Birthday 2019: choosing to be happy right where you are, just as you are...
Another year, another set of "deep thoughts" by yours truly. This one is short and bitter-sweet. I was pretty anxious as my birthday approached this year, as each year that passes I feel farther away from the boundaries I’d set for when I wanted my life to “fall into place.” “By this age,” turned into “By this age,” and things seemed to stay pretty much the same. And while I’m of course grateful for so many things, I sometimes feel like I'm drifting further and further away from where I "should" be. I also feel a bit exhausted by the things I need to get me there (honestly, can we all just agree for a minute that online dating is the worst?). It's like I have a bit of an adrenaline hangover from all of the first dates and if I have to go on another one, I might just throw a tantrum...on the date. Fun times!
Despite a lot of meditation and general knowledge on how to stay chill, I felt so much anger the other day when I was walking my bike home from grocery shopping and my bag of groceries broke (serves me right for forgetting my re-usable bag amiright?), spilling the contents all around me as my bike fell and scraped my leg badly. I wished I had a car, or someone to help me carry my stuff sometimes, or just someone to putz around the grocery store with. I was feeling stupidly sorry for myself. And then for a brief moment I felt the breeze on my skin and I felt the warmth of the air and I realized that I really liked most of what was in my current experience. And I thought, what if my life is in place? What if I just let go of all the expectations I have of myself and my life and allow myself to be happy right now? It’s so counter-intuitive to what I feel most of the time. Happiness is always in that other place. But what if it’s just now. I don’t have the partner I want, but I have solitude that I need (classic extroverted introvert here) and that a lot of people don’t get. If I don't enjoy it now, then when I don't have it, I’ll miss it and wish it back. Happiness would be back where I am now. A little Back to the Future like if you think about it. Crazy! I could list a bunch of things that aren’t at all where I wanted them to be, but it would all get down to the main question: What if I’m just content with the now and I let that be okay? Not when I lose 10 pounds. Not when I fix the billion things I want to fix about myself. Not when my book is done. Not when I meet someone who doesn't make me cringe 20% of the time. Because who knows where I’ll be at that time. This is not a simple task. We’re programmed for the goal. To want more than we have. But I’m gonna do my best to remind myself of this as often as I can.
One of my biggest fears (and I don’t really share a lot of my fears here...that is for the secret blog which I really wish I could tell you about) is that, if I don't get those things I want and feel are expected of me; the guy, the kid, the societal norms that I still subscribe to but at the same time think are ridiculous and out-of-touch, am I then responsible to make my life great? Epic? Note-worthy? Without putting all of my energy into the other stuff, do I need to find a worthy alternate? Obviously not I guess, but I still feel this sort of responsibility to the “universe.” I warned you...deep thoughts!
In any case, the thing I’ve given lots of time to over the last many years has been my book. So I will continue to try to finish it. Finally going to send to first readers over the next week. It makes me sick to my stomach thinking about it. Having someone else see what I’ve tried to do and judge it.The urge to give up every time I hear a no or a less than favourable remark is incredibly strong. Thank goodness I have no intention of quitting my day job! But whatever the outcome, this is the next step and I have to take it.
Despite letting go of expectations as much as possible, I will continue to strive for the other things above, trying to be kind to myself in the process and to enjoy more of my current experience. Contributing where I can and trying my damndest to carve out some headspace so that I can make some of the big decisions that I’m still (a year, two, three years later) trying to make. Hoping one day it will all make sense!
Here’s to a year filled with hope and happiness and fun! And to you also being happy just where you are, just as you are (mild Bridget Jones reference here for those that might appreciate it ;).
And for those that remember Deep Thoughts by Jack Handy, here are a few fun ones (to combat my motivational quotes above...)