Saturday, May 1, 2010

sometimes we don't notice just how good it can get.

part one: finding and recognizing happiness.

there's this episode of sex and the city (stick with me) in which carrie finds herself happy, finally happy, but not knowing what to do with it. great job. great friends. great life all in all. everything was in place but something still seemed off. what was it? turns out, carrie was new to this kind of living; new to being settled and happy. the problem? there was none; she was looking for something to be wrong because, for years, something was always off.

the other day, i got to thinking about that particular episode. actually, i was thinking of where i am in my life right now, and that episode came to mind. i can honestly say i'm happy, and for most of my life, i've generally been happy. for one reason or another, though, i've always continued looking for something else, something more, no matter how happy i am.

thanks to my near-recent past, i'm afraid i've gotten into a certain kind of mindset - looking for something to be wrong; waiting for something to go wrong; and never really settling in to happiness. i realized lately that nothing is wrong - no matter how much i expect it to be. great job. great friends and family. great life all in all. and the only "problem" has become my continual subconscious search for something gone bad.

there were a few days last week when i felt out of it; kind of in this funk. but, try as i might, i could never quite put my finger on what was wrong and why i was feeling that way. thinking back, i realize now that nothing really was wrong. i expected myself to be unhappy (because, long story short, it was a challenging weekend last weekend) and, because of it, i found myself unhappy those particular days. but, when i really thought about it, i wasn't all that unhappy; in fact, i was okay. i just hadn't expected myself to be.

john mayer has a song called "something's missing" that talks about the same things i've mentioned before - having nice things and great people in your life but feeling as if something is still not quite right (okay, i know i've referenced sex and the city and john mayer in the same entry but just go with it). i'm blessed enough to know that something is not missing; this i know. in fact, i told a friend the other day that i wouldn't change anything about my life right now, and i mean that sincerely. the key, though, is making my heart and mind really believe it and getting out of that mindset that something has to be missing. nothing is missing. i feel that way now.

i have sense enough to know that just because the last five or six years involved a constant strain and wait, that doesn't necessarily mean the next five or six years (or twenty or thirty) have to be this way. it takes some time to get used to, though, i admit, and i'm a bit on the slow side when it comes to change. the good news, though, is that i do feel a changing, and i am able to recognize how happy i am in each moment as it passes. i no longer feel as if i'm waiting for something to go wrong or searching for something else; i know that everything and everyone that is here is meant to be here and i'm happy, really happy, with what i have, with what i'm blessed with.

part two: finding and recognizing my own happiness on my own.

i hate to admit this now, but for years, i relied on my once-significant other for a large part of my own happiness. i hear songs now with lyrics that say something like, "i can't breathe without you," or "i don't know who to be without you around," and it makes me a little sick. know why? because i used to be that way and feel that way, and now that i've snapped out of it (my oh, snap! moment), and when i think about how i used to be, i can't help but shake my head in disbelief. where did i go? and why did i rely so heavily on him for my happiness? for myself? when you do that, and when it's gone, you do lose pieces of yourself - big pieces of yourself - because of how much of yourself you put in him. and finding your way back, finding your way back to your own happiness, is twice as hard - you've not only got to find it again; you now have to find it on your own.

this all seemed scary to me at first; nowadays, it's almost exciting knowing that my happiness is entirely up to me. and i don't have to look hard to find it anymore - it's all around me.

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