“Happiness is not something you postpone for the future, it’s something you design for the present.” ~ Jim Rohn
I think this is why I feel compelled to come back. For years I wrote, I commiserated, communicated, collaborated virtually through my fears, my hopes, my sorrows and my joys. Then I stopped. I just stopped. For almost 5 years I stopped doing what I love, which was to tell stories of my own. To share my own experience and observations with the intention that if others could relate perhaps we all wouldn’t feel so alone even if most of the time and to the outside world it all looked ok…regardless of how hard things were if I was writing I felt a more happy and peaceful existence.
For a long time I told myself I had stopped because I was pregnant with Baby M and I didn’t want it to seem like I was marketing that journey. I didn’t want it to seem like I was using this magical time to get more readers, likes, followers…while that was part of the truth the other part was I was just terrified. Terrified that if I put into writing what I was actually feeling something might go wrong and that my fear itself was wrong. That the crystal ball I didn’t actually have would get foggy or break and the outcome of my pregnancy would change…a therapist would tell me I was traumatized. I was…
For anyone that was with me at that time, you might remember that E had also just been diagnosed with Angelman Syndrome. I was spinning, but trying so hard to be the top that didn’t fall over, I didn’t realize just how dizzy I was…so I took out the thing in my life that gave me the most peace and shut it down. It was a choice I made but I now know what I wish I knew…
At the time I stopped writing I was getting interest in my musings and perspective from various partners and it felt exciting…it gave me life, created new energy. Getting emails from readers about their own stories gave me fuel for my soul in a way that I hadn’t known…and then I stopped. I told the world I was pregnant and then mostly stopped writing at all.
When M came into the world, it healed me. The fear of bringing a baby into the world who could be healthy and develop naturally was doused by my fresh bundle of joy. The smell of her and feel of her tiny body on my chest was like being a haze of dreaminess…She created a new path and journey for me as a mother and a human being as we looked to the future together. But I still did not write.
I threw myself into everything else and filled up my bucket in other ways, work, kids, friends, and life. And life got harder. Presented new obstacles and I got more closed off, and more insular. The notion of ‘mynewfavoriteday’ became once again the looking for just the moment or the nugget in each day. Something, anything to be grateful for…anything else felt like a lie. So I didn’t write. If I couldn’t talk about how I was really feeling then I couldn’t share or commiserate because I couldn’t tell the truth.
To be vulnerable is hard. It take courage. It takes confidence. It takes steadfastness. It takes moving from survival to being thoughtful about feelings and the world around you. Vulnerability is equally scary and liberating and most importantly it does require honesty. After years of writing and being vulnerable it did become a way of behaving in all the other parts of my life. But not where I needed it most, to serve my heart, my mind and my soul. What happens to vulnerability in the wild is that it can be confused for weakness or misused for manipulation but in reality vulnerability is just truth, thoughtfulness and the release of ego. For years I thought that writing and sharing my vulnerability might hurt me professionally as I worked to advance my career ambitions as a career expert in brand storytelling. In order to do this well, I thought my own brand storytelling needed to be on hold. Instead of letting my vulnerability serve me to work through all the many life events that I have experienced between the consistent posting stretch and now, is that one should not be sacrificed for the other. The beautiful thing about actually living in vulnerability is that you get to live life as you truly are and people will experience you, choose you and you will experience and choose them with your real self. Not the self you religiously strive to put on insta, snap or FB, but the one you are late at night, when it’s quiet and all there is you, the stars and the deep night sky. Vulnerability allows you to be grateful and gratitude paves the way for happiness. What I wish I knew and what I do know now is that my own happiness is predicated on my ability to be who I am and to be that person. To both live in my vulnerability while simultaneously knowing it’s a strength. That value isn’t tied to perception from others but rather perception of yourself. What I wish I knew and what I know now is that it’s never worth postponing who you are or your happiness. Instead, spend the time to know what gives you joy, explore your moments and times when you feel most vulnerable and why, and harness that to design your happiness for the present and the future. For me, all of this comes back to finding my moment or instance of gratitude. Just writing this today, gives my heart that little smile so that even though the winds may feel a bit swirly and strong I can keep my tether to all that I have to be grateful for and at this moment it is this place, and for all the many blessings and moments that surround me each day in the form of people, moments and time. I hope you all find your moment for today to be “anewfavoriteday.”