For Happiness

Happiness is a choice. A conscious, intentional decision to feel good. I started this year with a clean slate. Freshly out of school, a bunch of great friendships – old and new – and a positive disposition. Something that I had not chosen to undertake throughout my years in high school. This new outlook on life was refreshing. I walked the world with motivation, purpose, and understanding. I was not drowning in unwanted thoughts and comparisons – I had decided to be unequivocally and unapologetically happy.

It was only when I neglected this conscious choice that my disposition began to deteriorate. The thing about most decisions is that they require not only effort, but consistent effort. They require continuous attention because without this, a minor setback becomes a slippery slope.

I stopped monitoring my decision. Yes, it had become second nature when life was running smoothly but when life presented me with something a little tougher, I still had to consciously make a decision to deal with it in such a way that promoted growth, learning, and optimism. And I did a pretty good job of this for the most part.

I can’t recall the exact moment I became complacent. But I walked back over the bridge to begin my journey home from uni today and I saw some young, twenty-something year old guy riding a tiny-arse skateboard, I heard two girls chatting loudly in front of me and I noticed an older man running with a massive sports jacket on and I judged the absolute crap out of all these people. And that is when I realised just how complacent I had become.

I tried to remember when I had begun opting for a grimace and upturned nose over the smile I used to walk around with. I was struck with the sudden and complete acceptance of the truth that happy people make other people happy. I had already realised that I had become overly judgemental of myself, but I hadn’t realised how this translated to the way I treated the world. I allowed my own self-criticism to translate to criticism to those around me; I allowed myself to view everyone as competition. The resounding belief that others were closer to perfection than myself had morphed into my own need to seek out their flaws.

I walked with this revelation on my mind and immediately disregarded it when I arrived at home and a good friend did something extremely characteristic of them – something I had mentioned upsets me. Something really, really small, insignificant, and in no way detrimental to their character. I was filled with bitterness and I began listing in my head all the things that this person had done that I considered selfish and inconsiderate and I had a massive cry about it. And then my revelation came back into my mind.

Why had I become so freaking sensitive to the sins of others? I had absolutely no understanding or empathy for anyone around me. I was irritable and relentless, selfish and unaccepting. I had spent all this time expecting other people to change to make me happier, when I had refused to choose happiness for myself. I had denied responsibility for my own life and therefore, had taken away my own ability to change it.

So, here’s to another step in my journey to getting back on track. To reclaiming the motivation to become the person I want to be, and not settle for what is easy. To setting intentions to spread positive energy, rather than expecting others to go above and beyond for me, with nothing in return. To letting go of carelessness towards others and lack of respect for their decisions, feelings, and the reasons behind them. To choosing happiness and taking on the effort that it requires, despite knowing I have failed before.

For Reclaiming

It is surprising just how easy it is to lose yourself. You would think that losing touch would be difficult considering you follow yourself around every single day, think yourself through every task and watch the world through your own lens. But it isn’t.

Maybe you’ve fixed yourself before and you have become complacent – your band-aid fix has finally peeled away. Growth has stagnated, and inaction has taken over. Sometimes you don’t notice yourself slipping for far too long and when you finally take a moment to truly look at yourself it seems that the damage is far too devastating.

Over the past few months I have seriously deviated from my path. Whenever I pull myself out of the feelings of anxiety and detachment a sense of disorientation encompasses me. Where am I and what the hell am I doing?

A confession or two:

I allocate too much time to focusing on minute aspects of my appearance. I attempt to find self-worth in the pursuit of perfection in every aspect of life. I allow myself to wallow in a whirlwind of self-imposed pressure, deeming myself inadequate and undeserving of love, friendship, support and praise. I am overly sensitive to the feedback of others, good and bad. The belief that nothing I do or am is ever good enough surrounds me and I allow the smallest of inadequacies to envelop my thoughts. My mind spirals out of control. I feel so uncomfortable in my own skin that I attempt to change everything and hide myself.

But, I have decided that it is time to reclaim myself. Reclaim myself from self-doubt, self-loathing and the constant feeling of never being good enough. It may not be a new year but I have made a resolution.

I am deciding that it is time to be free.

Time to free myself from obsessing over attaining perfection and the stress of applying too much pressure. I realise that yes, I have made a mess of my little world. But it is so messy that it has become art and I can find a lesson if I look hard enough.

There are so many things I need to fix in order to find my way again. But I am resolving to take steps to free myself from comparison and the idea that others are without fault. I aim to take steps to grow intellectually and emotionally through understanding and acceptance. Acceptance that I will never be perfect and shouldn’t try to be and the understanding that everyone is on their own path, separate from mine. I need to recognise and forgive myself for my faults and wrongdoings and allow myself time to re-establish self-confidence. I need to respect others and remember that every person I meet will teach me vital life lessons. I need to be patient with learning to love myself as I am, before attempting to make changes for fear I will focus on changing the wrong things.

I must make it my responsibility to go where I would like to go, be who I would like to be and feel how I would like to feel. I should not expect others to feed my self-esteem, but rather teach myself to view my own actions and abilities with critical, but kind, eyes. I must place more importance on the meaningful things in life, rather than the trivial and reclaim my mind, my soul and my life.

I am setting intentions to reclaim myself.

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A Beginning

I have a terrible habit of recording small revelations in the Notes on my phone. As handy as this app is, in my life, it is a flawed system. I lose my revelations, I lose my moments of insight and clarity.

For a long time, I have wanted to keep track of these revelations in order to fully appreciate the stage of life I am currently in. I don’t want to become bitter with age; I want to remember the joy of my youth and the lessons I have learned along the way. But I didn’t know how to begin. So, I decided to formulate these revelations into a blog, or set of reminders. I was inspired by a quote I came across that cautioned novelists against spending too much time rewriting their first sentence, for fear they will never write their second. This is a valid fear. Too many times in my life I have not pursued a task that I was deeply interested in simply due to the idea that I would not do it justice. Enough is enough.

It is important to note that I say ‘selves’ in the title because I believe as humans we are constantly reinventing and regenerating ourselves. We are never truly stagnant – or if we are, we aren’t happy about it. Certainly, I know for myself that I am not the same me I was five years ago. Hell, I’m not the same me I was six months ago! So yes, this is a blog to my future selves. Maybe 20-year-old Morgan who’s beginning her career needs to read this, or maybe it’s 30-year-old Morgan who is settling down and starting a family. Or maybe it is 70-year-old Morgan who may not be feeling as fulfilled as she’d hoped. Maybe I’ll still be adding to it at 70 – I mean learning never truly ends. So, to whichever Morgan is reading this, I am about to share the wisdom of my current self: the books I have read, the movies I have watched, the people I have met, the experiences I have undergone and how they have brought me to this point. Take what you will.