A fitness instructor and ideas-man with a penchant for animated films, vegetable lasagne and cushions. That pretty much sums me up. A 36 year old lovable idiot. In recent years, I have been questioning happiness in my life, and what it means to me. What makes me happy, and how can I maintain my own happiness without making those around me miserable – whilst not compromising the amount of time I get to spend watching questionable day-time TV and picking my toe nails (lets be honest – we all do it…).
20 years ago, I was 16. I was over weight, considerably unhealthy both physically and mentally. To 16-year-old-me, happiness was nights out with my besties. It was days of sitting in my bedroom doing nothing other than sleep and play on the Playstation. I was learning who I was, and looking back, I needed passive support from those that I love, without speaking out about the help I really needed. Well – at 16, does anyone really know how to talk openly?
Fast forward to 2007. I was 26. In my first grown up relationship. Considerably healthier. Happiness was cosy nights in and fun days out. Spending time at the gym and with my family. Happiness revolved around my interaction with others, but still not so much a fan of my own company. I was working in social housing – or as saw it at the time – an excuse for people to shout at me for their own ineptitude in all areas.
Now? Right here… right now, I am sat on my sofa, watching a National Geographic documentary, a cup of coffee next to me – and I’m not talking a skinny double shot Americano with a flake and a potato in it – I’m talking a supermarket own brand coffee with soya milk, accompanied by my dog snoring next to me – and I can say that happiness is all around me. I am in a fantastic loving relationship. How do I know it’s so strong? I can fart to my hearts content, and he laughs at me. Even now – 5 years on. Happiness is passing gas with your loved ones. Do I live in a huge house? No. Do I have a bulging back account. Wow – no! Do I have a never ending supply of people to go out with daily? No. …and am I happy about this? Yes. Very. I have plans. I have the perfect family. I have a bright future.
I think the things we experience in our lives make us stronger. They grow us as people. We reach forks in the road on our journey, and we choose to go left, right, or turn back. Sometimes, those forks in the road are obvious. If you turn left, the path is shrouded in darkness, bright menacing eyes peeking through haunting looking trees, with a stench of boiled cabbage and fresh turds in the air. If you turn right, the sun is blinding, with happy looking cartoon animals with perpetual smiles bouncing around. The grass is green and lush, and the council have just finished filling in the potholes in the path. Other times, the choices you have and the direction you go are not as obvious. All of these life choices shape us as we get older. I have made mistakes. I have made some very poor judgement calls, and I’m not just talking about a bright green jacket with an orange t-shirt underneath as my clothing of choice in my college years. I like to think I have grown because of all the good and bad which I have knowingly done in my 13,226 days on this planet.
In not claiming to be an expert in human behaviour. I never did an online course in preaching how to change your life. I do not have a certificate saying ‘Congratulations! You can now be a holier than thou pain in the ass’. I decided to write this blog to simply share my experiences, and I hope you take pleasure in my joys, and my pains, all wrapped up in my unique comic ways.
This is my Carrie Bradshaw moment