2/24/15

Happiness...My Fickle Friend

Dear Pussycats,

Happiness has been a fickle friend of mine for years now, and only after having a conversation with an unlikely friend, I’ve finally begun to understand a little bit more about happiness, and a lot more about myself.

To begin this story, I need to take it all the way back to the day I was born. Out of the womb, my mother said I’ve always been a thinker. She explained that I had a very concerned look on my face, like I had a million things on my mind, I wasn’t sad neccessarily, but I was thinking.

Fast-forward to being a young child, where I unfortunately got stuck with the endearing nickname “stink” based off my “stinky personality.” There are and have always been two huge sides of me that constantly contradict each other. 

I am a bubbly person, I want to be everyone’s best friend, I enjoy making people laugh and smile... But I can also be mean, sad, I used to be the best smack talker you’ve ever seen, and I’m prone to jealousy, because inside I get these pangs of sadness and anger.

For someone who spends a majority of my day smiling and laughing, I’m very self-critical and experience waves of sadness throughout my month or even day (and not just during that time of the month, you pig). I frazzle easily, I get irritable often, and I feel like I'm constantly letting others and myself down.

I get jealous, irritated, and judgmental over people that I used to referred to as “dummy dreamers” or people who seem a little too idealistic about life, almost because I physically cannot think that way.

I’m more pessimistic than optimistic under the surface, and for my entire life all I wanted was perfection. When I was in middle school I worshiped young female celebrities for their clothes, boyfriends and what I believed was “perfect life.” Even though I was aware that my life wasn’t perfect, I genuinely believed that someday my life would be perfect, and I would hit a happiness plateau and that would be it. Done. Perfect life. Happiness, all-day every-day. Donezo.

Part of this might have to do with the fact that I idolized my mother for her calm temper, classic elegance and warm heart (shout out to my mom, Happy belated Birthday mama). As a young child I assumed when I grew up I would be just like her, with my dream job, living in an amazing city and have a ridiculously calm and cool demeanor, which was nothing like my constantly turnt/over enthusiastic/Foot-in-mouth personality. 

When I was 10 I even bought a mini tweed Hilary Clinton-type matching pantsuit and would run around my room with my mom’s old briefcase acting like I was super busy and pretending I got calls on my giant brick nokia cellphone (you know the one with light up buttons and the game snake on it?). Just pretending I had a dreamy life, all while beating myself up over the fact that I was the farthest thing from perfection.

My quest for perfection manifested itself in many different ways. I have had MANY short-lived relationships, because the second it wasn’t peaches, cream and puppy-dog-feels, I immediately thought, “well, this isn’t perfect, I’m not happy, he must be the reason DONE.” This also could have to do with me settling for the first guy who liked me, because being liked feels good, and I am addicted to any good-feel I attain.

If you’ve been reading my blog over the years, you might remember September 2011 – February 2013 and my ever-changing hair colors and random piercings. I kept trying to change my exterior appearance because maybe then I’d be happy.

This happiness void in my heart was filled with instant fixes like sprinkles donuts and hugs from my mom. It was filled with booty calls and new clothes. However, the pothole in my heart was never quite filled.

I kept thinking when I’m out of high school I’ll be happy. When I have a new job I’ll be happy. When I’m out of retail I’ll be happy. When I have a boyfriend I’ll be happy. When I move to New York I’ll be happy. When I have a new boyfriend I’ll be happy. When I’m done with school I’ll be happy. When I have a better job I’ll be happy.

But recently I found myself sad again. “This makes no sense” I thought, I have a job at where I make good money and get pretty dresses, I have an amazing internship at Marc Jacobs where I get to write for an amazing team, I live in New York, I have great friends and I even have a sweet boo…but I’m still sad.

Talking with that unlikely friend made me realize, it might just have been me this whole time (and a little bit of the weather, shout out to this ridiculous bitter cold).

Having these unrealistic EXTREMELY HIGH expectations for myself has made me miserable my whole life.  There is no hair color or boyfriend or job that can make me happy if I can’t even appreciate what I have now.

I know this may be obvious, and on one whole afterschool-Reading-Rainbow-special way, I totally am aware that unrealistic expectations are no good. I shouldn’t put too much pressure on myself and I should be proud of the person that I am. Hannah Montanna totally tried to teach me that “nobody’s perfect” and that I need to work it, but maybe working it isn’t so simple.

I’m sure there is some statistic in the world about how many of us are actually pessimists, and maybe you could even constitute my symptoms as a sign of acute depression, but I wanted to write this to see if anyone else feels the way I do and has had a similar revelation recently. It also really makes me sad that I haven’t been inspired to write lately, which ties into these sad winter vibes I’ve been having.

Part of me still wants to blame sitcoms, fashion magazines and even tumblr for these unrealistic expectations, but we have to remember that that stuff has been there, and will always be there, and that new Kenzo sweater, or hair color, or city, or soy candle that smells like dreams will not fix your problems (they might just make your financial issues worse).

So here are a few more tips for how to feel better when you’re sad:

1)   ALWAYS be kind to Walgreens/Target/CVS employees (or any cashier, barista or retail associate) - I always be sure to ask them how their days is going, be patient with them and then wish them a great day, which sounds something like “I hope you have a great evening and you don’t have to deal with any mean, annoying people.”

2)   Make sure you have You-Time – I recently took myself on a date that involved Mexican food and lush facemasks while in beautiful lingerie. Sometimes when you’re sad it’s good to go a long time without talking, it always makes me feel better. This also includes forcing yourself to do something you love, such as writing for me, even if nothing is flowing, just try.

3)   Clean – omg clean zone, clean brain in my opinion. I can never be REALLY sad when my room is clean and my candles are burning and I’m cozy in bed.

4) Cry in the Shower- you know how good that is, I don't even have to tell you.

5)   Call someone you haven’t talked to in awhile or someone who matters a lot to you – it will A) distract you from your ish and b) remind you that you are loved and that you matter.

6)   Lastly, don’t beat yourself up – do this one for me, as a girl who constantly told myself that I wasn’t good enough, be kind to yourself, give yourself a lot of hugs and moisturizer and treat yourself inside and out like the princess you are.


I hope I helped just a tiny bit,

xoxo
Caelan

P.S. Listening to One Direction doesn’t hurt. Hehe.

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