One of the biggest compliments you can receive as a blogger is an invitation to guest post. So I was incredibly flattered when Karolina—one of my first regular readers and commenters!—asked me to post for her!
I started my own blog, Hungry Healthy Happy, as sort of a journey to wellness, so it’s fitting for me to share in the space of Wellness Wednesday. Not only do I write about cooking and running—two of my favorite passions—but also about my feelings and emotions—two things that I had largely ignored for quite some time.
At the beginning of this year, I was in an incredibly dark place: depressed, frustrated, and ready to give up. I began writing Hungry Healthy Happy as a way to find something positive in each and every day. I don’t always find it, no, but I think that’s realistic in a journey from “rock bottom” to building yourself back up. I’m at a point now where most days are good ones and I don’t have to try quite so hard to find the positive. I just feel it. However, if I hadn’t started doing this, I can’t say for certain where I’d be.
I do know this: in the last several months, I have made incredible progress. For the first time in my adult life—no, in my life period—I can actually say that I am happy. Up until this point, I was always waiting for the next best thing. The better job, the better relationship, the marriage, the house, the money. But I could never quite get to where I wanted to be with any of these things, and I felt disappointed all the time. I couldn’t be present in my own life and didn’t even make an effort to be happy with what I had because I thought, “If I can just get this, then I’ll be happy.” Guess what? I never got happy.
Every time something didn’t go my way, I got even more frustrated. It got to the point that I was feeling down almost always. Little things bothered me much more than they should have, and it made me angry. Why did I get dealt such a tough hand? Why won’t someone just love me for me? When will it me my turn to have things go my way? I was constantly bitter that my life wasn’t what I thought it should be.
It was only when I accepted my life as it is, myself as an individual and not someone’s significant other or friend or daughter that I could be truly content. I discovered things I like: cooking, running, writing. I had a sense that I liked these things before, but I hadn’t allowed myself to pursue them as passions. I needed time alone to explore who I am and who I’d like to be. As cheesy as it sounds, I needed to find myself.
And although I feel as though I have found myself, there are still parts I’m learning. I’m still getting to know me, but I have a much better sense of who that is. I like that person, and I want to continue to spend time with her.
Do things always go my way now? Um, no. In fact, if you can find someone who always gets what they want, please point them in my direction so I can bottle their secret! But what I have noticed is that when things don’t go my way, it’s not the end of the world anymore. It might bum me out for a minute, but I can get on with my day and feel happy without dwelling on the setbacks.
Case in point: A couple of weeks ago I was in Washington, D.C. for some meetings related to a new job. On top of the fact that it was nearly 100* and incredibly humid, I tripped on a crack in the sidewalk and face planted in my dress in front of my new colleagues. Mortifying. Right? But not really. Strangely, I wasn’t all that embarrassed. I just got up, dusted myself off, and laughed about it. At this point, I’ve embraced the fact that I’m an accident-prone train wreck. It’s just who I am. I am the girl who falls down dancing and gets a black eye. I am the girl who breaks her toe running into a wall. I am the girl who rips her new jeans climbing a fence.
Yep, I fall down. A lot. But instead of just lying there, now I pick myself up, dust myself off, and giggle. Because I love being me. I wouldn’t have it any other way.