think happy, be happy

Easier said than done, right?

Yeah, I know everyone tells you to be happy. Who wants anyone to be sad? And it’s nice knowing that someone cares, but the hardest thing is realizing that no one can really make you happy. Sure someone can make you happier while they’re there. What happens then when they’re not around?

I’ve spent a lot of years figuring out how to be happy. What makes other people happy isn’t necessarily what makes me happy. I enjoy being social and partying every now and then, but I also need my own time to reflect and recharge. I am a classical introvert, masquerading during the day as an extrovert and holing up by myself at night. If I don’t get my time, watch out. Bitch alert.

I’ve known this about myself for years. I tried to fit in, though, and be like everyone else. That made me extremely unhappy, but I was able to hide it for the most part. My ex-boyfriends, Mr. Big and Mr. Surgeon, were aware of my occasional bouts of misery. Only as I’ve gotten closer and closer to my 30s have I realized that it’s okay for me to be me.

I’m not defined by what makes other people happy. I’m happy because of what makes me happy. I went through a semi-crisis in my mid-20s when I broke up with Mr. Surgeon. All my closest friends were in serious relationships and two got engaged within the same weekend! I wondered what was wrong with me. Why couldn’t I find my Mr. Right?

For a good couple of years, I let myself be defined by my dating life and it’s lack of success. Then after a series of recent disasters:

1. the mess with Bearded Hipster
2. totaling my car in a really bad wreck
3. finding out my uncle has cancer again
4. failing an end-of-year evaluation

I had to reevaluate everything.

My life was literally in a shit hole. The last three happened within a month and rocked my world apart. I was sad, of course, and I was really worried that I might be clinically depressed. But the girls have repeatedly told me I’m “strong.” If there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s that failure is the best lesson ever.

You can let your failures defeat you, or you can let them make you better.

Every time I’ve struggled, I’ve learned from it. This time, the lesson I learned was to take a deep breath and rethink what’s important. Everyone wants someone special in their life, wants life to be easy breezy, and wants their loved ones to be healthy and happy. Life’s not always so simple, though.

But I’m lucky. Super lucky.

I’ve got my family and the girls and Miss M. It’s okay, if I haven’t found Mr. Right yet. Lots of shit has happened (dating life, aside) and I’m still whole and hearty. And I’m happy with myself, something I forgot about for a while, that revelation of it’s okay for me to be me.

Yeah, sometimes life sucks. And I feel sad and angry at the injustices. I just have to remember that it’s only temporary, that tomorrow will come and that hope is always there.


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