Something has changed. I am lighter. There is more warmth, a more consistent warmth. There is peace in my silences were there was once unmitigated concern. There is focus where there was not long ago a void.

And then it hit me while I was walking along the creek trail the other afternoon. This is happiness. A contentment. The peace we strive for. I was stunned. It’s taken me a long while to process how this all snuck up on me. How it became my life, my actual life, seemingly overnight.

It’s bizarre still, to carry this lightness around. It feels suspicious, like it’ll be taken from me at any moment and I’ll be condemned once again to the pervading darkness that marred so many years of my short life. It has struck me as so odd that this is how most people typically experience life. From a place of general warmth. A baseline of happiness. How extraordinarily average and yet one of the greatest awakenings.

I think back over the past three months, and many of the months before that and am gratified that my hard work and persistence has paid off. When my ex-boyfriend walked away my world stopped. But then, slowly but surely, it started to move again. I focused on my job, I returned to study and have begun to map out a career path seriously for the very first time. I took up the gym again with more rigour and enthusiasm, I started to meditate every day and before I go to sleep at night I take the time to write down three good things about my day.

I’m particularly fond of the last exercise. I genuinely look forward to it and often find it very difficult to choose just three aspects. In the past when I’ve tried this it’s been excruciatingly painful to find three, and they’re written down in single sentences. Now I can fill over a page in my journal talking about my day, trying to encapsulate it in just three highlights.

Not all my days are good though. They’re often stressful and filled with anxiety and exhaustion. But I know there are places in myself that I can come to to find relief. I sit with myself in meditation and watch my thoughts come and go; noting them and breathing. I write down my daily highlights, a final affirmation that a hard day was not really that bad. I go to the gym or for a walk and let the exercise and subsequent endorphins form a break from the dreary monotony of the things that are worrying me. And I always remember to breathe.

In short, I trust myself to be my own happiness. I try very hard not to look to others to help me along unnecessarily and provide it for me. My sky is cloudy, but only partly. It’s a beautiful spring day and that spring sky has always been there, above my concerns. I can just see it more clearly now and it’s a real joy to bask in the sun.

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