My Unique Path to Happy
april 27, 2017
“Comparison is the thief of joy.” This is both my anthem and my greatest hurdle. Spoken by Teddy Roosevelt, this has been one of the hardest lessons I’ve learned in my young life - primarily because comparison can be a good thing in so many ways and we’re encouraged to compare ourselves to others by our parents, peers, teachers, and society. It pushes us to be better and smarter; and also prettier, stronger, more “this”, less “that”, and the list goes on and on. Sometimes these ideals are pursued with the right intentions, sometimes not. And sometimes it means comparing yourself to the ideals our peers or society deem to be sacred - but is the American dream or “that “cool girl’s instagram” your path to happy? For some it may be so, and really, that’s all that matters. But for me? I’ve found it’s not.
About two years ago I had my whole life laid out. I was in a serious relationship with an amazing person, who I thought was right for me. I was studying for my bachelor’s degree in a program I felt truly passionate about. I was content… and ignorant. I had a general idea of when I’d be married and my career goals were clearly laid out. Upon graduation I fully intended to work for a fashion company of a certain stature, with business cards detailing a position of importance in a communications role, with a salary that went far beyond covering the bare necessities of life (yes, The Jungle Book is my favorite Disney movie. Thanks for asking.). And I was fully capable of making all of this happen. And if it weren’t for a few shifts of perspective and lessons learned, I would likely be in state of extreme complacency, for the rest of my life.
But as it goes, the right experiences tend to fall into our laps. I traveled. I read books. I learned about different political beliefs and religions. I talked to people that made the equivalent of what I make in a day, in a month’s time. I talked to people that have more money than I would ever know what to do with. I tried new things. I made mistakes. I was free. But, mostly, I soaked it all up and learned a lot about myself, and a little bit about the world.
A month ago I quit a job that was “perfect “ for a creative millennial, such as myself. Upon my college graduation last year, I purposefully sought a position far from what I had envisioned a year prior. I worked for a start-up company, with a “cool” lifestyle
element. My business cards were thoughtfully free of any titles. And it was an ideal position for me, and what many dream of. It had it’s merits and complications. But, I basically created my position, the hours were flexible, and my boss was supportive of my interests. Yet, there were a lot of other things that weren’t right, both personally and in the work environment. Against my better judgement, I put in my two weeks. I quit something I had truly put my heart into. The whole ordeal was akin to leaving an unhealthy relationship - equally heart-wrenching and liberating. I abandoned all of the projects I created (projects that I lost sleep over and cried over), but this gave me the freedom to fully explore my own creative endeavors and self-growth.
So, what’s next? I can tell you that I have an idea of how the next 3 months will go, but after that, your guess is as good as mine. I recently started a new job teaching English online. This job allows me to become a digital nomad, which basically means I will work online and travel the world. My first stop is Portugal. I depart on May 4, and will be spending six months in Lisbon. My new job is also very flexible, in that I can work when I want, leaving me time to explore new places, faces, and passions, such as this blog.
This blog is going to be documentation of my unique path to Happy. I can’t make any promises of what will be here, but I hope to share the big and little discoveries I’ve made in what works for me. There will likely be a large dose of travel inspired writing, photos of my dog, personal revelations, and odes to fashion, art, and books, all of which seem to feed me in some way.
The truth is, I’m still on my path to Happy. I don’t have all the answers, but I can tell you that everyday I wake up a little more grateful. Everyday, I wake up with a smile, and that’s something I wasn’t doing even one month ago. Baby steps. Follow my path to Happy - be inspired to find yours.