This 2019, I found myself enjoying reading self-help books more than novels. Each page tells a story on how to approach life with a wisdom that we secretly know but never get to fully apply in our lives. Mental health has become a growing concern in today’s society and getting advice or having someone tell you what you can do to survive is helpful. Whether or not we follow the advice is up to us but having someone narrate steps or explain the process is reassuring that I’m not the only one going through something alone.
If there’s anything I’ve learned from the books I’ve read, it’s that it’s okay to enjoy your life. Don’t feel bad for living your best life — there’s nothing wrong in being content and happy with your everyday. But why is it so hard to feel this way sometimes? Because while we get to work a stable job, have a good family to come home to, travel once in awhile.. others are suffering. There’s this guilt that eats us up for being able to enjoy while even other people around us are struggling. Or we tend to look at the lives of other people and go down the rabbit hole of jealousy & insecurity, we stop & rethink if we are indeed living the best life we can have.
But it’s not their fault that they live that way. Nor is it ours that we have a different life. We can make assumptions and think that the grass is greener on the other side but do we really know the hard work and sacrifices that went into the grass to become healthy and full of life? Let’s not feel bad about our choices & lifestyle and learn to embrace that what we currently (and can) have is enjoyment in its purest form already.
Here’s the thing though: Enjoying life’s fruits doesn’t mean it’s an easy breezy experience. Earning money takes hard work, exercising is a chore, and travelling means waking up early and doing a lot of walking to soak in the sights (Except for staycations, depends on your IT) and requires money to spend. Maintaining friendships and having good relations with your parents/siblings develops over time. A good life means working through problems and exerting thought & effort to live a balanced lifestyle. There’s no shortcuts and as we experience the opposite of anything easy, the lessons and hardships will make us wiser and improve our lives. If we allow it, and we should.
I’m slowly trying to unlearn the notion of guilt and stripping away the care and attention I give to jealousy. When I look at other people’s social media feeds or hear their success stories, I admit that the emotions can bubble up and eat me alive. But I always remind myself that what others have that I don’t does not make me weaker. Get rid of entitlement and own up to your strengths. Don’t we downplay our lives when other people compliment it? The same rule applies when we admire others for theirs — let’s give each other the benefit of the doubt.
To be confident and know that despite what other people say, you can still do your own thing, is hard. Don’t be afraid to be happy and live with a smile on your face because that smile can come from many different (easy & difficult) experiences. This entry doesn’t mean that I’m well on my way to achieving true happiness without falter but I’m hoping that these words will remind me that I’m doing okay. I’m not miserable and I want to start fully enjoying my life without any buts😊