For the last few months I've felt absolutely miserable. Grumpy. Bitchy. Unnerved. Feeling alone and trapped by the obligations of my life, the responsibilities that I feel I've had for centuries and will have for eternity.
Feeling these things is not a very good way to get through the day, let alone interact with people, so I googled things like "why am I so miserable" and "how to be nice" and "how to tell if you're dying" and then I remembered a saying - Follow Your Bliss. Yes, Follow Your Bliss. Well, okay, soooo wtf is my bliss and how do I follow it? So I googled that which led to more things and from those things I read from people who had followed their bliss's and were now living high on clouds and sipping wine with the Gods (which does not make a miserable person feel better) so I made a list of questions:
What kind of people do I like to be around?
Who am I hanging with?
What places make me feel safe and comfortable?
Where do I spend my time?
What things would I love to surround myself with?
What things are in my home?
What hobbies and activities do I do for myself that make me feel alive?
How am I spending my free time?
I decided that if I was going to venture out in search of my bliss I'd better be damn truthful with my answers and let me tell you sometimes, I'm better off not knowing. But knowledge is power and now I had some power to further analyze myself and this is what I learned - the answers to the first set made me sad, the second two sets were pretty close, but the last two, oh, the last two...no wonder I've been so miserable.
They didn't match. Didn't even come close. Nothing on the first was on the second. Things like Pinterest, TV, Facebook, complaining, stuffing my face, those were a pathetic few. The first list was writing, sewing, and taking pictures, things I hadn't done in months. Well, except for a few stitches here and there, but nothing finished.
So I asked myself why would I deliberately stop myself from doing things that made me feel alive? No matter how I rationalized that answer, it always came down to "because I don't feel I deserve it". Whoa. Wait, what? Why the hell not? Why don't I deserve to have joy?
Ready? Because...my time has come and gone / my life wasn't supposed to be like this / I have too many responsibilities / I listened to my parents-boyfriends-now ex-husband- friends and lost me in the process / etc., etc., etc.
Can't tag this to anyone but myself. Nope, no spoon was carrying that tub of mint chip ice cream - I got it. No remote was clicking on 'Castle' and 'Rizzoli and Isles' and 'Project Runway' (but I LOVE PR) - it was me me me, my doings. Or my undoing.
You see, I'd been faking it. Faking me to the world. You know how they say to "act " like you're having fun and "act" like you're having a great day and "act" like you love your job? Well, that there is most likely the most dangerous advice you can follow because when you "act like" anything you are denying yourself the truth about how you feel and when you deny your truth you end up being a living, breathing, lie and as you know, lies snowball, and turn into more lies and where does that leave you?
Angry. Lonely. Confused. Wavering. Unhappy. Doubtful. Uncaring. Insensitive. Detached.
Is that who you are? (Here is where you jump up and proclaim loudly with a fist in the air, "hell no!")
Is that who I was becoming? Maybe. But now that I've recognized that and for whatever reason I subconsciously decided I was undeserving I know I'm to the one millionth power most deserving, and this is why I'm writing this post.
For me. And for you. Please, for the habit of joy, don't get sucked into the act. Don't feel like you can't continue to / start to do what makes you YOU. (And I'm assuming these "what makes you you" things are healthy and productive habits and not something that would make you bolt down a dark alley to avoid being arrested.)
For me, I will read my list daily and know that I deserve to be happy. What is on that list may lead me to those people that support and strengthen me, those people I listed who are unknown to me now. And who knows, maybe the small plot of earth I've been bequeathed in this gigantic universe will at some point be marked with my contribution to benefit mankind, even if mankind is a small part of the whole.
So when you feel confused, befuddled, find yourself wavering and at a complete loss wondering what the hell is your life all about, go somewhere quiet and make a list. Be honest. Be kind. And most of all, don't ever let anyone make you feel like you don't deserve the best things in life, because you do. Follow your bliss.
And remember this:
Existence is a strange bargain. Life owes us little; we owe it everything. The only true happiness comes from squandering ourselves for a purpose. -William Cowper