Thursday, May 5, 2011

Be You.

A simple concept, right? I think not. I just finished reading "The Happiness Project" by Gretchen Rubin (a book I highly recommend!!) and throughout her journey to find happiness within her current life, she kept reinforcing the concept of "being you". I have found that all too often (especially in a city like DC) we compare ourselves to this idea we have of what we should be. In DC...I should be interested in politics, I should watch and enjoy the Colbert show, I should read a variety of online news sources each day, I should enjoy all of the young professional happy hours, I should enjoy museums...but the fact is, I don't. And I have really tried to like all of these things and I have found, time and time again, that I really don't...and you know what? That is okay.

I really blame social media (sort of) because without social media you would probably surround yourself with people that have generally the same interests as you...but being on facebook and being friends with an abundance of random people allows you to see what the majority does for fun. Also- the most recent trend has been food blogging, and I have started to think that I really should like cooking both for healthy diet reasons and to be a good mother someday...but guess what? I don't. And that is okay.

I think that sometimes in the endless effort to be who we "think" we should be, we waste all of our energy trying (and not enjoying it) and leave little energy for the things we do enjoy...the things that make us the unique people we are...the things that the people closest to us love us for. In this past year I have tried very hard to focus on me and to do what makes me happy...once I quit drinking I realized that a lot of my actions were to please others and to be who I thought people liked/wanted me to be. And when I stopped trying to fit this mold that I thought I belonged in, I was really able to just enjoy what I love and focus on finding and growing those interests. I can't reinforce enough how important it is to be you. At the end of the day it is only you and the people that will be there for life know (and love) the real you. At the end of the day you are the only one who knows how happy or sad you really are and how much you enjoyed your days activities. In her book Gretchen Rubin states, the days are long but the years are short. Live by that. The days are long so fill them with enjoyable activities, but the years are not waste them. Who is to say what we should and shouldn't like?

Stop comparing yourself to others and start comparing yourself to who you were yesterday. And most importantly embrace your change. In addition to comparing myself to a DC mold that I think I should fulfill, I also compare myself to who I was and wish I was that person again. I wish I still knew the music scene as well as I did, and I wish I could still dance the way that I could. But guess what, I don't and I can't and that is okay. Those were great stages in my life...stages that molded me and helped me become who I am today and probably helped hone the skills that I have now. Again...don't compare, live in the moment. Appreciate what you have and who you are now...your interests will change, your friends will change, society will change! So do what makes YOU happy!


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