A lot has happened in my life over the past few years- as it has with a lot of people, because um, that’s what life is.
But as I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how much my life has changed in the months since the day the earth stood still ( AKA my Dad died), I’ve also realized that in the past few years, a lot has happened to me.
Bought a house. Got engaged. Got married. Loss of friendships. Dealt with slow health decline of father-in-law and his death. Marriage struggles. Marriage counseling. Personal therapy. Separation. Divorce. Living on own for first time. Budget, money struggles. Car problems. Family members’ health issues. Online dating. New relationship and helping him through his divorce. Death of Dad.
It seems like a lot. Maybe for one 31 year old it is a lot in a relatively short period of 5 years. But it’s my life and in some ways, so much of it is/was out of my control.
Don’t misunderstand- I’m not trying to come across as whiny or complaining about life or wanting people to feel bad for any of the circumstances of my life. Rather, the series of unfortunate events led to a greater understanding of myself and my abilities– my strength– that I don’t think I would have learned otherwise. I didn’t have some horrible childhood or bad parenting issues. I wasn’t a tormented teen or someone who fell into the wrong crowd. Heck, I didn’t even drink until I was in college. My life was a series of blessed events so I guess when things started going a little sideways for me in 2010, it was somewhat of a long time coming.
All of this increased thinking about life, circumstances, etc. comes after reading The Happiness Project. Somewhere within all the stuff of this book ( again, I don’t think she has much to complain about), there are a number of quotes and theories that for people who ask frequently the question of “Am I happy?” essentially stop being so because they are so obsessed and into the navel-gazing and self-discovery that they are unable to see the big picture or even the small delightful pleasures of their life.
See the thing that all those experiences of mine– good and bad- taught me is that LIFE HAPPENS. Things will get you down, people and situations will change, etc. but things go on. It’s about perspective and dealing with it all that really makes the difference. All of those negative experiences and blows that could get a person down in life didn’t do it for me. Sure, I had more than my fair share of ugly cries and emotional moments when I thought the universe was out to get me and that I would never get ahead. And I can’t say that those moments don’t still happen– because they do. But what has changed is the perspective on all of it. I am blessed with a loving partner, family, friends, and job. I understand what true gratitude and kindness are. I can enjoy the simple pleasures of life. Those negative experiences have made me who I am and how I want to ahead in life: Life Happens. Adjust Accordingly.