I Don’t Wanna be Anyone Else But Myself

“Finally I am coming to the conclusion that my highest ambition is to be what I already I am.”

-Thomas Merton

As I was driving to teach today, I was struck with the fact that I don’t want to be anyone else besides myself right now. Which is a crazy concept, coming from the girl who always was looking at the world through rose colored glasses where everything was better out there than in here. (Moments before, an attractive young woman the same age as me sped past in a Range Rover and I couldn’t help but think in my mind: “That hair!”)

If you had a dog, I wanted a dog. And I wanted mine to be just like yours. If you were young, I wanted to be young like you and have my whole life ahead of me to learn and grow. If you were old, I wanted the same life experience, wisdom, and maturity as you and was unhappy if I couldn’t achieve that. If I was completely honest with myself, a lot of my life was filled with envy and wanting what I simply didn’t and couldn’t have.

Today on my philosophical drive, I let that obsession go. I can’t be everyone and anything and in striving to be, I lose so much of myself and the good in me becomes very hard to see or manipulated. I’ve admired characteristics in other people that I didn’t see in myself and then agonized over that disparity for far too long while overlooking the good characteristics I had.

Simply put: Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are. – Malcom Forbes.

Let me tell you, you are a force to be reckoned with. You have it all within you as you are now. There’s a lot of good in me, and there sure as hell is a lot of good in you. Overvalue it, make it who you are.

Lastly…a good reminder from Brene Brown talking about swimming: Morning swims are great reminders for the day: Stay in your own lane. Comparison kills creativity & joy.

Don’t do what I did with the girl with great hair on the freeway. Her lane was taking her to who knows where and who cares? All I can do is focus on my lane and find the joy in being where I am and who I am.

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When Sadness Hits You…

Recently, I’ve been crying the way a person has to sneeze when they have allergies. It’s always there, right below the surface threatening to erupt into a case of ugly crying at the most inconvenient times. At the grocery store I get a lump in my throat, and then I frantically try to escape to my car where I can cry and (wail). When the song “Wherever You Go” by Richard Marx comes on the radio, I become a puddle of emotions. If my family merely says hello with the slightest intonation of being upset I dissolve into tears.

Also, for the record, this is very unlike me. While everyone else in the theater was either quietly sniffling or sobbing, I was the only dry eye while watching The Fault in Our Stars. I am uncomfortably unemotional. I cry only once or twice a year. This week I’ve cried at least 5 times. I am sad. For a couple of very legitimate reasons. Losing people, or the fear of losing people has gripped my heart for decades. When it happens I suppose it is normal to unravel as I have been doing this past week.

The reason I’m blogging about sadness on my happiness blog is that it’s OK, more than OK, to be sad sometimes. I would be delusional to say HAPPINESS SHOULD BE AT ALL TIMES AND SADNESS SHOULD NOT EXIST IN THIS WORLD. My friend told me to sit with the sadness, to find joy and beauty in it. And I did. It felt good to release it. But also, trying to be more outward thinking really shifts the emotions. It was my birthday last week and one of my best friends gave me INSTANT HAPPY Post-It Notes that can be purchased at Francesca’s or at this link: http://www.amazon.com/Instant-Happy-Notes-Sticky-Surprises/dp/1402238266. You know what gave me the most joy from the post-it notes? Sticking them under random car’s windshields. The feeling of knowing that someone will walk up to their car and think that someone thought of them. The feeling that someone else’s day will be brightened.

When sadness hits you, hit back! It’s so lovely to have pity parties once in a while. It feels great and amazing to rock yourself back and forth and repeat to yourself “Why me, why is this happening?” But every party has to end. When you’re done with all of the self-pity and crying, try and think of how you can make others, who have gone through the same exact thing at one point in their lives, a little happier.

“If you enjoy being miserable and insecure, focus on yourself. It’s impossible to be miserable when you’re focused on others.” – Pete Sapper