Happiness means different things to different people. We all want a piece of bliss but not everyone needs the same things to obtain it. Some are lucky to have it. Others don’t know what it looks like or ever had it. Then there are the those who fake it to get by each day. But haven’t we all done that, at least once in our lives? Sometimes, we’re not even sure of what happiness is supposed to look like. The reality is – its means something different to everyone.
What does your happiness look like?
Happiness isn’t a dream destination we get to visit as a reward for good behavior. I’ve learned to look at it as a state of mind. Possible to attain by coming to terms with the internal and external forces that challenge us. Embracing the good and accepting the bad until creating some sort of balance that sits in a comfortable silence. At the center, a feeling of freedom from what others think your life should resemble. This is the place where you can find happy moments.
I used to think that I had to do what everyone else was doing or take the same path as others to find happy. It wasn’t until a life-changing event forced me to ask some tough questions. Divorce is one of those things that happen to surely cause you to do some soul-searching. My path brought me to many conclusions about the way I had lived my life up to that point. Gradually, I got an understanding of the importance in being comfortable with myself. Learning that my personal happiness didn’t have to align with what society thinks of as happy. Realizing everyone has a different normal saved me from a continuous pattern of self-torture.
As women, we are pressured into thinking being married, having children or finding the perfect mate by a certain age is included in the happy premium package but there’s much more. If we don’t fulfill these goals, eventually you’re bombarded with questions that people have no real business asking – but they do. Having a divorce over the age of 35 can open up the door to a whole different realm of inquiries. Taking us to a place that makes one feel like a cornered mouse at times. Friends and family are curious about the reasons for the breakup. Can the problems be resolved? What will happen now? Will you marry again? Questions and more questions. The list we have for ourselves makes their list look like a short note on a Post-It!
There have been moments throughout my life when I smiled to death to make sure no one saw through to the unhappy woman living within. If I could accommodate someone else’s happiness it was enough for me. It was relatively easy to do so since I had no idea what mine was supposed to be. I was lost in what others’ wanted with no time to think about my own happiness.
Once separated, I had no idea of what made me happy. Living with an ideal of what my life should look like was no longer valid. Although, I was afraid of everything that didn’t match the ideal, I had to figure out what the picture of happiness would look like for myself. Slowly, I began to get to support the idea that different things work for different people. The bit of wisdom picked up during this journey has been invaluable. My happy doesn’t have to match the rest of society’s because each of us have an individual right to live out the life we choose. I’m responsible for only my happiness and with it comes the power to design the layout for a life that brings joy and peace to my heart.
The landscape of my life today in contrast to what it was is like night and day. I can’t say that I don’t struggle, sometimes. It can be challenging when others don’t understand why you’ve made the choices that you have or live the way you do. The beauty is that no one has to – the expectation is for others to respect it. Same way you respect their way of living even if you don’t understand their choices. You get to pick how to live out your happiness. Don’t apologize or feel forced to clone yours to fit what makes others comfortable. Your well-being is at risk when you aren’t true to yourself.
Think about what your picture of happiness looks like then begin to build your tower. Great happiness can be felt in moments of true freedom. When we drop the weights of judgment placed upon us and begin to live a life that is representative of who we truly are in the world.
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