(I wrote this 3 years ago, but still feel it is still relevant today)
“How often in our daily lives had we put conditions on our happiness? When we get the house paid off, then we can be happy. When things settle down with the kids, then we’ll be able to do more together. There is so little joy for the here and now in the uncertainties of the whens and thens.”
– Jeannie Lancaster (Chicken Soup for the Soul)
This resonated with me more than I thought.
Once I graduate, I can get a job and be happy.
I can get married and be happy.
I can have kids and be happy.
We wait until particular milestones and assume that those milestones would equal happiness.
I graduated from college in December 2013 and for a very long time, I had high expectations for my special day. I wanted everything to be perfect.
The moment came and gone… just like that.
We put a lot of pressure on those “high” points, whether it’s graduation, getting married, having kinds, getting a new job, etc. It’s our highlight reel.
But it’s very easy to forget… the behind the scenes story.
The story line that shows those sleep deprived nights in college, the nights falling asleep studying, the moments with friends when you probably should have been studying lol.
We wait until that “highlight” to celebrate. Why put so much pressure on that moment?
We shouldn’t forget to celebrate that good grade on that quiz, we shouldn’t forget to celebrate the hard work coming, we shouldn’t forget to celebrate the smaller moments.
We shouldn’t wait until the highlight.
We shouldn’t wait for the “perfect” moment, because why wait? Life is short.
We are so concentrated on societal milestones that display our current status that we fail to do it for our own happiness.
I have that problem. I’m working on it. I cannot spend my time having my life depend on someone else’s views. we give SO MUCH value to someone else’s opinion, but we forget our own.
You are important.
Your views matter too, you are no less than that “other” opinion.
I value a harmonious environment and being confrontational has always made me uncomfortable.
As I’ve been in customer service for the past 5 years, I’ve been yelled at countless times. I’ve been able to diffuse some situations successfully, but others not so much. I definitely catch myself freezing up from time to time.
But as I’ve grown older, I’ve learned the importance of being vocal and holding your ground.
If you’re not fighting for it, you’re standing still.
I can’t say EVERY battle is worth fighting for, but if that fight is worth it, you’ll come out the other end stronger.
Coming from someone who’s tendency is to hold everything in, I’m getting a better understanding of being vocal. If you’re not speaking up, there isn’t any cue to the other person that you’re also working to resolve the issue.
There will be times that it will be uncomfortable, but it also provides an opportunity for the issue to be worked out and facilitate growth.
You can grow within relationships. You can grow outside of relationships.
For me, a lot of growth occurred outside of relationships. Post breakup, there was always a struggle of, “Am I speaking with my mind or heart?” Your heart wants one thing, but your mind wants another. Finding that balance is never easy.
At the core, I’m a very empathetic person. I’m always imagining myself in other’s shoes.
As they say, your strengths are also your weaknesses, but on the other side of the spectrum.
You’re empathetic towards others, but forget to be empathetic with your own feelings.
Being in a relationship, it takes two to tango, it’s a two way street, however you’d like to interpret it, but it’s true.
Now that I’m able to objectively look at previous relationships, you start to notice patterns. There are definitely parallels.
I have to be fully accountable for what I said (or in my case, lack of what I said) to my significant other. I truly believe things happen for a reason, even though it may not be obvious at the moment.
But as an adult, I also want to grow and improve for the next relationship, you know? I don’t want to continue patterns that aren’t beneficial for both parties.
For example, the importance of love languages. According to Gary Chapman, there are five love languages that individuals give and receive love:
Words of Affirmation, Gifts, Quality Time, Physical Touch, and Acts of Service
(I highly suggest taking the quiz to learn how love languages may play a part in your life)
After realizing my primary love language (quality time) and secondary love language (words of affirmation), things just made sense.
Instances that happened in my relationships, times where I was upset, reflected those love languages.
Your love language will sometimes evolve from a lack of this “love” previously. For example, growing up I didn’t really receive words of affirmation from my parents, so I ended up seeking it within my relationship.
In my last relationship, which lasted 4 years, I could count on my hands how many times I said I love you. Although I did love this person, saying those words did not have the same meaning to me than for him.
I recognize there’s a balance. You may need to receive love in a certain way, but you also need to express your S.O’s language as well. It may not be natural, but it’s all a work in progress.
This picture was during my trip to Hawaii last summer.
It’s reminiscent of a better time, back when we could freely travel without any concerns.
To start, I am not an adrenaline junkie by any means. I hate roller coasters. I just don’t see the fun in having to scream my head off while being upside down at a fast speed. Also, after experiencing vertigo a couple years ago, it’s definitely not a feeling I’d like to relive.
I enjoy having my feet firmly on the ground, but deciding to zip line while in Hawaii was something I couldn’t pass up. I wanted to do something that I was out of my comfort zone.
I really wasn’t expecting to enjoy it as much as I did. The views were just amazing. At first, I did have some nerves approaching the first platform, but by the end, I was sad it was over.