Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Thoughts on Letting Go and Being Happy

I think spring is finally here.  I live in Michigan, so although the weather is nice (for now), I do not count on the weather to coordinate with the calendar seasons.

For me, this year spring has been marked by the Listen to Your Mother countdown.  I also set aside a spring deadline for rebranding my blog.  So now that I have my new blog look (which I LOVE and will talk more about in another post) and Listen to Your Mother is right around the corner, I officially declare spring has arrived.

I am not sure if it is the changing of the seasons, but I have been in retrospective mood. My life has been so different since I started blogging almost five years ago.

I am thankful for the opportunities to have my work published on other websites, to be teaching again, to be a part of a production that was once only a dream.

I am grateful for the people that I have made along the way. They have pushed me out of my comfort zone, offered me their friendship, and often saw something in myself that I didn’t quite believe was in me.

I had this notion that I should feel nothing but happy for all of the wonderfulness that has happened.   So I was totally confused by an unexpected twinge of sadness.  I am writing!  I am teaching!  I am in Listen to Your Mother!  Just be happy already!

After some deep contemplation over some Ben and Jerry’s Chocolate Therapy Ice Cream, I have come to the conclusion that when one breaks away from their pack (maybe it’s family, maybe it’s lifelong friends) and begins down a path of self-discovery, not everyone will understand this new leg of the journey.

Instead of being happy that you are finally living life according to your inner compass, some question and may even resent your choices. 

For someone who is easily influenced by the need to make others happy (especially at the cost of my own happiness), it has taken an enormous amount of energy to remain true to myself and focus on all of the positive things that have happened.

So I think that unexpected sadness comes from the sense of loss – a loss for the comfy things in my past that were not really that healthy for me anyway. 

I am glad that I am taking the time to get to know myself. I now have the courage and confidence to see certain things - people, personal dynamics, my own destructive behavior patters – for what they are and let go.

Letting go has allowed light to shine in and good things to happen.

Elizabeth Gilbert's quote about happiness Mommy on the Spot
Working hard on this.

I'm working on this, but I can't help feel a little nostalgic for the past.

Do you ever miss things from a certain time period of your life?  How do you handle it?  Do you mourn it?  Do you chase it?  


angela said...

Growth can be hard. I know that not all of my friends understand the direction my life is taking. I get that, but sometimes I am more ok with it than other times.

Erin Janda Rawlings said...

You are right - growth is hard. Thanks for commenting, Angela!

Kimberly said...

This is so bloody perfect today. This is not the direction in life that I had intended to go, but it is something that I am making the best of and in that, my friends are dwindling. Perhaps it's my diagnosis because holy crap I am so scary....
The ones that love us the most should be respectful and supportive of our endeavours. We would do it for them in a heartbeat.
It's hard to think this way, but being happy, rather being content and striving to get there, is ours to own and to be proud of. If people want to join in, they are more than welcome. But we cannot hinder our growth because of sucky people.
Thank you for writing this. I've only known you for a squeak in time, but I am proud of you. xo

Erin Janda Rawlings said...

Kimberly, that is exactly it about growth and owning it! I am so glad that we met. I am proud of you for sharing your story in Listen to Your Mother- it always brings tears to my eyes.

Nathalie said...

I go back and forth. Sometimes it seems easy to stay optimistic and focused on the future and the path I want to take, and at other times there's a crash, where I wonder what the heck I was thinking and can I really do this.

It's hard when you don't have any support. That's when you realize that you need to go out there and build your own support system -- find others who think the way you do and are who are also travelling their own paths of personal growth. If you can find even one person who can confirm that you are not, in fact, crazy for wanting something better for yourself, that sometimes makes all the difference.