Taking Steps To Happiness

Recently I have made steps towards happiness. Getting rid of the baggage of guilt that people had put on me. Setting aside the unrealistic expectations. Remembering how important it is to love in the now not the past (or in some ways even the future).

Things happen. People say things. Unexpected situations come along. I learnt a very long time ago that is life and you can trust very few people to actually help make it better for you. It is not easy or simple to acknowledge that some people do more harm than good, that you are hurting yourself or a location is not right for you. Even though I learnt it all once before in the last year I have tried far too hard to ignore all these things.

I cannot make people give me a job interview, no matter how many positions I apply for. I cannot make people be my genuine friends that will sit down, listen and offer advice without expecting some grand jesture in return. I cannot make the rain go away or the sky stay blue.

But I can choose who I talk to. I can choose what I eat. I can choose how I spend my time. I can choose which jobs to apply for. I can choose which path to take both personally and professionally. I can choose what, where and who is important to me. We all can. Those decisions are not always the best for us in the short or long term but sometimes it is important we remember that we are in control of our own lives and destiny.

This week I cast aside so much baggage.

I accepted some people are not worth the time or effort because even if they put their hand out to stop somebody falling it is all about them being able to say they did something good to help their conscious.

I remembered I have dreams and ambitions and that I deserve to follow them as much as anybody else deserves to follow theirs. I am not a lesser (or a greater) person than anybody else for the choices and paths I have taken along the way. We all deserve to be given those chances and to not have those dreams constantly crushed to the ground.

And for the first time in a long while I got dressed and went outside with the “f**k what people think about me” attitude. It is humid, muggy and warm in London at the minute after the recent thunder. I am hardly in the best of shapes but off I went in my hoodie, jeans and Doc Martens (alright so I maybe still have a few issues about what people think about me) and I just walked. I walked over five miles to nowhere in particular but I realised I should not let what strangers in the street might think of me stop me from going outside and enjoying it.

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Nobody said anything to me. Nobody gave me any funny looks. In fact as I walked around South Norwood Country Park several people said hello and good morning to me. Nobody was mean even though I had to keep wiping my forehead and probably looked as red as a beetroot. I have spent so long unhappy in my body because of the fear of what people will think of me stopping me from going outside to do anything about the way that I look and feel. What a mess of a situation.

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But I did it. I went for that walk. I enjoyed it. I savoured listening to the birds sing, watching the streams flow and the breeze blow the grass and reeds around. I watched dogs running around and owners laughing with other owners as their dogs played together.

I remembered how nice going outside can be. I felt so liberated (and god I know that sounds cheesy) by not thinking about what other people think all the time. I did not allow the guilt that I normally feel because of pressure from others to stop me just walking around and sitting on a few peaceful benches when perhaps I should have been applying for jobs or cleaning the flat. I have all week and the rest of the day to do those things.

Basically I am getting my life back on track. No more doing what I think other people want or being worried about what other people think. This is my life and if I do not start living it now then it is going to slip through my fingers before I can do anything about it.

Now please excuse me whilst I drink a lot of water and sigh in a super disappointed manner at messing up my route and only walking 8.5k instead of 10k. And you know what else I am going to go and have lunch. No more feeling guilty to eating food when we barely have any money for it. I cook dinner, I keep the house tidy and running. I can have a 10p tin of spaghetti hoops if I want to and nobody should make me feel guilty for it.

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