Hello lovelies! I figured the only way I would be able to make sure I keep up on my resolutions would be to occasionally post some kind of a check-in about my progress. And also, I thought it might help some of you. For example, I follow Sarah Dessen (@sarahdessen) on Twitter and she posts some amazingly personal struggles she has gone through with her writing, her daughter, and a miscarriage she had years ago. And even though I cannot relate to 2 of those 3, it’s still truly inspiring. So, to follow in her amazing footsteps, I thought maybe if I posted some of my progress, maybe it would help inspire some of you to find your own happiness…or at least take some time to smell the roses around you.
Truly, this is the one I’ve made the most progress on, and it’s also the hardest.
Fill my life with as much happiness as possible.
You don’t realize how hard that is until you realize how many times you throw yourself mini pity parties without consciously noticing it. When I’m sitting at home, stuffing my face with crackers, it’s easy for me to sit there and say to myself, “I’m lonely. No one likes me. That’s why I’m sitting here alone on a Tuesday night with a 10:30 bedtime. Being an adult sucks.” But, really, what does this kind of thinking accomplish? Nothing. Not a thing. It only makes me feel worse. So when these thoughts creep in, I take a few deep breaths and try to remind myself about things in my life that do seem to be going well.
And I have made a very large step in this direction.
After making this resolution, I broke up with my boyfriend.
For many, this came as a surprise. My family, my coworkers, my boyfriend himself. But after 3 months with him, I just found I wasn’t happy. I enjoyed spending time with him, sure, but I had this nagging voice in the back of my head that kept telling me something wasn’t right. I tried to ignore it. I’ve heard that voice before, every time I get scared of something.
See, I’m constantly terrified that people are going to leave my life. I’m envious of people who have had the same best friend since first grade, who know without a doubt who their maid of honor will be in their wedding. I don’t have that. I’ve had close friends throughout every school I went to, but after high school ended, after college ended, they all drifted away even as I tried to keep in contact. It makes me feel clingy to keep trying to put things together when they only ignore my attempts to plan a get-together. So the more I feel for a guy, the more afraid I get that he’s just going to leave. It’s a panicky, fluttery feeling that makes me feel like I’m just going to disappoint someone, than I’m going to watch everything crash and burn, that it’s only a matter of time before things go south.
This was the feeling I was trying to ignore.
But when I stopped to think about my relationship with this guy, I realized there were cracks emerging. We didn’t communicate well together. We fell into a rut by date 2 of going to his place, eating, and watching something. (We only went “out” somewhere three times in three months.) We didn’t really try to include each other in our lives. Now, I’ve only ever been in one other serious relationship, and it was the complete opposite of this. I didn’t have a lot of previous experience to draw from, and that made me nervous.
And it created the worst problem: I kept comparing this boy to my ex. I couldn’t get my ex out of my head. I kept thinking about him and our good times, about him and the things I loved (and hated) about him, and then about him and his new girlfriend. It wasn’t that I wanted back together with him (I don’t), but it seemed a really bad sign to be thinking about my ex the whole time I was with a new guy.
So I ended things.
I wasn’t happy when I was constantly trying to impress him or make him happy. Worrying about all of this didn’t make me happy either. Ultimately, I think I got into the relationship for all the wrong reasons. After a devastating but unsurprising break-up with my ex in April, I think I just wanted to know that I wasn’t unlovable after that. This guy was sweet and caring, but it just took me three months to realize that I needed some time to love myself before I could give my heart to someone else.
That sounds like a line out of a B movie, but there’s really something to it. We spend so much time trying to impress other people, to silently shout “We are important! We are worth your notice!” that we stop noticing ourselves.
And once I started noticing myself, I discovered something kind of amazing: teaching makes me happy.
*Slow clap for the teacher* Yes, I realize how ridiculous this sounds. But a teacher’s first year is the hardest thing ever. And I forgot over the last semester why I got into this profession. I love the kids. I love seeing the wheels turn in their heads as they start to figure something out. I love seeing them become passionate about something important to them. Just talking to a few of them one-on-one after class makes me feel good.
I’ve finally started getting organized and hitting my stride as a teacher. It’s still a bumpy road, but it’s getting smoother. And it makes me happy to know that I’m doing something I enjoy.
It hasn’t been an easy first week, but it’s been interesting. Slowly, I’m finding my groove. And if I can keep this up, it’s going to be a great year.