How I Became Happy

On a warm summer day last year, my mother and I were sitting on our balcony enjoying the cool breeze while sipping on coffee and catching up.  I told her I was the happiest I have been in a long time and that  I could not remember the last time I was as happy as I was then. Mom looked at me quizzically and asked how it was possible that I, a person who had just resigned from my job with no back up plan, no savings, and single at the age of 32, be happier than I ever was. That pretty much was the same reaction I got from everyone else.

Some people wondered if I was in love.  I did feel like I was  in love but not with someone; I was in love with life and all that it holds. I was falling in love with life again. That’s when my friends nodded and smiled but looked like they were worried for me.

I started thinking if I was being delusional.  Was I truly happy or was it a crazy phase I was going through? Was it some sort of masked depression? Would this feeling of being high in life sustain?

A year has passed and I can now confirm that I truly did find happiness. It was real. I’m not just talking about the haha short term kind of happiness, but true happiness. The feeling where you feel like nothing may affect you. Now don’t get me wrong, there were days when I felt down but that’s only natural as long as you are happy the majority of the time, and I am capable of counting the number of times I felt down this past year on one hand.

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What happened that made me happy? It was quite simple really. Read on to find out my 12 steps!

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How not to lose yourself in a relationship

Losing someone you love is painful, but the most painful thing to endure in life, is when you lose yourself while in the process of loving someone.

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There’s something very euphoric about the start of a new relationship, something almost magical. You know what I’m talking about. The butterflies in your stomach, feeling your eyes shine as you gaze into your partner’s eyes, the endless hours of talking, that magical first kiss. These feelings are ones that you would like to last forever. It becomes easy to want to cocoon yourself in a world made for just the two of you.

Somewhere along the line, everything starts to revolve around your partner and without realizing it you’re always trying to find ways to make your partner happy.

Stop. Pause. Take a step back.

It is very easy to lose yourself while loving someone else. You don’t realize it happening because it happens gradually starting off with small sacrifices and compromises. How many friends have you heard say after a break up that they no longer recognized themselves?  That usually is the case. You don’t realize that you lost sight of who you are, of who your partner fell in love with, until after the relationship ends.

Having discussed this topic with several friends who at some point in their lives have lost themselves in a relationship, I find that these tips help you avoid losing yourself:

1. Spend time with friends/family: While you may feel like spending all your free time with your new found love, make a point to spend time with your friends without your partner. Your friends may like your partner and nothing beats your friends getting along with your beau, but remember your friends interact with you differently when your partner tags along, and it’s less intimate for them.  Your friends were there before your Mr. or Miss. Wonderful appeared into your life.  Also, your friends may red flag you when they see warning signs that you’re too blind to see. Do not flake last minute just so you could spend time with your significant other.

2. It’s alright to have different hobbies or interests:  You don’t have to stop watching Star Wars just because your partner doesn’t enjoy doing so. Your hobbies are what make you unique, gives you confidence, makes you happy, and makes you attractive. Enjoying separate hobbies also provides you with something to talk about.  So if you enjoy hiking, and he enjoys tennis, keep doing it. Identify the hobbies or interests that you do not share and continue enjoying them with your friends or on your own.

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The Return

A lot of you may have read my previous blogs and are aware I quit blogging after being active for 8 years.  Recent discussions have sparked questions about my blogging years and yes, I got nostalgic and skimmed through my old posts (which are offline and kept safe by me).  Next thing I know, I’m logging onto wordpress and creating a blog from scratch  (I’ll wait for one of my geekier friends to help me with some of the more geekier stuff).

I created a blog. That was the easy part.  Now I’m staring at a blank screen not knowing where to start from.  It’s difficult to imagine that I used to blog regularly.  How should I start? What should I say? I need to ponder on this.

I can tell you that the past couple of years were not easy for me but I did learn quite a bit from it.  I however do believe that the beauty of life is going through trials and errors wile accidentally tripping on some fun.

Below is something I shared with my friends on my 33rd birthday recently.  These points are what helped me go through life and stay chipper:

Life will rarely turn out the way you want it to and that’s ok.
Accept it with a smile on your face.

Surround yourself with positive people instead of people who will drain you.

Live fearlessly but cautiously.

Love life. Love your family. Love your friends and more importantly love yourself.

Laugh, keep laughing, and when you are done, laugh some more.

Fall in love.  It’s ok if you get hurt. You will stand up strong again and love again.
When you fall in love, make sure you love yourself with that person.

Be kind hearted. Never ever be bitter or angry.  Leave it behind you and move on.

Live with no regrets.

Carpe Momentum.

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