Get happy or die tryin’

Months ago when I was re-doing this blog, I was told to think about how I was “branding” myself. As if I was no longer a person but a sack of beans or a jar, a commodity to be bought and sold. Needless to say I didn’t dig too deep into my “brand,” but I did stumble onto something of a mission statement:

This is the truest thing ever. I remind myself of this multiple times a day when I get cross or frustrated. And it helps; I find that I’ve been developing patience (which is not a virtue that I’ve ever had but have always wanted). The thing is, though, that while I’m better at being patient and kind with other people, I’m neither patient nor kind with myself. No matter what battles I’m fighting.

And I’m sick of it.

A large part of it is that I am not a naturally happy person, and I desperately want to be. I realise this is two separate chunks of weird, which I’ll divide and conquer:

  • First, I don’t mean that I’m depressed again. I mean that I’m a bit too “intense” (description c/o Michael) in my normal state to be able to baseline at “happy.” The closest that I get is “content.” And even that has been hard to come by lately.
  • Second, I want SO TERRIBLY to be happy. I want to be a happy person the way the Grinch wanted to ruin Christmas; rubbing my hands together and scheming in the corner, coveting it. It’s weird. I am convinced that there are feelings that I’ll never have but that everyone else is having all around me. Then I beat myself up for the things I don’t feel, which–spoiler alert!–only ever makes me feel worse about myself.

The common thread? I pick on myself. I criticise and judge and bully and get down on ME harder than anyone else ever could. For a long time I’ve justified this by saying “Being tough is the only way I’ll ever get things done!” but honestly, this is more than being strict with myself; it’s self-flagellation, it’s terrible, it has to stop.

I’m so used to telling myself why I can’t do things that I totally believe it (I’m nothing if not persuasive). I forget that I’M the one in charge of what I do, think and feel. I keep telling myself that I’ll never be happy, but I’ve been happy before and I bet I can do it again. I tell myself that I’ve changed for the worse and that nobody will ever love me, but people ALREADY DO love me and more people will in the future. Granted, I’ve got some sharp edges. But that doesn’t make me bad or unworthy.

The facts are as follows: On the daily, I see more of life’s horror show than the average bear. That takes a toll. But it can’t only be the bad things that affect me, I have to let the good and the positive move me, too. To that end, I am going to focus a lot more on being happy. I am going to write a lot more about being happy, not so much about all the ways the world can pull you apart. Because if words create my world (and they do), I want it to be a nice one. Or at least a place I can spend time in without wanting to pull off my own skin.

I am going to be a lot better at letting people in. I am going to stop writing off Special Feelings and let them come in their own time, or not, which is also fine. I will stop wanting to feel any way other than how I do. I am going to be grateful every day for the gifts that I have, rather than wishing them away (futile) or cursing the weight of existence (equally futile, and a little too existential). I am going to look for the light and the good because I know it’s there.

I am going to be happy, is what I’m saying, or I am going to die trying.

7 thoughts on “Get happy or die tryin’

  1. I think if you can convince yourself that your life is horrible and awful, you can convince yourself that your life is amazing and wonderful and you can also convince yourself that you can/will be/are happy. ❤

  2. I cannot put in words how much your words got to me… I always read your blog and feel extremely identified by the things you say. But this time… Wow! It was just too much.

    I’ve always wanted to be happy. Happy in Disney like happy, happy movie like – birds singing – shouting really loud happy. And somehow I’ve been so focused pursuing that felling that I pretty much left anything else out…

    I almost died this year, lost all of my long time friends and I feel completly clueless about what’s coming up next… I’ve faced so much in this 28 years and yet feel so truly alone and unaccomplished…

    Anyways… I just wanted to say hoy much this entry touched me.

    Greetings from Chile

    1. Hi boo, it’s always so lovely to get your comments and this one in particular made me smile.

      I often tell people when they’re recovering from something–like a breakup or a major life change–that happiness isn’t a destination. You don’t just drive through the valleys of misery and arrive at Happy. Happy is a transient state, a feeling like any other, and you have to choose it and work at it all the time. But do I take that advice? No! Like you, I imagine that one day I’m going to roll up to Happytown and let the little birds do my hair every morning while I dance about, singing. But it doesn’t work that way, I KNOW it doesn’t work that way, and it’s time to give ME the breaks that I tell other people to give themselves.

      It sounds like you’ve had a rough year. A while ago, I had one of those too. I broke up with my boyfriend, lost my job, all of my best friends turned on me, I had a scandal and then I got cancer. It was terrible. But you know what? It ended. Now I have work that I love, friends who I trust and who would never screw me over, my health and so, so much to be thankful for. You may feel like you haven’t accomplished anything, but you have. Your trials have forced you to grow and have probably taught you more than you’re even aware of. Mine sure did. And when you’re ready, those lessons will serve as the basis to build an incredible life. You will make new friends. You will accomplish new goals. You are alive, and you are going to be victorious!


  3. A good thing to help yourself on the way to happiness is to just think about all the things you’ve got, and to think how lucky you are to have them. Whenever I’m in a state over something, I think of that. And you know what they say, laughter is the best medicine. I have a couple of friends who make me laugh by doing the stupidest things, namely a scooby-doo impression whenever the fire alarm goes off- “run, scooby, run!”

  4. I should have read this post yesterday. It was a really bad horrible very bad day. I cried. I couldn’t sleep. My brain churned. Then I woke up this morning and had what I think was a message from the Universe and an epiphany. And you’re right. I *will* be happy. The latest kick in the teeth might not be the last, but “they” can’t break me anymore. Thank you for you. xo


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