The Happiness Project Part II
I feel like this is a lesson I am learning over and over again.
It's ironic, really. I look back to all of the relationships I've had in the past and I think each one ended for this very reason. Either I was unhappy with myself and therefore, could not be happy with someone else or vice versa--they were unhappy with themselves and nothing I could do would change that.
Yes, other problems developed along the way, but I firmly believe that each problem stemmed from this. You cannot, I repeat, YOU CANNOT be happy with someone else until you can be happy being yourself.
All too often we plan our happiness by our progress or goals we plan to accomplish.
I'll be happy when this semester is over.
I'll be happy when I have a significant other.
I'll be happy when I have a good job.
I'll be happy when I'm married.
I'll be happy when my car is paid off.
I'll be happy when I'm done with school.
I'll be happy when.....
No, you won't.
If you judge your happiness by hitting checkpoints, you'll never get there because there will always be another checkpoint.
I'm not saying we shouldn't be happy when we reach a goal. That's good. But I have learned that I cannot expect reaching one goal will fulfill my need for happiness in every other aspect of my life. So, hard as it is, I am doing my best to be happy right now. Right here. In my dimly lit kitchen watching my mom run around cleaning a house that's already spotless.
So how do I become someone that makes ME happy?
Good question. That's opening a can of worms.
If I'm being honest, the first time I looked in a mirror and thought, "I like myself" was less than a year ago. I spent 24 years looking at all of the things about myself that weren't good enough. And even more than that, I only focused on the things I knew people didn't like about me. I thought if I could change them, conform and become more like everyone else, I would become a person that I actually wanted to be.
I couldn't have been more wrong.
It was not until I could look at myself and see the good things that I really began to develop any sort of self-esteem or confidence. Has that realization made this last year perfect? Hell no. It's still been the hardest year of my life, but I'm learning to be happy when it's hard.
Who, exactly, do I want to be?
I don't know.
Where am I heading?
The only thing I know right now is this human experience is full of ups and downs. I hit rock bottom so that I can feel alive when I'm soaring. I face tragedy so that I know when I see miracles. I'm confused so that I know when I do get a clear answer. And sometimes I can't stand myself so that I know when I'm on track to becoming who I want to be.
Who am I?
I'm Spencer. I'm fun, loyal, sincere, adventurous, spontaneous, "rebelliously obedient," anxious, sarcastic, spiritual, uncoordinated, quirky, determined, sometimes dramatic, capable, anxious, honest, real and most of all, imperfect. That's right.
So that's my goal. To be happy being me. To love myself when I feel like no one else does. To do the things that make me happy. To live and be alive. Everything else will happen along the way.