As the spring weather begins to emerge I find myself catching glimpses of an older version of myself who was always happy and carefree regardless of what was going on. I miss the younger
me who hadn’t totally faced the burdens that sometimes
come with life. There was a time that I spent time writing poetry
and music, singing, learning instruments, laughing and spending time with friends, learning how to code, doing photography… I LOVED doing these things. They made me smile. But what happened and why do I not do any of them anymore?
In high school I was pretty active in these things, but it was then that I noticed a shift. My situation at home began to shift and grades became my main focus as I knew my GPA and academic capabilities were the only hope I had at obtaining a college degree. I started focusing more and more on what I needed to do to become “successful”, and less and less on the things that make me happy and keep me sane. Slowly the writing came to a stop, singing became a part of my past, and once I got to college the photography and music came to a complete halt. I’ve been out of high school for 5 years and I haven’t picked up an instrument or sang a serious note since my senior year. I haven’t taken a picture outside of a selfie or snapshot in 4 years.
As I approach the end of my first year of graduate school, I’m realizing that I’ve come to a place in my life where I don’t even know what truly makes me happy because I’ve spent so long focusing on becoming a successful professional. Not saying there is anything wrong with becoming a successful professional, however, I think it’s important to realize that in order to be truly happy, there needs to be a balance. There’s something to be happy about and appreciate everyday. We all have to do a better job at finding that for ourselves each day.
For instance, today I decided to wear heels/wedges to work/school. It’s something that I never do because when I was growing up I got tons of crap for it since I’m on the taller side of the spectrum. But I LOVE shoes and I have so many in my closet that I never wear. I make up all these reasons as to why when really none of those things are important. This morning I made it up in my mind that I didn’t care what anyone had to say about me wearing my heels, and I proceeded to wear them right out of my apartment.
The confidence that it brought me to wear those shoes out today… no one will ever know. Sometimes it’s really the small things that bring us joy. I know that me wearing those shoes is not the same as me picking up one of my old activities, but it’s definitely a step. As I move forward I challenge myself and you all as well, to seek out what truly makes you happy. I challenge you to grow and embrace your happiness because you deserve to smile everyday; even on the bad days.
Besos – Gabriell Anna