This is for the 20-Somethings.

As I creep upon 25, I am beginning to re-evaluate the things that are important to me. Not a few months ago, whenever I had a spare moment the first thing I wanted to do was be out and about. I’d spend 75 to 100 dollars on a night that I could barely remember and wake up not wanting to do anything the next day. For someone like me, whose happiness is kind of revolved around my productivity and growth, this behavior that I exhibited was “bringing me down” to say the least. Making good money at a job I was less than content working wasn’t enough, my home wasn’t enough, all the blessings I have were not enough and it was because I was wasting the one thing I could never get back. Time. This is not advice, but an insight to my personal journey on the Pursuit of Happiness and I just hope my experience so far (because I’m still going through it) helps someone else who needs it.

  1. I took control of my wasted time. This was the biggest factor towards me wanting to change. I have a lot of personal aspects in my life that didn’t go the way I wanted them to because of bad timing. I hated that phrase, I felt like time was out of my control, and one day, I sat and thought to myself, “I do have control of time”. We may not control how much we are given, but we do control what we do while we have it. Bad timing is no longer an excuse, I decided to do away with it along with “I don’t have time”. I started making time for what I love and what I care about. I do not allow things that don’t bring me peace and happiness to consume the majority of my time. This is not to say “throw away your responsibilities,” but I am saying to prioritize your happiness over a to-do list.
  2. I didn’t have to drink to have fun. This may not be a big thing for everyone, but it was for me. I feel like alcohol breaks the ice. There is nothing that can’t be said over a few cold ones, and I enjoy having good drinks and good friends around me. Now, alcohol isn’t the problem. The problem came about when every time I had a free night, I went to the bars and got shit-faced with my friends causing me to wake up the next morning hungover and lacking productivity. Some people can function in that state, I am not one of those people. It made me so angry to spend my whole day groggy and wasting that time laying on my couch drinking Pedialyte to make it through the day. So, I decided to pick up other hobbies, I introduced them to my friends, and I made new friends who enjoyed those hobbies as well. Plus, I was tired of going to the same bars doing the same things with the same people. The reason I used to like good drinks, and good friends in the first place was because I was making hilarious memories with people I loved. I traded spending that money at these clubs for saving the money for vacations, and road trips. Which gave me much more of a sense of fulfillment than a night out drinking ever did.
  3. I embraced love and the moments I had with the people I loved. I work a crazy schedule, so these moments do not come often. However, as I go through my journey I find myself putting more effort towards being more present with the ones I love. Not just physically, but emotionally, and not just for them, but for me. Romantically, I always looked for the end, as of recently, I told myself to just be there, be present in the memories I’m making now because I am not in control of what happens in the future. With my family I have practiced forgiveness, I don’t allow myself to become angry over petty family arguments, because I love them and wouldn’t be half of who I am without them. With my friends, I acknowledge the blessings in the ones I have that support me through every venture. By embracing love and moments with my loved ones, I was respecting my blessings, and more aware of what I have, even when the things that did not fulfill me tried to rear their ugly head.
  4. I had to care about my health. This is the hardest.>Haha! Anyone who knows me, know I am the biggest foodie. So, I traded an hour of sleep, for an hour at the gym. As I’ve mentioned a few times, I am currently living through this journey, so maybe one day I’ll eat better, but I can’t give food up just yet. I put in work at the gym though . I feel better all the time, even when I’m a little sore. I have more energy, and I’m taking back time that I previously lost. Not to mention my water intake has been ridiculous, and my skin is showing it.
  5. I acknowledged that I can’t do it all, and forgive myself when I needed to. I am the hardest critic on myself, especially when it comes to being a mother. I want to be the super mom, have the clean house, home-cooked meals, folded laundry, go back to school, follow my dreams. But it can’t all get done at once. So sometimes, things fall through the cracks. So, I forgive myself when the house is a wreck and when I missed another semester to enroll because I was present for my daughter and I invested time in my craft. I forgive myself for giving my daughter macaroni and cheese three nights in a row because I went to the gym and she got to play at the park while I was there. You can’t do it all at once but it will get done.

As I go through my journey, I plan to keep you, readers, updated. As of now, this is what has paved the yellow brick road on my pursuit of happiness and it has been working flawlessly for me, so I hope it can do the same for you.

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