I haven’t posted in over a week! I feel bad about not being able to post as much as I want to, but I’ll just have to accept it for now. After one week of teaching, I’d caught more than one virus (I’m sure), and I got quite sick. This is all normal for new teachers but boy I felt bad. I worked today and yesterday and although I wasn’t really better yet, you don’t just call in sick; it probably means they have to move mountains to find a replacement, and it’s not the best situation for the kids.
Today’s post is about happiness. I really felt the need to post about something happy, and I ended up with this subject. I got some new insights about this in the past year and I think they are very valuable. If I look back, it’s obvious when I was happy and when I was not. It sums up what I need to be happy, but I also think these things are important for everyone.
How does one become happy? This is probably the oldest question in the entire universe. It’s what everyone seeks, their entire life. You have this goal in mind for your life which will make you decide what study to choose or which career path to take. People who dedicate their lives to their career might think that money and status will make them happy. People who choose to quit their job to have kids might think that a family will make them happy. And there is nothing wrong with either of these choices.
You can’t be happy all the time, that’s for sure. This is an unreachable goal and you shouldn’t strive for it. There are people who seem to be happy all the time though. They always have a smile on their face and they are always cheerful and positive. Oh man, I wish I was like them. I think I my serotonin levels are naturally low, so you can probably also have naturally high serotonin levels. Now that would be awesome! (But those people have bad days too, trust me.) Maybe you need pills to be happy, and that’s ok.
Is it possible?
Can I be truly happy? I’ve asked myself this many times. And I think I can. But the thing that always has a tremendous impact on my wellbeing is fear. Anxiety is the queen of mood killers I’m tellin’ ya. And the fact that I’m always afraid to fail as a person isn’t helping. It’s my foundation; I can’t just shake this off and I can’t just change these thoughts. I’m afraid people don’t like me. I’m afraid of getting fat and food. When I have a job, I’m afraid to fail. I’m afraid to be a burden to others. And I’m afraid to feel emotions because they can be extremely huge and deep. But what if I could reduce these fears as much as possible?
In the last few years, I wanted to change my life. I didn’t want to be a slave of my fears any longer. So I fought them, and it kind of worked. Which wasn’t a choice I could have made earlier; I couldn’t make it until I was ready for it, at the age of 32. I quit my job and chose another life path, thinking this would make me happier. And it did! But not in the way I thought it would. I became a better person by listening to what I really needed, without forcing things that don’t match with who I am. And by accepting that there are things I can’t change. In the end, I needed to quit my job to learn this.
A fresh start
The first thing I needed was a fresh start as a ‘new’ person; a blank canvas without a history. I would just be myself, and not the one with ‘issues’ or a bad body image, or weird thoughts about food. I noticed that it really matters how you portray yourself to others. When I started my traineeship, I was really insecure about my body, but I didn’t let it show. And as far as I know, others didn’t pay attention to it. Which actually made it a lot easier. Today, I’m still insecure about my body. I think I’m fat and I want to lose weight. But at school, nobody has to know. The kids probably don’t have any thoughts about my weight. They don’t care if I weigh 40 or 80 or 120 K. It makes life a lot easier.
Things I learned
👉 In the past year, I learned that there are things about myself that I can’t fix. Some issues are so stubborn, that I can’t handle certain situations. Like being in a toxic work environment where people treat me like shit. I just can’t shake it off, and it triggers very nasty notions I have about myself. It makes me reach a very unhealthy state of mind.
👉 Also, social situations literally deplete me. I don’t know if I was born with this, but they do; being at a birthday for an hour costs me more energy than a full day of intensive physical activities. Being on my own all day gave me a mental relaxation I hadn’t experienced ever before. I don’t want to be on my own forever, and I don’t hate all birthdays, don’t get me wrong. But being in a social environment where I don’t feel good enough takes more mental energy than I can handle.
👉 Another thing I learned is to make choices that others will not always understand. Until now, I made a lot of choices based on the expectations or opinions of others. I would only do things that others would see as ‘normal’. But I’m not a normal average person. In the past year, I chose to quit my traineeship. Some peeps may think that I’m crazy because it will result in a study dept, or maybe they’ll think that I’m not capable of programming, or just lazy. Doing it despite of opinions others might have was the best choice I made this year.
So, I was very unhappy when I had a job where I was afraid to fail, or to not be liked by my colleagues. I was unhappy when I was in the middle of my eating disorder, going nuts because it was a frickin’ prison. I was unhappy when relationships with my relatives were not ok. But, I was happy when I started my traineeship, because I found out that I could start over with who I was now. But being in a job where I felt suppressed made me instantly depressed. I just can’t deal with people treating me like shit. I was unhappy when I had a job that I had been doing for far too long, just because I was afraid of the unknown. Asking more of myself mentally than I can handle also makes me unhappy. Giving myself mental space did me very well.
What I need to be happy (and the same goes for you)
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