Because I’m…

“How are you?” a friend asked. For the first time in a while, I paused to think about my response. This has become such an easy question to answer with a quick and lazy “Good, you?” that stopping myself from vomiting that phrase was a hard task, harder than it should have been.

This time, though, I pushed myself to think before responding because I wanted to get an accurate reading of how I felt. Without being fully aware of it, I was craving to get back in touch with myself, similar to the times I realize, almost all of a sudden, that I haven’t taken a long, deep breath all day and I force myself into it. It was a much-needed, please-just-take-one-second-for-yourself, break.

Finally, I replied with an answer so honest that it even surprised me: “I’m… HAPPY!” It came complete with a wide, satisfied smile.

How are you doing? Are you happy? Why or why not? What needs to change?

While I welcome your answers, I don’t need them; you do. They’re for you to ponder and to use to help you evaluate what your next move in life will be, whether that may mean taking two steps forward, four to the side, or several backwards. Any direction you take that helps you improve is one worth taking.

When I stop to consider my life, especially during the last three years, I sometimes struggle to comprehend how I got to where I am today. I am incredibly mind blown, and if I were to sit down right now with my 17-year-old self to discuss the past decade (!!!) with her, I would have no idea where to start. However, I can picture her utterly wide-eyed and practically jumping out of her seat with ridiculous excitement over a few things she’d learn about her future, and no doubt I would watch her shed tears over several events that were nothing short of heartbreaking.

Such is life, and I would not alter any of it. I know my 17-year-old self wouldn’t, either, and that gives me a tremendous sense of comfort. How can I be sure of this, you ask? Because the one constant that still exists between my past and present self, no matter how different we have become, is that I still cherish improving daily as a human being just as much –if not more—as I did back then.

This is something about me that I believe will never change, and I’m grateful for it, because it has played the key role in everything that has occurred in my life up to this point, and today I’m wise enough to understand that it will continue to shape my future.

About said future: it is something you and I create each day, step by step. I cannot tell you where I see myself five years down the road; I simply do not have that foresight, but that doesn’t worry me. All that matters is that I’m happy now, here, today, exactly where I am and how I am, and I am excited about the person I am continuously becoming.

I hope you are, too. Cheers to you, and to your own personal journey.

Photo by: Ananda Day / California, USA

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