A few months ago I made a “New Year” post to kick off 2018 and one message I tried to get across is that we need to try to avoid saying things like, “20** was the absolute worst year, ready for 20** so that I can enjoy my life…” Well *eye-roll* I might as well have put all of my own words in a frying pan and served those suckers up with a side of bacon. This year has been really difficult. Probably the toughest year that I have had in my adult life. It’s had a lot of beautiful and I’m so thankful for those moments, but shoot has it had it’s fair share of ugly.
I haven’t posted in a couple of months because I felt like the words that I had didn’t seem constructive. Didn’t seem like it would really be helpful to anyone. But, I’ve finally convinced myself that just isn’t true. My platform typically revolves around healthy-eating/fitness, but my life doesn’t revolve around that. So it’s been a little challenging as of late for me to find the balance between those two things. How am I going to write a post about a great arm workout when I did the arm workout and then went and ate copious amounts of chips & salsa afterwards? And that sucked the fun right out of posting. I took a little break and I think moving forward you’ll see all different kinds of posts here.
In the midst of a year that has really been beating me up – I’ve spent quite a bit of time thinking about happiness. Specifically what happiness looks like for people in their 20s-30s. Spoiler alert: it looks different for every one. But, that’s not the image that we get from social media or even many of the people that we interact with on a daily basis. Happiness has somehow become streamlined. I think we are constantly shown that there is only one way to arrive at happiness and if you aren’t doing those “happy” things then you shouldn’t be happy. Anyone else feel like they aren’t allowed to be happy with the place that they’re at?
For example: As a woman in my mid-twenties (I refuse to admit I am officially closer to 30 than 20…), I feel that there is an insane amount of pressure to get married. Yeah, I look forward to the day that I get to marry a man who is my soulmate. Am I there yet? No. And society is in this weird place right now where you’re more or less told that that’s not right. I’ll go on a limb and say that a majority of people would agree that marriage is one of those things on the “happy” list and you can’t ever truly be happy without that. And I just refuse to agree with that. Is it on my list? Hell yeah it is. But, it may not be on someone else’s. Marriage is an easy example because it is the one thing that we constantly hear about. But, it could easily be pressures within your job, with your friends, with your health. I mean how many times have we seen or heard that an overweight person shouldn’t be happy with their body?
We have to try to stop fitting everyone’s happiness in the same perfectly painted little box.
I write this to try and challenge you. (Come on now, first post back in a while and we all knew it would have a challenge included in here somewhere.) Start challenging that happiness, because I have had to start doing that for myself. I’m really trying to find what “happy” looks like for me. I one hundred percent believe that it is something that can & will change so you need to be willing to practice that happiness and find out what it looks like for you at any given time. And if at any point something stops making you happy let. it. go.
For the last two weeks I have not done a single thing that revolved around fitness. All I’ve been doing is fittin’ in copious amount of Mexican food and quite a few margaritas. And no I don’t mean like having fajitas and skipping sour cream… I am talking about cheese dip, chips, tortilla shells, more cheese dip. Chili’s. As many Reese’s cups as I can get my hands on. Plus my fair share of ice cream. It has been BAD. But I needed it. I needed to hang out with my friends after work and just be reckless with my diet. Because right then in the moment, that was making me happy. Over the weekend though, I started realizing how crappy I felt. Like death warmed over because I don’t think I consumed anything green for the duration of fourteen days. So, I meal prepped for the week and will be back at the gym because that feels happy to me right now. I’m just trying to pay better attention to myself instead of constantly thinking about the “happiness” list that tells me I’ve still got a long ways to go until I reach my goals.
It’s time that we become more comfortable with having goals, but understanding while you are on the road to reaching them it’s okay to be content. Back to the ideals that are forced upon us… Just because you aren’t where you ultimately want to be doesn’t mean that you need to rob yourself of your happiness in the moment. This is something that I struggle with constantly and have to remind myself of pretty regularly. I know I’m not where I ultimately want to be, but I have to enjoy all of the things along the way. I don’t want to go into overdrive and miss everything because I can’t stop being obsessed with the future.
Happiness is hard to put your finger on because it’s not a concrete thing. It feels really concrete when you know you’re happy and it can feel like a sack of cinder blocks when you can feel that you’re not. So, how do we figure out what “happy” looks like for us? I don’t have a perfect answer for that. But, I’m really trying to figure it out for myself and I hope you’ll join me.