For the last few months, I’ve been spending my vacation time back and forth between my mother’s home and my then boyfriend’s home. My free time granted me the opportunity to spend larger amounts of time with my mother than I have in years. If you know my mother and I, we are very much communicators – we tend to want to talk about everything, even when the other person doesn’t feel like it (lol). In one of our many conversations this summer, we discussed the differences in how I view my life and how she views my life. I explained that my current life is a little less than desirable – I live in an apartment that I can’t stand, away from most of my friends, my job is extremely tough, my relationship is over, and I have been feeling lonely. However, she shared that when she views me she sees my independence away from home, my ability to persevere through the tough times at work, my drive to pursue my master’s degree, my desire to encourage little girls, and my choice to share parts of myself through my blog.
The entire time we talked, I just felt like she wasn’t getting it. How else could I say, yes those are all great when you word it that way, but life still feels SUCKY. I expressed my desire to move and find a new job closer to my family, in search of happiness. She responded, “What is your definition of happiness? Sometimes you have to find happiness in small things. If I relied on my job, this house, my marriage to be the general basis for happiness I’d never be happy! Everything is hard! Life is hard, the responsibility of buying this new house was hard, being married is hard, but you have to find aspects of those larger things that bring you happiness.” Years ago, I gifted her a grateful jar in order to write down things she was grateful for each day and I was suddenly feeling like I needed it back.
Since then, I’ve been going to sleep every night asking myself what small thing has brought me happiness from that day. It is rare that everything will go right every single day, but it wasn’t until I started thinking about my small victories each day that I became happier in the space that I’m in. We must accept that there isn’t anyone or anything that will bring us extreme happiness all the time. Three weeks ago, I was ready to give up my entire life and create a new one in search of happiness. I have been justifying my decision making using the thinking that I might as well try a million things while I’m still young and unmarried without children. But who’s to say I was going to find it? While I’ve always heard this, it is extremely difficult to practice the belief that happiness can be found within. In choosing what makes me happy, I will remain happy no matter where I work, where I live, and what else is going on in my life. I encourage you to ask yourself, “what made me happy today?” By finding happiness in small things, you are creating lasting happiness within.