I declare my pursuit of life, liberty and most importantly happiness. There are moments when I achieve this goal, but this is a lifelong pursuit because it can disappear at any moment. It has before. Life. You plan for things to go a certain way and then life takes over. Life can lift you up and it can also kick you in the face. Sometimes we can get so defeated that it is a choice if we want to take that next breathe. Yes. Life will pick you back up. Where has life taken me? Am I successful in life? I’ve been told I am not ambitious, and I can agree in part to that statement since I have a computer science degree which I do not use. At least I completed it, it should mean something. My mother has on several occasions said I would do great if I got a Masters in Business. I could get one and probably get a better job, but right now I don’t want to. It confuses her that I can, but I choose not to. Besides, if I did go back to school it would be for Fine Arts. Now my mother was ambitious. She started a crisis center in the Virgin Islands, she worked on Wall Street, she started her own business and she raised 6 kids. But I am not her. People might say I am not successful because of my job, nothing flashy or glamorous or high paying, but I take pride in my work and I can do it well. I’ve also meet some extremely awesome and wonderful people. It probably helps that I move every few years, which requires me to change where I work so it never becomes stale. If one day I come to realize I don’t like my job, then I hope I will just leave and find someplace that I do want to be. And how can I not be grateful for having a full time job where I don’t have to worry about being fired at any moment. In this economy where CEOs are losing their jobs and having to work at Starbucks (there is a book out there about this) or not at all, I am grateful for my steady paying job. Yes, money can be very helpful, but I don’t want a job where I make more money, but I spend so much time working instead of doing the things that make me happy. What determines success? Success could also mean having a house and kids, which I have neither. Does that make me unsuccessful? Many people are losing their homes or can’t get out because of the market or natural disasters. I am glad I am not in either of those situations. The timing and money has never been right to get a house, and there is a part of me that doesn’t want to be tied down to so much debt or having to mow a lawn, but maybe in the future when I am settled down in a city I really like. Who knows, I certainly don’t. About kids, I do want a family one day, and if it happens it would make me extremely happy. That is all I will say on that subject for now. You can be swayed by the media, by your parents, by your friends, by your coworkers, but success is determined by me. To be honest, I couldn’t say if my life is successful, but if I can enjoy the company of friends and family, if I can pay my bills, if I have a steady job where I am appreciated, if I travel, if I have a home, if I get to do my hobbies like reading and painting, if I am in a loving relationship…..If I am Happy, then I claim myself to be successful. So maybe I won’t be able to get that 80 inch flat screen TV, a shopping spree in Paris or a steak dinner every night. I can manage without them. It means more to have the Liberty to not let anyone else determine what I should want, how I should feel and what I should believe. Maybe some people won’t understand or agree, but I’m ok with that. I don’t want to follow, just to follow. I don’t want to be stagnant because it is easier. I don’t want to fall prey to mindless routine, fear of change or be pushed into being someone I’m not. I don’t want to lose sight of the moments, here and now, remembering the past and how it got me here, and looking forward to a future unknown. A good quote, “it is not the destination but the journey,” one I have lost sight of and I may do so again, but I will try to really live this. This year I have experienced and learned a lot about myself. I saw see things in a new light, about who I am, the life I live and the people in it. I realized that I don’t have to be chained down by definitions of who I am. I can change, and change can be good and bad, horrible and wonderful, but change is part of living. I was listening to something about breaking bad habits. When you do something again, your mind remembers the connections and when that situation comes up again, your mind wants to do it again, making it a habit. The more you do the habit the harder it can be to break it. If you want to break a bad habit such as not coming home and going straight to the fridge or the TV, then you must make the effort to break that one and start a new one. We are a creature of habit and this is who we are, but we determine what habits we have and how they effort us and sometimes we must stop and look upon ourselves and see if they are holding us back. I used to never cook and my mom used to tell people I was allergic to raw food. It may seem insignificant to start cooking, but me not knowing or wanting to cook was part of what defined me for so long. I have found that cooking for others and with others makes me happy. I lost a lot of who I was and rebuilding gives me a chance to go in new directions. I don’t want to be stuck in habits just because. I get annoyed when someone says they hate something or don’t want to try something because they think they will hate it. You can hate rapist, bigotry, cruelty, murder, etc. but for other things, why not be more open-minded, you never know. Even if the experience is crappy, maybe you will discover something new along the way. I say this, but doesn’t mean I always live this, but I am trying to be active in living it daily. And then there is Love. Receiving love and giving love are the pillars in life. Don’t take love for granted, don’t assume it will always be there. You have to nurture and care for love. It amazes me that the older I get and the more I know about life and myself, the more I discover I don’t know anything. I try to reason out, try to find the answers, but so often I feel I am just fumbling around in the dark. So I will live, I will feel, I will let these precious moments send flairs in the darkness to light my way. I don’t know if I can live how I want to every day, every moment, but the pursuit of happiness is the driving force inside me. This, at least I know.
(That was a very long ramble and I will be surprised if anyone got through it all. It reminds me how it felt when I first started blogging, out of need and not necessarily want.)