It’s Up to Me

I came to a startling realization while talking with Kaply and crying in my idling car Friday night.

I’m not happy.

I actually haven’t been happy for at least a year. Happy in the sense that I am content with who I am and am doing what fills me with joy. Happy as in living my life for me, going after what I want, not defining myself by how other people view me or if a man wants me or not. I was sitting there comparing myself to other people’s successes, adventures and fulfillment, feeling jealous and bitter. What the fuck? That’s a total waste of time and energy.

In my last post I was talking about being willing to feel and that means feeling even when it sucks and is painful. I know it’s been almost three months since The Fella and I split but I swear it’s like I am just now getting around to grieving it. I think because the anger I was holding onto was blocking my ability to get to the sadness. The Fella was the closest I’d let any guy come to knowing me in a very, very long time. I wrestle with feeling like a failure because we couldn’t make it work. I struggle with guilt because I know I participated in the demise of the relationship even when I was checked out and that ultimately, I hurt him. I don’t think we could have fixed what broke between us even if we’d wanted to but that doesn’t make it any easier.

This is honestly the first time in a very long time where I am not seeking out romantic love, not dating anyone, not on the prowl for some sort of flirtation, or not carrying on with an ex pretending the problems of our former relationship were fixed by time and space (they never are). It’s just me alone with me. By choice. I’ll tell you one thing- it sure does give a girl a lot of time to think. I’m debating if this is a good or a bad thing.

It’s funny how we see ourselves. I know I am often overbearing, opinionated, strong-willed, and guarded. I talk too much. I worry more than I should. I spend way too much time thinking about other people’s feelings. I feel like I do myself and everyone else a disservice every time I put other people before me. If anything, I put too much time and effort into figuring out what might be best for everyone else BUT me. And I’m slowly learning that I have to just let people be themselves and travel at their own pace. I’m trying to find the balance between caring and over-caring. I’m trying to stop deflecting all my caring and give some to myself.

As I sat there in that car, my mind racing with my inadequacies and all the things I longed to try but didn’t because of some imagined deficiency on my part, I made a conscious decision right then and there to be happy.

Just. Be. Happy.

Something just clicked inside me and I’m rolling with it. This time right now is a gift. I’m going to find out what makes me happy and then do it with all the zeal I can muster.

Welcome to Operation Happy.Β 

I’ll keep you posted.

“I have accepted fear as a part of life, specifically the fear of change, the fear of the unknown. I have gone ahead despite the pounding in the heart that says: Turn back, turn back; you’ll die if you venture too far.”Β  -Erica Jong


51 thoughts on “It’s Up to Me

  1. I know that feeling all to well because it hit me hard last year as well. I hope change comes for you and you can find the road to your happiness because if anyone deserves it, you do.

  2. i struggle with the same thing … the elusive happiness. i have been single for 5 years because i can’t bear the thought of getting hurt again … not that being in a relationship is the answer to happiness, but it would sure make things less lonely. i wish you luck … and happiness. actually, i wish that for both of us. πŸ™‚

  3. Just reading this, the feeling alone, makes me happy. Happy for you, happy knowing the decision, and what that feels like. It’s so the right direction. And not just a step, but a leap. A GIANT leap. If I were there I’d give you a hug, and then a high five.

  4. Good for you! I hope so much that you find your happiness. Hope you find mine along the way too…..:0)

  5. Getting over a relationship takes time, getting to know yourself takes even more time. Just remember: patience. You’re doing such an awesome job lady. So proud of you. πŸ™‚

  6. Kind of feeling like I got bitched slapped on the back of the head…”pay attention”

    I have had conversations along similar lines… I’ve clung onto pessimism and anxiety because I think they are proof that I am smart. Not so much.. those that get to the other side are the smart ones.

  7. Good for you, you seem to be more aware of how you are feeling and this is making you think. It is part of the process. I wish you well on your quest.

  8. It’s like every time you write a post, you’ve made another breakthrough. I agree that being happy is the ultimate goal. I know you can achieve it.

  9. Wow, I could have written parts of this. I’m also sans relationship for the first time in over 13 years, trying to work on myself… but unfortunately I also keep comparing my life to others, coming up short every time. It’s difficult not to be bitter. I’m doing better, but I think I’ll follow your lead and just BE. Choose the happy. I think happiness comes much easier when you aren’t overanalyzing everything to death.

  10. Someone once told me you have to acknowledge it to fix it. Very true. I wouldn’t look at the last year as wasted or poorly spent, I would look at it as a gift, because as painful as it was, you learned so much about yourself, what you want, what is acceptable and what isn’t and likely so much more. Sometimes it takes time to appreciate the lessons. Growth is painful but worth it. I wish you more growth and less pain.

    Have you ever read the book Quirky Alone by Sasha Cagen? (please respond to this one?)

  11. If anyone deserves happiness and joy it’s you, whatever path you take…

    I am reading Eckart Tolle’s The Power of Now. (I resisted this because, well, because Oprah recmmended it and she so NOT me.) It’s a hard read but I’m finding it’s helping in a lot of respects with the big questions.

  12. I had this same feeling- however, mine was inside my marriage. I realized I had spent all of my energy making sure I was putting on the proper appearances, and was being the good little housewife, meanwhile, my own Spirit was withering away, until I no longer realized who I was.

    Now, I am focused on myself for awhile. Of course, my kids are always first and foremost, but then it’s me-time. Instead of the-rest-of-the-world-time.

    Kudos for you for acknowleging your anger, allowing yourself to grieve, and demanding happiness.

  13. Good for you, Sizzle. Sometimes you have to be selfish and it’s going to be in the best interest of EVERYONE. It’s a hard lesson to learn, but you can only make other people happy, when you are happy with yourself.

  14. i wish there was a magic pill i could give you to make the happy blanket everything and stay. (well, they do make pills that do that but then you’re kind of in for a boatload of trouble down the line!)
    i’ve been there. it sucks. and i’m buoyed by your looking up. and applauding you.

  15. I have had that moment several times lately! It’s that sudden realization that being happy is a CHOICE… sometimes it’s empowering, but sometimes it’s just totally overwhelming. For me, though, just noticing it is half the battle.

    I sound like G.I. Joe…

  16. I keep hearing it over and over in everything I am exploring: count your blessings. It is so easy for us to do this when we see something bad happen to someone else, but if we put this into our daily practice (counting blessings, which seems so simple) we will truly feel happiness from within which can only emit from there.

  17. It’s been almost two months since I left “My Prince” and I still feel pretty awful.

    I read once that once you’ve stopped counting how much time you’ve been apart is when you’ve finally begun to heal.

    I’m on 7 weeks and 1 day…. not there just yet.

    ~ FC

  18. This is awesome. You are awesome. Nurturing yourself and figuring out what makes you happy (even if it’s silly stuff like eating breakfast for dinner and watching Sex and the City every night) is so important. Because you matter! Your happiness matters! It should absolutely be your #1 priority! If you didn’t have all those darn tenants that keep moving out, I’d tell you to come down to LA and go on a happy fest with me. πŸ˜›

    Can’t wait to hear what fun new things you discover that bring a big smile to your face.

  19. Listen girlie, You Are an Amazing Person. If you start saying it, you will start believing it. And remember there are no rule books about how we live our lives. But the greatest thing is about not having a rule book is… you can reinvent yourself any time you want. I’m starting a new chapter on July 1st. I can hardly wait. At the end of the day Sizzle, you have to be happy with what you accomplished on that particular day. Not what you did 10 years ago or what you want to achieve in the next 2 weeks. Treasure today and today only. Then start fresh tomorrow. And believe me, the ones who are you envious of have just as many problems and issues as you think you do. Take a break from thinking too much and just let it be.

  20. Oh sizzle, I hope Operation Happy works. It’s so easy not to see ourselves how we truly are; to be overcritical and focus on everyone’s well-being and feelings. Take the time for you!

  21. Go Sizzle!
    Your headline says it all.
    I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but there is no one on this planet (unless you hire a Life Mentor) whose goal is your happiness. You have just discovered one of the secrets to life – sitting in your idling car – of all places! You are more important than anyone you know. Only you can make you happy. And when you do, a deserving prince will appear (you may even have to kiss a few frogs first as a test of your fortitude). You are unique, perfect, a spirit having a human experience. It is up to you, and only you, to have the best experience you can. I applaud your recent discovery, and I wish you all the best for Operation Happy.
    Just one final hint: happiness is inside you – be still and silent and you will find it.

    Live Life Happy!

  22. Having just kicked off a similar operation myself recently, I want to congratulate you and wish you good luck.

    (Also, on behalf of the great City of Portland – WE MISS YOU! COME VISIT PLZ.)

  23. Just have to say…I’m so glad I randomly stumbled upon your blog. Some days you pretty much write what’s in my head and in my heart. And then I feel a little less lonely. I love little epiphanies in the car…for some reason motor vehicles seem to be conducive to flashes of insight…

  24. happiness eludes even the best of us — not that i count myself among that crowd. it’s never a permanent condition. i think the trick is recognizing when you have it and glorying in it, because believe me, it’s gone all too fast.

    but it always comes again.

  25. I have had this epiphany several times in my life and it’s helped pull me out of some pretty big pits of despair. Sure, I tend to fall back in, but that doesn’t mean I’ll stop trying to remember it.

    Mental attitude and will to decide to JUST SMILE AND BE HAPPY are vital.

    xoxoxo you.

  26. I love that the title is a Finnism. The simplicity and supreme knowledge of a three year old are all we need to get through this life sometimes.

  27. I, too, felt like I got that “click” then it wasn’t too long before I met Ted. I’m glad you’re at the point where you can take care of you — and not feel guilty about it.

  28. Sizzle, I am so proud. We have the choice to choose our thoughts and I would add that while it is wonderful to do things that make you joyful, it is possible to have that joy even when doing things that we would rather not :-). I believe it is all a choice. xoxo

  29. As corny as this sounds, you should give yourself this gift of happiness. When I was going through my hard time I started at the bottom, the very bottom and decided minute to minute what I needed to make myself happy. And tried to give myself all those things. Now I gained some weight and blew some money but most of the decisions that came out of my ‘needs and wants’ turned out to be right! You deserve that happiness girl! Love ya!

  30. Operation Happy had better conclude with you standing on an aircraft carrier declaring something about “Mission accomplished”. Only this time, the difference should be that the mission REALLY WILL BE accomplished.

    You inspire me, my friend. Thanks for that.

  31. This is so where I am myself at the moment. I can definitely commiserate. And yeah, I’m actively working on addressing this one myself.

    Thanks for reminding me that I’m not all alone in this place.

    (And I’m seriously new around here, so hi! What a wondrous blog you have. It’s lovely.)

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