I just need to get something off my chest, it weighs on me a bit. I hate the thought of someone watching me say things like “chase your dreams,” “take risks,” or use hashtags like #dreambig and feel like if they have no desire to do those things there is something wrong with that. To be clear, those are things that make ME happy; thinking big, having something seemingly unattainable to work towards, taking risks and putting my creative work into the world is what brings ME joy in life.
It drives me insane seeing motivational quotes and people presenting the idea that leading your life in that way is somehow more admirable and that anyone who doesn’t is just pretending to be happy. The truth is there is no right way to get joy out of life. Who in the hell made the rule that you had to be an achiever, dream big and aspire to go down in history in order to feel like your life was worth something? It is bullsh** and anyone who makes you feel that way is most likely covering up layers of their own unhappiness and insecurity.
I can say that honestly because I’ve been that person before, let me tell you… some of the most outwardly positive, “happy,” motivating people in the world are fighting a tough inner battle. I often shared positive and motivating messages in attempt to convince myself that I actually felt them to be true in my life. It was almost like a coping mechanism for me. It often still is, the messages I share on social media 80% of the time are messages that I need to hear in that moment – and if I need to hear them, certainly someone out there needs to hear them too.
The moral of this rant is to stop letting other people dictate what a good, happy and fulfilling life looks like, decide for yourself what it looks like for you. If being a working mom of three, whose sole focus in life is supporting her kids in getting through college and going after their big dreams, having a big loving family and coordinating giant family vacations to bring the whole family together is what brings you joy in life, then revel in that. If you love the simplicity of your life but you struggle with watching elaborate lives on Instagram unfold that make you question if their something wrong with your life, stop that right now! If you see people, including myself, posting messages about dreaming big and they make you feel inadequate unfollow them.
It is true that there are a lot of people wandering around pretending to be happy, but it isn’t always because there is something wrong with their life – it is because society has convinced them that their life is supposed to be different.
Decide what a happy life looks like for YOU, no one else, and go live it.