Wednesday, July 24, 2013
the secret to happiness
One of my quests this year has been to learn more about happiness. I have such a full life but somehow always find myself feeling dissatisfied. Then I feel bad for not being happier and the cycle continues. It's sick.
One of the things that I love and hate most about myself is my desire for adventure. I love change, I love to try new things and more than anything I love to travel. I would spend every spare penny on a plane ticket if it were only up to me. As fun as that is, it just isn't the best recipe for a satisfied life and a happy marriage.
For the first few years of my marriage I found myself resenting Jim and thinking getting married young was getting in the way of my dreams. So silly. After learning more about the "me generation" and our belief that we can do anything I also found out that we are the most dissatisfied generation. I always knew I could do anything but I never knew I couldn't do everything. I started to realize that my hunger for more was leaving me more and more dissatisfied and making everyone around me feel like they weren't good enough for my dreams. What a jerk.
So what is the secret to happiness? I have no idea. I have been watching documentaries, reading books and articles just trying to find contentment (maybe thats the secret after all?). I have learned a lot but still have such a long way to go.
My first action step toward finding contentment was canceling my trip to Europe. I have been dreaming of a trip to Europe since high school and it really became an idol in my life. If only I make it to Europe then I matter, then I am sophisticated, then I am complete. Not true. I have travelled all over (Africa 2 times, Costa Rica 4, Jamaica 3 and so on) who am I to not be satisfied? I knew the only way to get over this idea of achievement was to choose. As long as my goals stayed the way they were I was never going to find happiness. I also knew that as long as traveling, going back to school and having all these ridiculous dreams were such a big part of me, I was going to resent Jim and one day our children. So I cancelled our trip. Now what? I have no clue. I do find myself feeling oddly relieved. This doesn't mean I am never going to see the Louvre or go back to school but it does mean that I am finally making a choice and can no longer feel like a victim plagued by "if only's". I am choosing family, choosing to count my blessings and choosing what feels like peace.