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happy even when

“She was a girl who knew how to be happy even when she was sad. And that’s important—you know.” -Marilyn Monroe ♥

People asked me what my new year’s resolutions were, and I never took the time to actually think of any. I read on another blog the other day how goals are for people with too much time. That made me chuckle. And it made me think, maybe…but maybe not.

People never keep their resolutions anyway, but I feel like to not even think about them is a mistake. The actual day is not a big deal to me. Maybe it will be once I’m 21 just because it’s an excuse to drink but as for making changes in your life, you can do that any day of the year. It might be a good idea to not necessarily make these huge changes but just to consider what you want to accomplish this year and how you would like to live your life, especially if it’s any different than what you’ve been doing.

As we know, I began mine by dying my hair. I spent actual new year’s eve (and day) at work so I’m hoping it will be a year of financial prosperity, although buying my books for the semester would suggest the opposite. I then cleaned and organized my room. This does not happen often nor was it done intentionally. How does that make sense, you may be asking? Well, I clean either when forced to or on impulse. I get the impulse if I am upset, which I think is something I picked up from my dad because he does the same thing. Likewise, if he’s upset with you, cleaning is somehow a good way to pacify the situation? I don’t quite understand it but I don’t have an issue with it, either! I also get the impulse if I feel like I just need to have some element of control back in my life, and controlling your surroundings makes you feel like you do. These things were a way to start with a clean slate, so to speak.

Academically, just as every other semester, I am hoping to not procrastinate and to not get behind at any point. I don’t want to write papers the day before they are due anymore. As for work, I really want to stop being late! And spiritually, I decided that I’m going to start praying again and, in particular, I want to pray the prayer I knew when I was little, to my guardian angel. As I had talked with a friend earlier this week, there’s many things I disagree with about the Catholic religion but I could never not be Catholic. I’m not exactly making peace with it all but I just want to have this sense that there exists a spiritual place and to foster a feeling of protection. Besides, I never lost my faith in angels.

Then I started thinking about how I wanted my year to go. Better than last year, for one. 2011 had two highlights: going to New York City and going to the Backstreet Boy’s concert. In hindsight, I could’ve skipped the other ‘big events’ of the year and been just fine, if not better off, but that’s not the attitude I want to have. I decided I want this year to have more highlights, to make it more memorable and to do more of the things I want to do. I still want to go on my tour of Europe this summer and I will figure it out. I also want to do something I’m absolutely terrified of, and I think it’s gonna be skydiving. I want to spend more of the summer in nature, going on hikes at nearby places, or caves or canoeing. I also need to learn how to swim better. (Yes, I can’t really swim. I start to panic and then I start to sink. Obviously, it’s an issue.) I would love to be able to go to Seattle and Canada, since my parents enjoyed it so much, but I don’t know if I will be able to afford it. It seems a trip to Peru with my family might be a possibility next December and I’d rather see Machu Picchu and save Seattle for later. I also want to go to Santa Fe for a weekend, just because it’s been something of a dream for a while. The Grand Canyon is on the list as well, but I know how much my parents have wanted to go see it as well and I’d rather do it with them. Obviously, I want it to be a year of travel and seeing the world but also seeing that it’s bigger than this city. I’ve said for years how I wanted to move away but every time I try to imagine my life in ten years, I still see myself here. Maybe I’ll find somewhere else I’d rather be.

However, experiences are nothing if you don’t learn from them. I’m a huge “self-help” person (somewhat embarrassing to admit but it’s true!) so I’ve been reading all these articles about things people had wished they’d known when they were younger, habits of happy people, things to stop/start doing and questions that supposedly help you find meaning and happiness. In the post about dying my hair, I mentioned how it seemed easier to be happy as a blonde. Well, I decided that that’s not okay, that I would want to be remembered as a joyful and happy person despite my hair color and despite the day I might be having. Despite how hard it may be on some days or how genuine it may truly be, I have a wonderful life and no reason to not be happy so I’m going to make it a requirement that I have to spend at least a full 12 hours of every day joyful and that I have to go to bed satisfied with my day.

So, I decided that I am going to write myself a letter at the beginning of each month, about where I’m at, where I want to be and how I’m going to get there. At the end of the month, I’ll reread it and write the next. The inspiration for this was a quote I had read by Thomas Szasz: “But the self is not something one finds, it is something one creates.” There was also another one about how people are defined by their habits so I decided that I’m going to make being happy a habit.

I’ve realized that I tend to put the burden of my happiness on other people quite often and not only does it not work out but it’s not fair nor right, so I’m taking it back. My biggest success thus far has been the purchase of a teddy bear. It was originally intended as a gift for someone else but I had bought it fully aware that it might never serve its intended purpose. While a teddy bear certainly does not even come close to snuggling with or being held by an actual human being, it’s actually been quite the comfort late at night and I’ve woken up hugging it every morning, my head buried right below its neck and the little arms end up being right around my shoulders. It’s somewhat cheesy and someone commented about having friends that sleep with stuffed animals, which made me feel extra childish, but I feel like you’ve got to find a way to get what you need, even if it may not be quite the way you wanted it to be. As Marilyn Monroe said, it’s important to find a way to be happy.

The BEST holidays

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