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.