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Sunday, August 5, 2012

Lessons :: The continual process of living and loving a unique, ever-changing life



When I was younger, I thought that once you became an adult, everything was set in stone. I saw myself graduating college, moving to the big city, finding a steady job, getting married, and settling down -- all the while, hanging out with my best girlfriends SATC style. I assumed that my daily life, and the people in it, would stay the same until it was time to retire at 45. I would then spend the rest of my days writing on the beach with a margarita in hand.

I wasn't completely delusional. I didn't think my life would be perfect, but I did think that it would go according to plan. I'm not sure whose plan it was, though. Perhaps I based it on what society or religion or my family was teaching me. My mother has had the same girlfriends since grade school and has been with my father since she was 18. He's worked in the same industry since he was old enough to drive. I only thought the same for me.

Over the past few years, I've learned that my life's events are almost impossible to plan for; rarely does something work out the way I want it to. I graduated college and moved to LA in 2009, but it wasn't until 2011 -- after much searching and struggling -- that I found a stable job with a good company. As for friends, they continue to enter and exit my life as if they're a rotating MySpace Top 8, and most of them are men now, which is ironic after everything I've written about the opposite sex. Speaking of which, I'm not married (or even close).

Here's the thing, though: I'm happy. In fact, I'm probably the happiest I've ever been right now. I don't have the money I wanted, but I have enough to support myself in LA, which is an accomplishment in itself. I don't have a Samantha and a Charlotte and a Miranda, but I have different friends in different groups who love and care for me, some of which I've known a few years and others a few months. I don't have a beach house on the water, but I have a spacious apartment in the Valley with two roommates whom I adore. I'm not dating anyone seriously, so that area of my life is completely stress-free. I'm working hard and playing hard and enjoying everything about being 25. Life is pretty much perfect right now. Sometimes I feel like I'm forgetting something, because I'm not worried about anything.

It's only when I start thinking about what others have, or what others think I should have, that I start questioning my own life. I start analyzing my happiness. But there's no point in overthinking our emotions -- we need to simply feel them, rest in the moment, and move on. And there's no point in comparison, because there is no rule book for life. There is no map, no itinerary. We make our own schedule, and even then, something can happen beyond our control that changes it. And that's okay.

Happiness is a process, a painful and beautiful process of accepting, and then appreciating, and then loving. It's accepting that things are not what they used to be, or what we once wanted them to be, or what others believe they should be. It's appreciating what we have in the moment. It's loving ourselves, our lives, and the people around us.

I didn't think I could feel this way a few months ago, but I'm here. My journey of self-discovery isn't over (it never is), but I've definitely hit a milestone. "We're glad for what we've got, done with what we've lost. Our whole lives laid out right in front of us." Remember that song? It's still true. We can't do anything about the past, and we only have so much control over our futures. Enjoy right now!

26 comments:

  1. Look at you. All grown up and sounding just like me! Lol.
    Isn't this an amazing feeling? <3
    -Jude

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  2. Amen! Well said! Love you! -Mama

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  3. Glad things are going good right now! They are for me too. Honestly when I was young I never really thought about life after college. And life at 45? Not once did the idea pass my mind.
    Sending lots of love, and hey, now that everything is going good, when are you having that party?

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  4. Good for you love! I'm glad that you are happy with the way things are going right now. That's so important! Most of my friends are men, and have been for most of my life oddly enough.

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  5. This is a wonderful realization - that happiness can come from YOU. It's the only type of happiness that's sustainable.

    Keep walking through life with your eyes open, girl. Your journey will be brighter than most. ;)

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  6. Woww... awesome post! We are always learning! Learning is one of the big treasures of life! You're totally right, we have to enjoy NOW! Seize the day :)
    Great blog! I'd love if you checked out my blog, and if you like it, can we follow each other on GFC and Bloglovin’? I promise I’ll follow you back!
    Have a nice day<3

    x♥x♥

    "Saúde & Beleza - Health & Beauty"



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  7. Supporting yourself in LA is DEFINITELY an accomplishment. Good job! I'm glad you see the light :)

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  8. i think youf life sounds better than SATC because you are HAPPY. those girls never seemed happy - at all. and supporting yourself in LA - high five. amazing


    <3 katherine
    of corgis and cocktails

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  9. Happiness is a process, and it definitely makes me happy to know that you are happy in your life now. We definitely have to stop ourselves from comparisons to others and just live the life that we are living.

    Love this post. You are awesome, Stephanie! <3

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  10. I forgot where I heard it...but i think it was "the only thing that is for sure is that nothing is for sure" and soooo true! I thought I'd be some starving musician in New York or Seattle, but instead I'm some rando exec in the aviation industry....boy life's odd.

    P.S. thanks for you comment on my blog I cannot get enough of zee pinterest! I'm following you too:)

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  11. I couldn't agree with you more! You have come a long way girl! When you start rolling with the punches and looking for the good in what you have right now, you do find yourself a whole lot happier! :)

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  12. I love everything about this post and I completely agree with it! At 25, things have definitely gone differently than I planned! I completely understand the revolving Top 8 of friends and I find that most of my friends are guys, too. I know that at the right time, the rest of my SATC crew will show up, I will find the time to go back to school, and I will eventually stop being terrified of houses and babies but for the time being, I am perfectly content with where my life is now.

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  13. Glad you are in a happy place!

    I have to admit, the best things in my life happend when I go with the flow and open myself to surprises.

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  14. EXACTLY. Words I live by: 'Comparison is the thief of Joy'. Living in NYC gives me great chances every day to practice that sentiment. Hold tight to your Joy, x

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  15. You're one awesome chick and I really enjoyed reading through this. Finding happiness is such an accomplishment.

    Christen :>
    www.anunordinaryhello.com

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  16. Ooh, retiring at 45 sounds like a great idea. I only have a couple of months. I need to start playing the lottery big time!

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  17. It's all about going with the flow. I had my life all planned out when I was in high school, and none of that has come true. I didn't go to law school. I didn't get a Ph.D. I'm not making six figures. I'm not working 70 hours a week. I'm a 23-year-old grad student in communication, still living with my parents, engaged to a totally awesome person (who also lives with me and my parents), working 20 hours a week, and I have no idea what I want to do with my life. And I am okay with that.

    http://www.glamkittenslitterbox.com/
    Twitter: @GlamKitten88

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  18. This was so well written, and I LOVED your description of happiness as a process. So many people (as in me, all the time) mistakenly think that happiness is a destination or a thing, when in actuality its more a realization.

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  20. Wonderful post. I'm so glad you're happy with your life - that's what really counts. :) This line really resonated with me: "I didn't think my life would be perfect, but I did think that it would go according to plan." So, so true!

    thejoyfulfox.blogspot.com

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  21. I really want to reach for more. I always feel like I can be doing more to reach my plan... I just don't know if what I'm working for is what I want yet.

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  22. Happiness is a process, a painful and beautiful process of accepting, and then appreciating, and then loving. It's accepting that things are not what they used to be, or what we once wanted them to be, or what others believe they should be. It's appreciating what we have in the moment. It's loving ourselves, our lives, and the people around us.

    well said! this one is going straight to my favorites! the topic of happiness is something i've been thinking about a lot lately, and i can relate to so much in this post. it's so great to hear you're happy :) that's all that really matters!
    xo, cheyenne

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  23. lovely post!i wish i was as happy as you..
    xo
    Anastasia
    http://natbeesfashion.blogspot.co.uk/

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  24. I felt the same why about becoming an adult that everything would just finally kind of fall into place, job, friends, and everything. But where I am today (building a house with my fiance in an old abandoned apple orchard on top of a mountain out in WV) was definitely not something I ever saw myself doing, when I moved to LA to try to become an art teacher (which failed miserably because the economy just crumbled the second I moved out there). It's really funny how the things we imagine for ourselves can be just so different from what actually happens.

    But as long as you are happy, I will let life take me wherever it wants to go!

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  25. I LOL-ed at the retiring at 45 comment. I think that I can use this post in my work. Thank you for inspiration. And btw, I am waiting for you to call your mother back.

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  26. I've been meaning to respond to this, but I keep forgetting! Where are you by the way?! Probably enjoying the amazing weather! Anyhow, I'm sure you've heard this before, but you deserve to be happy! I think all girls\women have the same thoughts and struggles, and I think getting older just kind of "cures" those thoughts, except gray hair and sun spots come along with it. And I feel dumb for not knowing immediately where that line from a song came from! -Jess

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