A lot of changes have been happening in my life lately (or so it seems), these in turn have sparked a lot of ideas for blog posts. I’ve spoke about inner happiness before in my posts and I’ve written so much about it in general because it’s something that I think about a lot and something I’ve struggled with for years. I’ve got journal entries dating back and talking about inner happiness before I even really understood what it all meant; I understand what it means now but still struggle with it, so I’m going to write down my current thoughts and feelings as a little reminder to not rely on other things for happiness.
I do this thing where I constantly kid myself that once I reach a certain point in my life I’ll be happy – once I weigh x amount of pounds I’ll be happy, when I pass my driving test I’ll be happy, when I meet ____ I’ll be happy, when I move out I’ll be happy…the list goes on. I’ve always done it, I can’t remember a time when I haven’t – and for the most part it’s subconscious, I don’t even know that I’m doing it because it just comes so naturally. I constantly use the future to escape the present because I know the future is something that hasn’t happened yet, of course I’m going to have achieved those goals by that time, of course I’m going to have done all the things I know for sure will make me happy, of course I know my life is going to have changed and finally I’ll be content because I have all the things I’ve wished for.
Reality check: when I reach those points in my life, I don’t feel any happier and nothing changes.
For example, my driving test. Don’t get me wrong, I am so incredibly happy and proud of myself that I passed it, it’s out of the way, I never have to do it again and now I’m free to drive around independently for the rest of my life, I’m absolutely delighted. However, it was an idea I’d had in my head for the past 2 years – that when I passed my test, I’d be happy. Finally, I’d be free, independent, able to roam around wherever I pleased at my own accord. All of the bad things that were happening in my life would suddenly be cured. And yes, I can now do all of those things – but has it made me happier? Has it suddenly fixed all of my problems and sorted out my issues for me? No. Mentally I don’t feel any different, my life is still the same, with the exception that now I can drive by myself, whereas before I couldn’t.
Next example – weight loss. My eating habits and weight have been something I’ve struggled with my whole life, I’m constantly telling myself that when I lose a certain amount of pounds or get to a certain weight, I’ll be happy. Finally I’ll be beautiful and feel more like myself than I ever have before. Is this actually true? No. When I lose that amount of weight, physically I feel different of course, but mentally? Mentally I feel the same. Has it made me truly happy across all aspects of my life? Has being able to fit into those jeans fixed all my problems and made the sadness go away? No. No it hasn’t. I’m still unhappy, I still want more. When I get to that goal weight it isn’t enough, I’m not happy, I’m still reaching for something else. So when I know all of this, why do I continue to tell myself it’s going to fix things? 5 more pounds and you’ll be happier Chloe, don’t eat today and you’ll feel great. Does it work? Not at all.
Last example – because if I made any more we’d be here all week. I had an internet friend that I’d been speaking to for around 2 years, we were really close and couldn’t wait to actually meet up in person and hang out. For the past 2 years I told myself that when the moment finally arrived everything would be okay again, my life would suddenly turn around and I’d be happy because I could finally hang out with someone who understood me and someone I could be myself around, a real and true friend.
(What I’m about to say is in no way me complaining or being ungrateful to have this friend, I’m just trying to give perspective on how things work for me).
Fast forward to when I met this person, I was so happy. We could finally hang out and spend time together however, did it change my life? No. Did it make me happy? Of course it did, but not forever. I was happy hanging out with that person but did it fix the rest of my problems and mentally change my perspective on things? No.
I have all of these things in my head, constantly looking to the future because when the time arrives I’ll suddenly be happy (because obviously this one thing I’m waiting for is going to suddenly fix everything wrong in my life), and when it doesn’t fix everything, when it doesn’t bring me the eternal happiness I tricked myself into thinking it would, I move on to the next thing. I find something else to dream about and wait for, and the list goes on. I get stuck in this vicious cycle of waiting for things to happen (up to the point of waiting for years) and when it does, nothing changes. I was really thinking about this the other day, I was in a real down mood and thought to myself “I’ve been waiting for years for all these great things to happen to me, they’ve happened now and yet nothing feels any different, in fact, I don’t think I’ve ever felt sadder.” I can’t rely on other things to bring me happiness and I know this, so why can’t I stop doing it?
I’m not sure if I know the answer, but I’m still trying to find that inner happiness. I think it’s mostly because the future to me is almost a dream – in the future I’ll be everything I want to be, and the thought of that excites me, it makes me happy. I think that’s why I do it, that’s why I trick myself into believing it and holding onto it, because it brings me the happiness I can’t find within myself in the present moment. It’s a sad realisation but also one that’s necessary, I’m trying to work on it and live in the present moment rather than the future but it’s always proved difficult for me. I might make some more blog posts on living in the present as I’ve wrote a lot about it before and it might help to share it.
If you take anything from this blog post (that includes you Chloe, I know you’re reading over this to make sure you don’t sound like you’re rambling) then let it be this:
“If we all got everything we’d ever asked for and looked the way we wanted to look, would we finally be happy or would we just find new things to complain about?”
All my love,