How to be happy.

WARNING: Extreme cheesiness to follow. 

To quote the late Christian Bale, Bonjour.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to sit down and write this blog post. There are literally dozens of un-posted drafts gathering dust on my computer, all of them variations of the same thing: I’m sorry I didn’t write anything for two months. I feel like a sleazy old man, returning to my family after abandoning them with nothing but some flimsy excuse for my absence ( you wouldn’t believe me if I said I was in a fugue state, would you?).

BUT: I have a good reason. The last couple of months have been very hard for me. All of my friends moved away to go to college, leaving me behind in my boring suburban hometown. Every now and then, I log onto Facebook and I get brief snapshots of what’s going on in their lives: They’re following their dreams, attending protest rallies in Washington, meeting tons of amazing people…the list goes on and on. Don’t get me wrong- I’m so, so happy for them and all of the fantastic things that they’re accomplishing; they are all beautiful land-mermaids and they deserve all of the adventures that are coming their way. It’s just that in the time we’ve spent apart from each other, I’ve been forced to spend a large amount of time by myself and I gotta tell you guys, It hasn’t been pretty.

Over the last two months, I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m kind of an awful person. Not awful in the sense that I push elderly women down flights of stairs and light orphanages on fire, but awful in the sense that If I were somebody else, I probably wouldn’t want to hang out with myself. Let’s face the facts: I’m kind of selfish, arrogant, I find it hard to empathize with others, I have literally no drive to accomplish the things important to me, I’m more than a little lazy, and I am flaky beyond belief. All of these traits come together to form a giant cluster of mediocrity. I examined myself, and I realized that the way I was going, I was going to wake up one day and find out I’d turned into this:

*shudder*

*shudder* (source)

For obvious reasons, when I realized these things, I began to feel extremely disappointed in myself. That disappointment quickly turned into disgust, and eventually that snowballed into a general feeling of sadness. I stopped doing all of the things used to enjoy, like writing and talking to my friends, choosing instead to sit in my room, flipping through all of my embarrassing memories, mentally punching myself in the face (which is actually quite cathartic). It got to the point where I began to feel like I didn’t deserve happiness; that I would be disappointed in myself for years and years, brushing off reassurances made by my friends that I was actually not that bad, until I was on my deathbed. Only then would I smile, for the simple reason that I felt victorious about the fact that my friends were wrong and I was right, which is a very shallow thing to feel victorious about. Then I would be sad again. Then I would die.

I’m not telling you this because I want you to dive into the comment section, showering me with praise, rather, I’m telling you this because I think a lot of young people feel the same way: like a useless, unimportant garbage person who should be sitting in an alley somewhere- and that is absolutely ridiculous! Everyone, no matter who they are or what they’ve done, deserves to be happy. Every single one of us. If you are a living, breathing, human being who is taking up space in the world. then you are entitled to the right to feel joy.

I don’t feel disappointed in myself anymore, but I do acknowledge that I have a lot of room for improvement. You might feel the same way, and that’s okay! After all, acknowledging a problem is the first step to fixing it. That is why I’ve decided to spend the rest of 2014 bettering myself as a person and working toward accomplishing my goals. I’ll (hopefully) be blogging weekly about how things are going for me, in the hopes that if everybody knows about it, I won’t bail out on my plan. There are three main areas in which I hope to improve myself:

  • Physical Health
  • My interpersonal relationships
  • Increasing my responsibility

Fun Fact: When I first made up my mind to make start bettering myself, I decided to call my plan Project 360. Then, my friends informed me that my title didn’t really work because if I was turning 360 degrees, then I would just be moving in a complete circle and would end up exactly where I began. They also kindly let me know that even if you didn’t consider that factor, the name was still kind of lame. I then suggested that I change the name to project 36-me, which elicited several groans and eye rolls. I pretended to groan with them, but secretly I was really proud of my pun.

And, to quote the late Meryl Streep, that’s what it’s all about.

Kiana.

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