A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post about embarking on my own happiness project and the frustration that came with not really knowing what made me happy.
First of all, you know what makes me really happy? Sleep, uninterrupted by my fur child to feed him at 6am (the meows, the face-pawing, the face-licking, and now his new favorite thing has become the toe-biting. That little asshole) beautiful sleep. Sleep makes me really happy, especially after a 12 hour shift, however, after I realized that that was never going to happen, I had to move towards finding happiness in other ways. *note humor*
But even though figuring out what makes me happy has been difficult, I have been making some progress in that department.
I’ve been in counseling for about a month and a half now, and it’s almost as if I’m starting to purge my mind of all the negative lies that I’ve been telling myself over the last 25 years of my life. Or, rather, since I can remember, since maybe saying my whole life is a bit dramatic. Some of these thoughts include: you aren’t ever going to be good enough; you have to make sure that everyone around you is happy with your personal decisions that ultimately, at the end of the day are your decisions about your life; you must take responsibility for other people’s actions that effect you, especially when they effect you in a negative way; if you’re not constantly being productive, you’re worthless; if you don’t give 100%, you’re worthless; and the one that really gets me: you absolutely, positively have to try to control everything around you, even if you ultimately really can’t.
Why do I try to control everything around me and in my life? My counselor says I may never know and that I should stop trying to find the why. She says I could drive myself crazy trying to find the why. Trying to know the why will only drive me more crazy, she means. This is true. I mean, just look at the place I had come to when I sought out her help. Crazy is my middle name and a part of my inner self.I’m trying to get my inner crazy to choose peace, however, and maybe change her name to overly excited about life or I may have my issues but dance I will. Keeping a little bit of crazy around would do me some good. It’s what drives me sometimes. However, I’m tired of her calling all the shots. My inner crazy can find the door on the left.
All that being said, I’ve been actively fighting against my two biggest lies, that I have to take responsibility for other people’s actions and that I have to try to control everything in my life. I have to keep asking myself “Can I control what just happened to me or the actions of that other person?” to keep myself in check. Some days it’s difficult, especially when I’m overly emotional, but ultimately, I end up telling myself “Lindsey, you can really only control how you are reacting right now.” So, I take a deep, much needed breath and attempt to move on.
In addition to positive self-talk, pushing myself to get out of my tiny studio apartment has been helping too. Of course, however, my broke-ass college student finances have been causing a decent amount of stress. However, if I just really look, I’ve been able to occupy myself with things that are free or nearly free. These things have helped me to push through the cloud of depression and anxiety that I’ve been feeling over the last year of my life and, frankly, to actually see a little bit more of the city of Milwaukee.
These little adventures have done wonders. I feel like I’m starting to see clearly now. That hazy depression has seen the back door. Sometimes it comes knocking, but I’ve been able to keep it out for the most part. Anxiety has broken through some windows on the occasion, but I’ve been able to kick her ass out too.
These little adventures have also helped me identifying what truly makes me happy. Not little shit like drinking coffee in the morning or petting my cat. No, real life shit. Shit that I can push myself towards making a part of my daily life. For example:
I’m a huge nerd at heart. Hence why I own over 200 books, half of which I haven’t even read yet because I buy books like most women buy clothes. So, I’ve come to realize that something that truly makes me happy is learning. My dad has always said it to me. He says I get bored easily if my brain isn’t being challenged enough. Gosh dad, I guess you’re right. Maybe that’s why I tortured myself with going to graduate school (Well that and the hopes of finding my dream job after graduation). So I’ve started to push myself to always be learning. For heaven’s sakes, I went out to a used bookstore and bought Wine for Dummies and the Idiot’s Guide to Beer, because I’ve always wanted to learn more about wine and beer. Am I a nerd or what? Holy shit. I definitely am.
Secondly, I find I really enjoy creating. I absolutely love it. So, I’ve come back to writing and crafting. I’ve come back to writing on this blog after almost a full year of blogs intermittently because, you know graduate school and depression and busyness and preferring to sleep over anything else, but now I’m back. And it’s hard to believe that I ever left. This is my story, and I want to share it. Whether or not people actually care to hear it is another issue and also not important at the end of day. This is my story and my journey, and if writing about it makes me happy, then damn that’s what I’m going to do.
As for crafting, it’s more of an occasional thing. I’ve started knitting again. Yes, okay, I’m a grandma. I’ve accepted it. I prefer sleeping over going out most of the time. I drive a grandma car who’s front seat airbag alarm starts beeping at 15 pounds (I know this because Mr. Edgar fur baby is 15 pounds and every time we travel I have to buckle the seat belt because his fat ass always sets off the alarm), I adore antique stores, and yes, I knit. I’m not very good, and I only know basic stuff. But the act of creating something with my hands makes me feel calm and full of life. It’s weird. I don’t know. I’m just weird, I guess. I also made a handmade kitty tower out of cardboard, hot glue, yarn, paper clips, one empty toilet paper roll, and various kitty toys. Kitty seems to be liking it at least a little bit. I felt pretty proud of myself for that one.
Lastly, something that makes me extremely happy that I’ve mentioned thousand of times before and should be obvious from all of the different blog posts I’ve written is traveling. I’m in love with traveling because seeing the world means I’m always learning, and it also means that I get to see all of God’s beautiful creations in all of their forms. It’s a never ending discovery, and it takes my breath away. So, even though my moving to Paris in 6 weeks (yes, you read that correctly. only 6 weeks) is scary, I’m excited to move back to France and have the opportunity to travel again. It sets my soul on fire. I don’t think I’ll ever fall out of love with travel.
It’s so entirely difficult to believe that Paris is so close. I’ve known that this is happening since November, and I’ve had the possibility of it happening since September. It’s nerve-wracking, and on some level, it does suck, because I finally feel like I’m establishing a life here in Milwaukee, just to pack up and move again. My heart breaks a little, leaving all of the people and places that I’ve come to love in this city. But alas, my friends, I’ll be back. After all, I have to come back because one of my friends here has agreed to take care of Edgar baby while I’m gone (not ready to leave him either), and I’ll still have another year of my degree. So, yes, I’ll be back. You can’t get rid of me that easily Milwaukee.
This happiness project of mine, however, is helping me to move to Paris with a clear head and is allowing me to move feeling more confident in my emotional self.
I’m ready for it….well, almost.
6 weeks my friends. More to come soon on that front.