The rule of Quest Physics goes something like this: If you’re brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting, which can be anything from your house to bitter, old resentments, and set out on a truth-seeking journey, either externally or internally, and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher and if you are prepared, most of all, to face and forgive some very difficult realities about yourself, then the truth will not be withheld from you. ~ Eat. Pray. Love.
If you know me on a personal level, in the flesh and not just as a blogger, then you know that I never do things for myself. Doing things for others is what makes me happy, so the way I see it is that doing things for me is doing things for others. So deciding to dedicate a year of my life to myself was a difficult concept for me to accept. It took a lot of courage to step up and say, “I need to do this for me.” I knew I had to do it. I knew it was time.
For someone who has always taken care of others, even running herself down to do so, focusing on myself was a struggle- to say the least. If I had to do it all over again, I would…but I’d also want to pass on those first few days that proved to be pretty rough. I felt selfish as I dedicated more time to taking care of myself and not everyone else. But it was through my online Human Relations course, where I ‘met’ Alisha, that Dr. Shostak taught me an important lesson: If you don’t take care of yourself, how can you expect to take care of anyone (everyone) else? Dr. Shostak really helped me during those 3 months, allowing me to look at myselt from a new perspective. Through one of our class’s online discussions, a question was raised that really made me see the changes that I’d gone through. The question, What do you fear the most? elicited my repsonse, “I don’t fear anything…anymore.” I really don’t. During that class, I realized more and more that if I conquered the obstacle in moving to Chicago alone and overcoming all of the challenges, then I can do ANYTHING.
Looking back, that was the moment when I began becoming “me” again…the “me” who stopped letting fear & doubt hold her back from doing the things she wanted to do. With the love & support of many beautiful people, I’ve been able to make a lot of progress since then. In fact, I can sit here and say that I’m more fearless now than back then. Life hasn’t been perfect and this blog serves as evidence that weak moments have gotten the best of me every now and then. However, I’ve learned to accept and appreciate each struggle and mistake, identifying each as a lesson to be learned. While the rejections still sting, I’ve been able to tell myself, “This too shall pass.” And it always does.
If I think about it, I actually do have one quirk that can be categorized as a “fear”: To live with regrets. To say “been there, done that” doesn’t even scrape the surface. For a while, regrets defined my life and prohibited me from really living. In a way, I don’t regret that time in my life because I know it’s had quite an impact on me.
For one, I now live my life to prevent myself from having any regrets that would (potentially) hold me back (again). I take chances; say what I mean(t) to say; do what I want to do….and most importantly, I let myself be happy. Adopting this as my (new) life philosophy, I knew there was no turning back. But what I didn’t know ahead of time that I was also welcoming happiness (back) into my life. Saying that may shock a lot of people, especially those who tell me that I am “always smiling”, that I’m not always happy. In fact…wait for it…for awhile I believed that I didn’t deserve to be happy. I know, those damn hormones and teenage years that seem to haunt those you’d least expect.
That illogical idea has diminished over the course of this past year, causing the smile on my face to be the most genuine it’s been since I was an innocent, (emotionally) scar-free kid. I wish it didn’t take me so long, but I know that I was the only one who had to convince myself that I deserve to be happy. I do, and you do too.
Reading, and then watching, Eat. Pray. Love. really encouraged me to dedicate my energies to finding happiness through a balanced life. Balance: Now that’s a concept that I’ve struggled with for awhile, especially when it comes to doing things for myself. While it’s been a wonderful year, it’s also been quite a whirlwind as I’ve tried to do as much as I can, in as many different places, with many people. Translation: I’ve spent a lot of time traveling to visit friends- mostly in Ohio. It’s certainly worn me out a bit, but being able to see my friends makes me happy- and that’s what matters to me the most. As instructed in Eat. Pray. Love.: “To lose balance sometimes for love is part of living a balanced life.”
I know I’ll always be the kind of person that likes doing things for others to make them happy. That’s just who I am. But I now understand that I need to make sure that I’m happy too. So if doing something truly makes me happy, then I see no reason why I shouldn’t do them. I cannot think of anything better in life than being able to make others happy and being happy yourself.
Song of the Moment: Dog Days are Over performed by GLEE Cast- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxQveFlxdyk
~I think I deserve something beautiful.~