I am feeling vulnerable again so here's another tearful blog post about something that has evolved over time: Looking happy.
These past couple of months of growth have made me want to truly look back at old pictures and look at myself. I was one of those people who constantly took selfies and posted them everywhere. I loved photography and I knew the priceless value of having those memories, so I took pictures with everyone whenever I could. It was a huge part of my friendships with many people then and now. What I looked for in those photos was just an inkling of me feeling genuinely happy.
It's funny because looking at them now I know without a doubt that I was far from happy when any of those photos were taken. It's funnier now because I can tell the difference between when I was genuinely smiling and when I was putting on a show. Usually photos where I was with my team were genuine. A lot of the other photos look like I was struggling.
My idea of what happiness actually is has changed so much.
I am sure if you would've asked me back then what is happiness I wouldn't have been able to tell you. In fact, I can remember as recently as last year being asked what I wanted out of life and I answered, "I just want to be at peace and to be truly happy."
But whatever that is, right? If I am being completely honest I had no idea how I would've felt that peace and happiness. What did it even look like? How would I even know that that was what I was feeling? It was something I truly wanted, but didn't know how to even accomplish it.
Until I realized the only way I would ever achieve it was to start focusing on myself. Taking out unnecessary stress, enjoying simple pleasures, spending quality time with friends. Building confidence in myself and my ability to conquer my fears and to still choose to live. That was how I was going to achieve that happy.
After taking some necessary adjustments over the past few months I can proudly say that I am starting to feel that peace.
And I know other people can see it too.
I know because they've told me.
I cannot express how gratifying it is to hear someone say you look so happy.
I have never been told that. Especially not by people who know how bad mentally I've been throughout my life. The people who have seen me at my lowest low. Who saw the fake smiles and knew the truth. But more and more people are.
My closest friends are seeing a change in me that I never thought was possible. I look forward to the next day, I believe in myself, I compliment myself, I do what's best for me. I don't leave those kind of things up to anyone else. I make necessary changes on the daily to not only survive but to prosper. And people are noticing.
When it feels like you have gone a lifetime of not really feeling happiness, it can become overwhelming when you start. Which is why some days I just start thinking about it and I cry.
Not because I feel sorry about my past, but because I am so excited for my future.
I look happy because I feel happy. For what feels like the first time in my entire life.
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