Tag Archives: happiness

Getting back out there… where have I been?

You guys, these past couple years have been nothing less than a shit show. Life came a knockin’ and it brought some gifts. Good, bad, really bad and finally exhausted and defeated decisions have been made as a result.

Since  2016 my revolving door consisted of starting jobs, quitting  jobs, starting a business, taking a break from that business to start and quit those jobs, trying new mental health treatments (some that worked and some that didn’t), moving out, moving back in, and a medical diagnosis that hit us out of no where.

Throughout this journey I have inadvertently invited people to judge me and to have an opinion about my life. I have distanced myself from family as I tend to do during down times, and I have managed to trim the access weight from my ‘friends’ list.

Ages 33-35 have been a blur of constant motion, trying to find a balance in my life all while watching everything I have worked for start to fade into the background. I was fading into the background of my own life. I was living this life in this body on autopilot for so long that I finally just lost my shit. I literally could not breathe; I was suffocating in this life I said I wanted. And I was freaking tired of being a big ol’ hypocrite.

It’s like after the newness wore off of motherhood I felt completely empty. I think becoming a mom was the last big accomplishment I experienced and I am one of those humans who needs to continue to grow, to learn, to set and meet goals other than new Pinterest projects, to feel important outside the house, to help people I don’t share DNA or a last name with… and I need to do all of those things on a regular basis. That is just who I am; and I have to accept that about myself and stop trying to fit into box not designed for me.

I remember I would lay awake at night and listen to my daughter breathe and in the same breath feel complete joy and complete ambivalence.  I started to feel ambivalent about motherhood, about marriage and about what was expected of me. That excitement and zest for life I felt as a photographer in the Navy, as a new civilian finding a spot for herself, as a graduate student, as a new wife setting up her home in a new state, as a new mom, it was all GONE.

Now, I don’t want to disappoint you, but I am not going to get deeper into details on this post. Even though I yearn to connect with others, tell my story and feel the weight lift off my shoulders as I usually do after a brutally honest piece of writing, there is healing happening here. There will be a time, but it not now.

But back to my disappearance from my writing; I may have continued to write every now and then but my heart left this blog somewhere around January 2017 when I was in full force life dismantle.

I was also deep into the vicious cycle of comparing myself to other women, which is like pouring acid on the feels part of your brain. I KNOW, I KNOW… I am like the spokesperson for telling people to STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS.  But dammit if it isn’t second nature to the female gender. We have to seriously work very hard to rewire this out of our normal thinking process. We see someone dressed like a human at drop-off the day we don’t even have shoes on and there it is, we start comparing ourselves to the mom who appears to have it all together. And maybe they do, but that has nothing do with you and what you are doing in your life.

I let so many things get into my head the last couple years but I also fought for myself. You know, none of asked to be here, and sometimes our inner dialogue doesn’t match the dialogue happening around us. There are a couple things I know to be true in this situation; you can change your inner dialogue to mimic the dialogue around you or you can follow your inner dialogue and try and change the dialogue around you.

Now that I started choosing the second version I am finding my way back. Changes are in the works and I am leaning into those changes in the most positive way I can. I have always found writing to be therapeutic, to be a way to connect with people, to tell my truth while hopefully inspiring others and to leave a legacy. So here I am I am, yammering away for entertainment.

 

XXX-Jen

 

I throw in the towel; I give up trying to make everyone happy.

The words I don’t care what you think have passed these lips a time or two. Both in a drunken rant and in a sober matter-of-fact way, but I never meant in. Insecure people are the first to say, “I don’t care what you think or what you say,” but that is because we care too much.

This year I decided to put in the effort to really mean it. I suppose I have been known to make a few decisions not really caring what people had to say, but I always had the backing of someone I view as important in my life. Like my parents or my honorary mom/aunt. This is the year I am taking to work on myself, so I owe it to myself and my husband and daughter to make that the new standard around here.

Having a mom and wife who is prone to stress about the crumbs on the floor, both at home and work, is tough enough. Stress takes years off your life, and that shit is not happening! So I officially denounce trying to make everyone happy.

Especially unhappy people. It is simply impossible; they got too much shit going on in their own life that all they know how to do is project. Project on you, on their significant others, parents, coworkers… hell, the cashier at the grocery store. You know these people. They are the ones SNL makes skits about. These are the people who only ask you how you are so that when you do the societal norm of asking them in return, they get to tell something awful. Something that is a total downer and unnecessary for you to even know. Like about their baby daddy not paying child support or about being evicted or losing a family member ten years ago today. Socially awkward asshats that you eventually avoid at all costs or never fall into the trap of asking how their day is going. *If you have never ran across any people like this, well, I guess you live somewhere amazing and alone, take lots of pills or you are that person.

I have learned through trial and error that no amount of compliments make this type of person happy, no amount of gifts, no amount of quality time… not even a box full of puppies or kittens. They have some deeper issues that need addressing, and chances are it is not high on their list of priorities. Probably because they remain oblivious and believe their self-centered way of thinking is normal.

I realize unhappiness narrows our thinking. Being unhappy creates a whole ‘what about me’ vibe and that shit is just plain annoying. I have lived it. When I am going through a depressive episode I feel pretty darn unhappy and it is all-consuming. I can only focus on how I am feeling and how everything pertains to me. Nothing really makes me happy, comfortable maybe, but not happy.

With all the things I am juggling right now and all the goals Chris and I have, I just can’t fit it on my plate anymore. I can’t waste anymore energy or take any more time away from all things I find important to try to make irrelevant people happy. I am not even going to go through the effort of making small talk with people who insist on sucking the positive energy and fun out of any and everything that they can. Even if they don’t realize it.

I have come to grips that we all can’t just get along sometimes. Sometimes, it is just not going to work out that way. I am not in charge of anyone’s happiness except my own and the people I grow. In an effort to stay on this path I have continued to have cell phone free time, just now I do it so much I have begun leaving it home when I leave. It gives me the chance to focus on the important things going on in that moment and not social media and neurotic family members. Sometimes that works, other times the focus shifts to my husband, but then it is his issue and I don’t have to even pay attention to it. That is what you call a win-win approach.

Join me in not trying to make everyone else happy, and make yourself happy! I have even started shutting down those Debbie Downers before they try to suck me into their pity part. They project their misery, and I deflect with positivity. When that fails I just tell them they are really bringing down my positive vibe, and when that fails I just tell them they are straight up depressing and to keep it to themselves. That works because they think you are a bitch and move on to gossiping about you and projecting all that toxic shit on other people. Boom! Problem solved. Another win-win for me.

You are in charge of your own happiness. It is not rocket science. It has been appearing on apparel and swag for decades. Haven’t you eaten a stupid fortune cookie? You can choose to be happy. You can choose who you allow in your life. You can choose to put you and yours first. If you won’t give yourself permission to do it, suburban mishap does!

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