Thursday, July 28, 2016

The After Effect

To begin this post, I have to apologize for once again falling off the blogging band wagon. It seems that once a different part of my life picks up, I no longer have the time or energy to sit down and reflect on things (sometimes with this blog being that vehicle). It seems that with a full time job, an active fitness schedule, and my attempts to be social and take care of myself take up a majority of my time (albeit manageable), but if something else is added into the equation I end up having to drop a hobby to make room for that. While the diligent student part of me condemns myself for not being more on top of posts, my intuition is telling me to have more grace with myself and only write posts when I feel like I have something authentic to say and not because it's been a while since I last posted. That's a long winded way of saying wedding planning took over my life.

Back to the present, I recently listened to a podcast (Dear Sugar tackles a lot of interesting issues and I'm just starting to work my way through the archives while I multitask at work or while I'm running, driving home, or cooking) that talks about how in life we tend to build up the large events that are to come. It's similar to when you were in college and you had a final exam looming over your head- all your efforts go into tackling that event and there is little to no head space left for what will happen after the huge event is over in your life. This can occur for very positive things in life as well. For example, I acted in that similar fashion towards my wedding to my now husband. All of my thoughts and efforts were working towards this one event, but as the day folded out I recognized that while it was an amazing day full of love and joy, it was not something that was going to drastically change who I am and was definitely not the best day of my life.

However, I began to feel a bit guilty about that. Why am I not a more happy, upbeat person now that I have officially married my partner and have all of the things I thought I could ever want for this season of my life? Does that mean I'm not grateful or even not deserving of all these positive things in my life? What it comes down to is that at the end of the day you are who you are. While your happiness and contentment may increase from outside events for a while, you will eventually fall towards your baseline unless you make fundamental changes aimed at altering your life.

I feel like as a society, we tend to struggle with this concept. Many of us always think that if only I could get that promotion or after I buy that new phone I'll be happy. But when the happiness wears off, we reach for the next thing to fill the hole inside of us. Some people hustle for their whole lives, not realizing that the happiness and peace doesn't come from an external source, but from the inside. No matter how much marketing pushes us to think that this product or this service will truly make a difference, I think it's an important realization that chasing those things may make you more happy momentarily but won't change who you are at your foundation.

This concept can also be translated into what people deem healthy and productive. Chasing after the next grade or the next assignment at work or the next fitness goal seems like a very productive thing to do. But accomplishing these external goals will only bring a person so much happiness before they drop down to their baseline contentment, and instead of trying to alter that they distract themselves with the next big time goal and how to take the steps to accomplish it. But in the end, you are not defined by your accomplishments. Humans have an inherent worth just for being present. You don't have to be the best to be loved and respected. You don't have to get first place to finally be happy. You have that all within you.