisions about “what I want to do when I grow up” and I have totally come to accept I may never. And that is ok. As long as I continue to pursue avenues that feel right and the time and help meet my basic survival needs, it doesn’t have to be the perfect j0b. No job is perfect right!?! And life is ever evolving. However, there are still many things I would really like to change and aspects of life I wish looked drastically different.

Last week I sort of went for a dreamy skip down memory lane last and rethought some of my choices. Let my mind go down the “What if” path… I saw a girl from school and felt like I didn’t want to give her an honest picture of where I am at, I wanted to edit things. Not to sound more accomplished, I didn’t care about that, but I wanted to sound “happier”. I felt uncomfortable admitting the truth and came away from it feeling more disatisfied from life.

And then I felt really guilty. And it struck me. Happiness is about accepting where you are at and choosing to be happy. Even if there are aspects of life that are a struggle or not perfect or are not satisfying, you can still be happy. Yes use those struggles and niggles to propel yourself forward and look for more from life and from within yourself. But also be proud of your today. We all make less than stellar decisions at times, but who knows what alternatives would actually look or feel like anyway. It is fantastic to dream, but we need (I need) to enjoy reality too.

My kids really are a great reminder to come back down to earth and enjoy the moment. When I get frazzled with my current situation or position or choices I have made I realise that whilst yes those things can be thought about, worked on and even changed I have to enjoy the now. They will only be this age, stage and in this phase once and that time is now. I need to soak up the now, regardless of my plans and dreams for later. It is ok to feel uncomfortable with certain things about my current life, but still let it go and be happy in the moment.

Whether or not this trickles through and I can remember to focus on it all is another story. But mental health really does seem to be a continuous work in progress, so no pressure I guess, happiness can come one thought at a time.

Jess xoxox

5 Responses to Happiness is acceptance of where you are at…

  1. Exactly right, Jess. Many people ponder the “what if…”, not realizing that the grass always looks greener on the other side.

    The choices we made were right for us at the time and define who we are are today. And the moment we don’t have anything worth struggling for anymore, where are we?

  2. I have a friend who has been a professional dancer for most of her life! She has had a very lonely life with her self focused existence.

    I also had a friend who was to play Wimbledon for South Africa when she had spinal meningitis, and it ended her professional tennis career. Talking one day she said getting sick was the best thing that ever happened to her! Because that let her find a complete life, not just tennis 24/7!

    I suspect you will still find many creative experiences, Jess, after-all, your mission on this planet has a long way to go 🙂

  3. I had an identity crisis when I was in my mid-twenties. I was basically doing what I thought I should do with my life, what I thought I was expected to do with my life, and I realized it wasn’t what I wanted. Not only was I unhappy, I felt guilty for being unhappy because I thought I shouldn’t want more, shouldn’t complain. I didn’t know how to get out of the situation I was in and I wound up being seriously depressed.

    I did turn things around, and I credit my Dad with a lot of that.

    What I have learned in the years since then is that happiness doesn’t depend on having a perfect life or having everything you want (I think that is an impossible state); it comes from being happy with what you have, or recognizing the good things you have is maybe a better way of putting it. That doesn’t mean you don’t recognize other wants and goals, but that you enjoy and appreciate the good stuff.

    I have no idea if that made any sense…But I think it is the same thing you are saying: enjoy the now, while recognizing your hopes and dreams for the future. 🙂
    JavaChick recently posted…Slow SpringMy Profile

  4. Great post Jess! As you know, I’m a ponderer so often overanalyse my life to death. But… last week I had a similar moment – wondering what it would be like if THIS (life I was living now) was my life forever. Not: when I’ve lost weight; fallen in love; am more financially secure; have a family; have a successful writing career… but AS IS now.

    And do you know what (I didn’t say it in my blog!) but – I’d have some regrets, but I realised that life would be okay. And that was an amazing feeling!
    Deborah recently posted…Book review: Gone GirlMy Profile

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