The past few days I have been reading “The Happiness Project”, everyone whose anyone in the bloggy world seems to be talking about it and blogging about it so I thought I should give it a shot. I have to say, I didn’t expect the book to impact and inspire me nearly as much as it has so far. Delving into something a little more personal, I’ve been dealing with a lot of internal struggle the past few months. I haven’t been 100% myself, or at least who I know myself to be. I haven’t been depressed per say, I have many happy days, I have many happy moments but rather indifferent. I’ve felt less passionate about the things I care about, and less hopeful about my dreams and goals and wishes. As a result I’ve found that I crave more “me time” than I ever have before. I’m saying this not for any sort of sympathy, I believe all people go through rougher patches throughout life, but because I believe it provides a better context for this post. If I weren’t feeling this way I probably wouldn’t find so much meaning in “The Happiness Project”, even though the book has almost nothing to do with depression or apathy.
As I read there were several points the author made that really stood out in my mind, today I only want to discuss one of them. The author, Gretchen Rubin, constantly reminds herself to “Be Gretchen“. “Being Gretchen” means exactly what it sounds like it means, being herself. Sometimes she feels like she should want to talk about foreign policy or read about law rather than wanting to read children’s fiction. Sometimes she feels like she should enjoy shopping more and organizing less, like she should want something but she doesn’t, and vice versa. Yet, she reminds herself not to feel guilty about who she is, “What’s fun for other people may not always be fun for you,”. I think this phrase can be applied to many areas of life besides fun (although fun is a great example).
For some reason I’ve always felt guilty about the paths I am drawn to career wise. I want to work with children or with fashion, I am incredibly fulfilled working with children and I am incredibly interested in fashion. However, I have always felt as if I should aspire to something “greater“, I should want to be a lawyer or a dentist or a zoologist or an engineer…or whatever. My family has never put pressure on me to become a dermatologist, they’ve never told me they would love me any less if I was a preschool teacher or a fashion designer or anything like that, yet I’ve placed the weight of these imaginairy expectations on myself. I need to remember to “Be Jordyn” because in the end I’ll be happier if I do what makes me happy.
Likewise as far as fun goes I can relate to the way Gretchen feels (I think we all can). When I day dream about my ideal day it involves waking up at 8:30 am, going on a run and spending the day hiking, or at the beach (or lake) or somewhere outside with friends. To many people this day does not sound fun (or the “most fun”). Learning to accept and be okay with who you are and what you like is an important skill that I haven’t recognized until recently.
Metacognition: Thinking about our thinking, has been on my mind and heart almost constantly the past few weeks. Why do I do the things I do? Why do I think the way I think? What can I say, for a sorority girl I’m pretty deep right…I’ve decided that it is most important to be Authentic to who you are and what you feel, or in other words to be honest with yourself about who you are. It’s okay to not always know the direction you’re heading in life, it’s okay to not always have a set of specific goals (this is hard for me to accept), sometimes there is beauty and relief in allowing yourself to wander in order to discover purpose and clarity (Am I getting a little to weirdly spiritual right now?) Ultimately, my point is that no matter who you are, and no matter where you’re at in your life, I believe it is incredibly important to become aware of who you are and what you want, even if that means admitting you’re not quite sure who you are yet, and you’re still figuring out what you want.
Peace & Happiness my little Cherry Blossoms!
P.S. My sorority sister Sarah Christine nominated my blog for the “Liebster Award” which I’ve always seen around but never really known exactly what it was…but basically it means I get to answer some fun little questions about myself SO…here goes: