I Just Wanna Be Fuckin’ Happy

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I was minding my own business, on the back of a motorbike heading out of Tay Ho, Vietnam, when my Spotify shuffled to a random song by Julia Michaels. “What kind of sorcery is this?” I thought to myself as I gazed down to find out the artist and title. The song is called “Happy”, but it’s not about rainbows, butterflies, or drugs. The song is about sadness and heartache. She sang it in a way that touched me in my feels. It’s not often a song will turn me into a total softie while bobbing my head back and forth like I’m preparing for a mosh. However, the reason I was taken aback wasn’t because of that.

Why would a song about heartbreak, and not being happy, resonate with me so much when my life is good? That song essentially put me into a time machine, and flew me back to my cringy yet significantly trimmer and more youthful 16-year-old self. It made me think about times that I didn’t particularly want to go back to, and question many of my life choices. Yet, I still pressed repeat when I knew the song was coming to an end.

The next time I heard her sing the chorus, “I just wanna be fuckin’ happy.”, I asked myself what I had probably been suppressing for a long time. Am I really fucking happy? The fact that I asked that question was enough to know the answer was no. Don’t get me wrong, my life is great. I’m surrounded by an incredible community and wonderful friends. I love my family and have created a beautiful life for myself. I have a good life and I’m happy, but I’m not really fucking happy.

By that I mean, I still have voids I’m trying to fill. I still believe that my life will be better once I start my own business, or once I’m waking up every morning next to the doppelgänger of Leonardo DiCaprio from Titanic. (Yes, specifying Titanic rather than The Revenant makes a big difference in my book.) A part of me feels empty because I’ve created a life where the future, and things outside of myself, hold my conditional happiness. I was and am living a great life, but what’s keeping me from being really fucking happy is complete acceptance and gratitude for what is, regardless of other things I want that have yet to manifest in my life.

I am choosing in this moment to put my value and focus on different things. To bring my attention to the good that I have now rather than what I want in the future. That’s not to say I can’t have dreams and desires, but what I need to do is stop putting so much hype, hope, or worry on the future, that I feel my present is less valuable. Wanting more from life is fine and normal. However, needing something more to feel better, is not a goal we should strive for, yet we seem to have collectively agreed it’s alright.

Many think that in order to change your life, get what you want, and be fucking happy, we have to do something different. Although that’s not wrong, it’s not where to begin. It’s not about doing or having. It’s about being. Who do we have to become? Who do we have to be to change? We have been brought up in a world revolved around doing, but we won’t be taking the right actions if we haven’t become the right person first.

I am choosing to become more grateful and appreciative for what is. I am going to become more present and mindful. I am going to observe my thoughts, feel my feelings, and accept them without resistance. I am going to chill the fuck out and be fucking happy not by changing what I do or have, but who I am. Then, I’ll be truly fucking happy.

From Suicidal to Success

033995C7-6994-44C3-A8A1-8CF9C8AB1791.jpegThis topic is heavy, but I know you’ve all got some muscles and can pick up what I’m about to put down. Depression and suicide is no joke, but it’s in my blood to shed light on hardships and not take anything too seriously. Without further ado, here’s life from suicidal to superb.

I remember lying on my stomach, over my floral bedding, while googling “How to tie a noose.” The flowers on my blanket looked like a watercolor painting from my tears.  In other words, I was depressed as shit, and wanted to put an end to all of the suffering if that was not clear enough. That was me at 16 years old.

In between then and now, there were plenty highs and lows. When diagnosed with a-typical depression at a young age, something as small as dropping a pencil could send me on a downward spiral. Needless to say, if something not so pleasant actually happened, my lows were lower than the pants of a rapper in the early 2000s. That said, my highs felt that much sweeter because that meant I came so far. Now, not only am I at a high, but because of how I’ve gotten here over the years, my lows will never be as bad.

No matter where we are, life is ever changing. When someone is at a low, don’t forget that it’s an opportunity for healing and ascension, and there’s light at the end of every tunnel. Okay, maybe not literally if there’s a tunnel with an actual dead end, but you get the point. Life doesn’t have dead ends though, just detours. But those detours help us become who we are because of how we walk through that path.

Back in 2016, I crashed my car in Santa Barbara, California, while on my way up the coast. It wasn’t a “Whoopsy, my bad” type of crash. It was more like a frame from a zombie apocalypse movie, when everyone’s trying to flee from those freaky dudes, and shit goes haywire. It looked like the manifestation of my internal thoughts. My mind was a total shit show, and now so was my car. I was so uncertain of my life and future. I was full of confusion and anxiety, which was also the catalyst of a serious relapse at the time to top it all off.

Two weeks later, I was sitting on a bench in the backyard of my uncle’s acquaintances house, who so graciously took me in for a few weeks as my car got fixed. I starred off into her garden and had a moment of clarity. I saw how I let my circumstances continue to affect my mindset, and it was up to me to change this downward spiral. I saw the light at the end of the tunnel and chose to walk towards the light with diligence.

My mantra became “Everything is always working out for me.” Reframe from categorizing that as some new aged, airy fairy bull. I repeated that mantra every time I caught myself thinking negatively. I believed there was something in all of my perceived chaos that was helping me in some way. A few weeks later, everything fell into place like magic, and I found peace.

Our circumstances and hardships do not define us. It’s our resilience and ability to let life take us to the light at the end of the tunnel that builds us. Don’t give thanks to those hardships because they don’t deserve our attention. We deserve to thank ourselves for moving beyond them.

That bedding adorned with my 16 year old tears no longer lies beneath me. Now, I’m on my stomach over the fresh linens of a bed in a 4 star hotel, traveling the world. Will I be on a high forever? Absolutely not. Do I now always see the light and walk towards it with faith in my ability to become better from a detour? Fuck yes.

What my Tears are Telling me

A1678493-DAF1-4FF4-92BC-8ADE68B23172I cried twice this month in the course of 9 days. prior to those episodes, it had been months since I shed a tear. Not if you’re counting things like emotional animal rescue video clips I ignorantly click on my Facebook newsfeed. And no, my breakdowns were not because I was pmsing and they didn’t have any chocolate I liked at a nearby convenient store or some shit. It’s a multitude of things, but when I break it down, it becomes more clear.

You see, I’ve  been high on life for so long. Living it up, staying up late, eating shitty but delicious food, and drinking. “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” has been my motto these days, and I’m constantly around and entertaining others without giving myself time to recharge. It’s like forgetting to charge my phone, and then getting frustrated at my phone for not letting me check if my bumble match responded when it runs out of battery. I have to take responsibility for the consequences of my actions while simultaneously acknowledging the signs these struggles are teaching me. It’s more than partying too hard and living my best life. It’s my body and mind sending me signals that I need to tend to myself. Change needs to happen.

As I’ve said before, chaos is creation, and there is nothing but beauty in these breakdowns because I know they’re happening for me, not to me. More sleep and more me time is essential right now. The struggle is real now that my internal clock has been completely fucked from this new life, but I’m working on it.

When there’s an ebb in the flow of life, it’s also important to express yourself. To say I’ve been bottling my feelings up like a beer can tossed around by a frat boy would be an understatement. I have some of the best friends one could ask for, but I am not one to talk to them often when I’m far away. Partially I don’t reach out because that entails filling them in on my life. way too fucking much has happened for me to succinctly go through all my crazy adventures, hookups, and questionable life choices. I wouldn’t dare tell my mom when I feel like this. If I coughed or sneezed on the phone, she would probably assume I had dangue fever with a 10% chance of survival, so I don’t want to give her heart palpitations by telling her my mental state has seen better days. The people here listen to enough of my shit, so I don’t want to blab more about how exhausted I am. To be honest, it’s almost like I forgot how to ask or get support. I wasn’t expressing what I needed to in order to feel heard, understood, or supported. So instead, that left me feeling alone, even in a room full of people.

This post isn’t being written so you will reach out saying some “You can always talk to me” etc. etc. That’s nice and all, but it’s more being written as my outlet to get what’s inside of me out. It’s letting the world know it’s okay to not be okay because that’s creation. It’s a reminder to us all that it’s beautiful to have a body that can tell us it’s time for a shift.

Now it’s time to ask how I can sustain this fun and exciting life in a more realistic, healthy way. What practices and self care do I need to implement to have my ebbs turn to flows before the waterworks begin. I’ve done the work to get my answers and am getting my flow back. Now all I need is some melatonin.