How to be happy

April 12, 2010 at 4:40 pm (It's all about me)

4/30/10

I’m in a truth-telling mood. The kind brought on by brief flirtations with modern dramatics that squeeze the heart and enrage the lower intestines.The kind prompted by broad, searching questions and absolutely brilliant blog posts that aggregate answers to a reader’s question.

The other day a friend asked how I got here. And by here she meant emotionally healthy, secure in who I am, and generally happy with what I see in the mirror. Here, where someone telling me he thinks I’m worth it elicits a silent, mental, yup I am, instead of an appreciation for the 40 minute slog through traffic and ensuing surprise visit. Here where I only hate my BABs (big-ass boobs) in dance class or while trying to fit into J.Crew, Vera Wang, La Perla, or Vena Cava. Here where I’m 100% able to believe that my boyfriend* actually meant what came out as an insult to be a compliment. Here where I’m amused and not threatened by the 22-year-old “whee girls” in my neighborhood, slim-armed as Humbert Humbert’s nymphets. Here where I am thoroughly confident in my style choices and aversion to certain trends. Here where a bad night in statistics class is simply a bad night for an otherwise competent learner.

The truth is, I don’t entirely know. I think I just got sick of being so hard on myself. It was exhausting to expect the kind of perfection I’d never require of someone I loved. And I should love me. I think one day I realized that deep down I DO love me. And I always have. So I stopped letting myself say mean things to…myself. I said, “Self! Don’t you treat her that way. I love her and she deserves better!” Or something like that. And I kept changing my internal dialogue. And then one day, poof, I didn’t have to think about it. The good things came to mind before the bad, the happy before the sad, the lemonade before the lemons. (Yeah, that last one didn’t actually work…) It just…happened. I can see the progression in my posts, even though I’m likely the only one who can. It began with the move to California (which is why I say move to Morocco if you just HAVE to be in Morocco) and continued through that coming-into-my-own-ness of my late-20s.

Now, as I face 30 in mere weeks, I can’t remember the last time it took effort. These days it just is. And IT. IS. GLORIOUS.

So my thought was, and my advice is, get all Nike on that shit. Just do it. Just start. Somewhere small, but significant, think about a change, and then change.

*Yes, he exists, and no, we’re not going to talk about him. Private people deserve their privacy.

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7 Comments

  1. Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said,

    New Years Resolutions work for some. But, for me, I make changes in my life when I’m good and ready … and that doesn’t always coincide with the changing of the years. Good for you for doing something to change your life. Hope you find what you’re looking for!

  2. k8 said,

    I know I will have arrived when I stop thinking about it. That’s the key. And some days, I don’t. I’m on my way. Isn’t it great?

    • BS said,

      Pretty damn great, yup! So glad you’re on your way.

  3. Katie said,

    Great post! I’ve been trying to notice the good things more as well. Why is is so much easier to be negative than positive?

    • BS said,

      For me, it was always easier to be positive for my friends and loved ones. One day a friend and colleague said, “If some man in your life treated you the way you’re treating yourself, your family would stage a f*cking intervention!” It was just the kick in the ass I needed.

  4. amber said,

    Wow. I really like this. I struggle a lot with self-criticism, with doubt, and I get annoyed with the entire business. I’m so glad you’re happy and confident (and seeing someone! woo hoo!).

    Also?

    “The kind brought on by brief flirtations with modern dramatics that squeeze the heart and enrage the lower intestines.” <—–Awesome.

    • BS said,

      Annoyed with the entire business is, I think, part of what got me started. It’s just so damn exhausting to be that hard on yourself. Happy feels so much lighter.

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