There was this girl in my high-school who was pretty, kind and just had this radiating glow.
I hated her.
I didn't understand, why are you so happy? Why does your life look so seemingly perfect? My gut wrenching anger was created out of a place of jealously--I wanted that happy feeling. I didn't know happy like how she displayed it.
Ya know, the kind that pours out of your soul?
I messaged her one day and said something along the lines of: I see that you have a relationship with God and I just have some questions because I want to be happy and fulfilled like you too.
That was the first time I tried to find happy....
I associated God with being happy and fulfilled.
You can bet your life that I dove had first into creating a relationship with God. I didn't know what I was doing, but I figured this is where happy lived..right?
(ps-don't worry, this isn't a religious post. Hang with me)
I read the Bible, went to church and tried to do everything "right". I never felt like her though. I never felt whole.
I even got baptized and waited to have that magical feeling of happiness rush over me, thinking that getting baptized was obviously the thing that made feel whole.
I didn't though.
I sought happy in being a mom
At 18, I wanted the pregnancy test to say yes. I didn't want to get pregnant, but once the idea that I may be registered in my brain--I thought, maybe this is what I'm suppose to do. Maybe being a mom will be the thing that makes me, me.
I love being a mom--don't get me wrong. This void I had in my being though, it wasn't filled when I became a mom.
I cut my hair, shopped at the gap and took my son to the park like a "good mom".
I realized that the title of 'mom' wouldn't make me feel how I wanted to feel.
So I kept searching.
I thought being a wife would make me happy
I begged Coopers dad to marry me. I acted like I was kidding and I didn't want him too--but I did. I begged.
If I was a wife, I thought, I would be happy. I could do wife things.
Ya know--I could decorate the house, we could do mailed things and I would for sure be happy.
All I found was a husband and wife who didn't love each other. Two people who were too scared to be alone.
We tried, but no amount of married people activities could create something that wasn't there.
There weren't enough casseroles or Instagram worthy pictures that could make me happy in the marriage. I had ya fooled, so beautifully well. My IG was a big pile of lies and I know you thought we looked like the cutest and happiest--we weren't.
Ha, another place I searched for happiness--maybe, I thought, If YOU thought I was happy, I could be happy...nope, wrong again.
I Sought Happy In Being Small
Surely, being small and losing weight will make me happy.
What's there to not be happy about if I could rock a size 2, I thought.
I got smaller and smaller, but I never got happier. It was never enough.
The day I got on the scale and saw my dream weight, I celebrated by eating everything in sight.
I was so confused, aren't skinny people happy? Don't we 'have it all?'
I thought NYC would make me happy
I thought, this city could light up my career, not realizing that I didn't need a city to elevate my business.
New York is grand and magical, but it could never give me what I was looking for.
My dream wasn't NYC, my dream was to write, IS to write and teach women how to come home into their body—I can do this anywhere, anytime.
Here's Where I Found Happy
I was never going to find happy in these people, places or things. I would've liked to think I could. It would have saved me a ton of money, heartache and feelings of failure.
I would never find happy until I realized that I had it inside of me all along.
I made so many excuses as to why this seemingly cliche quote didn't apply to me,
"I'm a single mom with no money living on my dads floor, fuck you and your happiness--I am struggling."
"I've failed my business 3x, how could I be happy?"
If my adventures in finding happiness have taught me anything though, it's that despite your circumstance--the wholeness and joy you are searching for are already in you.
When my marriage ended almost 2 years ago, I had no car, no home and I had $37--that's it. I was happy for the first time in as long as I could remember.
When I gained 40lbs last year after dieting for almost 3, I FINALLY loved my body and felt so gosh damn beautiful. I realized that abs didn't mean I would be happy and that I got to decide what was beautiful to me.
When I failed my business and started it back up again, I thought no one would sign up. Who would want to join some online community run by some high-school drop out? But I started it again, because it's where my passion lives. It didn't matter that I had 1 client for 3 months, I was doing what made me feel alive.
I din't understand those qoutes about how happy people with nothing are. I thought you needed things, clients, money, love, short hair, mom jeans and Jesus to find happiness.
The longer you wait for those things to fall from the sky and land perfectly for you, you'll find yourself 87 and waiting on happy.
My short life thus far has taught me that I am capable, despite what cards I'm dealt or have made for myself. I can find the joy in nothing and everything.
Braving The Shit Storms Of Life
It doesn't matter how much money you have, how small you are, your life title or what you're wearing, joy is available to you in every single moment.
I know if you're sitting in a shit storm right now, you may hate me just like how I hated the girl in HS. She tapped into some seemingly magical feeling--good for her, I thought. Must be nice.
Shit isn't fun to be in. I remember crying to my dad wondering how I would buy food for myself, thinking there is NO WAY I could be happy during this.
Listen carefully, happiness doesn't mean you have to be shitting rainbows and butterflies. You don't have to mask your fear or hurt, I think that happiness can grow through our simple acknowledgement of knowing that where we are, isn't who we are.
Happiness means we seek gratitude. We learn to be present and we continue to honor what arises, without settling in to those deep and dark emotions, calling them home.
Where you are in life, isn't who you are.
You don't need to keep searching for happy. She never left you. She doesn't only connect to those who are pretty, small, rich, married, a mom, or anything else--she wants you, she is you.