Aiming for happiness

I’ve been single for 6 years, during which time I’ve only met 1-2 guys that I would have liked to see develop into a relationship. During these 6 years, I’ve heard ad nauseum “you’ll only ever meet someone once you are truly happy with yourself” and “the more you want it, the less likely you are to meet anyone because you’ll come across as desperate. Just stop caring about meeting anyone, and then it will just happen”.

Talk about the most annoying advice EVER. If Oprah says it, it must be true.

I could see how the first part applied to me, when I was in throws of depression – not exactly the best mindset for vulnerability and intimacy. But now that I have been symptom-free for over a year, that statement was no longer was relevant to me. I have a good job, I travel, have amazing friends… Life is aight, y’all. As for the 2nd statement, I also didn’t feel it particularly applied to me: sure, I want to meet someone, and build a life with them, start a family… but as that is something COMPLETELY outside of my control, I don’t exactly spend my days worrying about it. Occasionally, I do stay awake at night, anxious about dying a cat-less cat-lady, but really, after 6 years and no prospects, can you blame me? Overall, I’m doing alright, living my life.

Well, according to Qc cousin #2, nope. I got it all wrong. By yearning low-key for the couple lifestyle, I am not enjoying what I currently have. And if I am not enjoying what I currently have… logically, I am not fully happy.

You know when you come face to face with a truth that you’ve been doing your darndest to avoid acknowledging? Yeah. That moment is both awesome and uncomfortable.

I’ve spent so much of my life trying to get my depression under control. The relief of not being depressed seemed like such an improvement that it didn’t occur to me that I could actually aim for more: aim for happiness. I never believed that I was worthy of happiness, nor did happiness ever seem within my grasp – as I was too distracted by the demons trying to drown my mind. I never realized that the pursuit of happiness was something that applied to me, a worthwhile venture. The accountant in me always thought that for something to be worthwhile it had to have a practical, value-added purpose. And while I do enjoy the practical aspects of my job, and the opportunity to exercise my intelligence, there are so many other aspects to my personality that aren’t getting expressed. My life is not fulfilling.

I have no idea if or when the Universe will throw Mr. Right my way. Apparently, the Universe doesn’t mind making me wait a helluva long time. That is a helluva long time to have an unfulfilling life. I better get cracking and start enjoying myself. Truly enjoying myself. Owning that some of the things that will make me happy are completely trivial and frivolous. But that’s ok – because I will be happy.

Suddenly I have dreams, goals and projects. Off the top of my head, these are the things that I want in my life that will make me happier.

  • I like dancing. So I have signed up for salsa once a week.
  • I love ballet. So I have signed up for a weekly beginners class for adults. I always thought there was no point for me to take classes, because I know that I don’t have the body to be a ballerina. It never occurred to me that I could still do it just because it gave me joy.
  • Writing matters to me – my secret dream is to one day get published. A dream so impossible I am almost ashamed of it. Be as that may be, might as well work towards it. I will do a diploma in Creative Writing at my local Uni’s department for Continuing Education.
  • I’m definitely going to continue with boxing. But at least I am honest enough now to admit that my main motivation is vanity – there is no better workout, and I love having an admirable figure. All the other benefits to boxing are also nice: the social interaction with my awesome teammates, the personal challenge, the mental toughness. I appreciate them. But really? I just want a cute ass. I am ok with admitting that.
  • At the ripe old age of 32, I’m finally admitting that I want children. But as that is something outside of my control, in the mean time, imma channel all this love I have to give by volunteering with children. This is still TBD – I *think* I want to read books to children at the children’s hospital, but imma take the time to find the activity that feels just right.
  • The list of places I want to travel to is looooong – I’ve revisited the budget to make sure I can take 1-2 good trips a year.
  • I’ll buy my dream condo within the next 2 years. And when I do? Pretty sure I want a puppy.
  • I really like nail polish. Imma set aside a couple of hours every week or two to do my nails. Because having pretty colors on the tips of my fingers brings a smile to my face during the week.

Suddenly, life seems a LOT more interesting. And my singleness rather irrelevant – I got shit to do!!

Cue Frozen’s Let it Go.

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21 comments

  1. ooooh I hate those bits of advice but they are true. I think mostly because when I’m single and go out ALL I can think about is meeting a guy and finding someone to date. It also took me forever to grow into myself and be happy with myself, which is important. But meeting people is just straight hard! All the stuff you have planned for yourself is amazing, everything else will just fall into place 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, when I go out I just feel weighed down by how much of it seems like a superficial meat market.

      Even if nothing else falls into place… I’m cool with that. I realized I want to look back on my life, and not regret that I didn’t live it to the fullest. And I am not going to wait around for a person who may or may not ever show up to start properly living. I don’t have a second to lose. Imma start doing me NOW. ASAP.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I admit, when I first began reading this post, my thoughts went instantly to a revelation I had last night: “The only thing worse than not being happy is the fear of being happy.”

    But by the end, your tone seemed so incredibly happy and so incredibly empowering, I had an instant smile on my face! It almost makes me want to go get a cute ass and my nails done! 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YES. I have been petrified of being happy my whole life. That brings to mind another blog post I’ve been meaning to write about. I read an interview with Judd Apatow (director of Knocked up, 40 year old virgin, This is 40, Trainwreck…) and the interviewer asked him “why are we so afraid of joy?”

      Judd Apatow’s PERFECT response:
      “That’s the question. And I’ve thought about it a lot, and I think it’s because we think right behind joy is a knife that will cout our throat if we really feel it. It’s almost like a laugh – your chin goes up and your throat is exposed. If I laugh too hard, someone will slit my throat. That’s the terror of joy.”

      I’m sure some people will read that and think WTF. I read that and thought he was my soulmate.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. The never find it if you;’re looking for it is only true in some ways. By getting out and doing the things you like, it actually gives you chances to meet people who share your interests. So to some degree it is true, because you are not out at some bar looking for love, but doing something like salsa dancing? I’d be surprised if that doesn’t open a few doors. Good luck in your happiness, single, or otherwise.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I loved reading this post and the comments so much it’s unreal! I am so happy for you that you are doing all this for yourself! The best way to be happy, really happy, is to do what you love whether you are in a relationship or not! And as for the joy thing, I get scared when I’m truly happy as well and I was actually terrified when I got engaged that something was going to happen to keep Adam and I from getting married. Luckily that has pretty much passed now, but I think fearing happiness is something that particularly affects people who have had traumatizing experiences and from what I can tell, it can be a pretty tough beast to combat.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I think I feel the same way about writing/being published. I love to write and would love to see something I’ve written in a bookstore someday. But I keep telling myself that’s never gonna happen, so I never do anything beyond blog posts… I should probably do something about that. Love that you’re embracing so many of these goals!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Yaaaas, I love your list of things to make you happy. They are all wonderful.

    Is it bad that I’ve never seen Frozen or heard Let It Go? All I know is “let it gooo, LET IT GOOOOOO” and that’s…all.

    Like

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