The Pursuit of Happiness: Am I Mucking It Up?
Am I happy? Who knows.
Tonight—or I guess technically last night—was the first time in about a month that I went to sleep without taking a sleeping pill. I fell asleep soundly at first, which was fantastic because I have the tendency to lie awake for several hours, but here I am, four a.m., unwilling to adhere to my own exhaustion. That was the issue behind my insomnia. It’s waking up at two in the morning and not being able to get back to sleep.
This last week has been a rollercoaster of emotions. Which was kind of great because I’ve been apathetic for the last few months. As I sit here, wondering exactly what I’m feeling and if I will be doomed to pill addiction just to sleep through the night, I consider how happy I am. And more to the point, how likely I am to get there.
Points in health? Insomniac. I hate eating. I’m not big on exercise or the outdoors. I’m constantly thirsty and no matter how much I drink, I can’t quench it, so I end up not bothering at all. Have a lot of headaches and weird repetitive pains my doctors don’t really understand.
But over the last few months I have attempted to complete a quick regime of push-ups and stretching in the morning, I’ve started taking vitamins again, I’ve been able to sleep via pills, scheduling drinking of water and cranberry juice throughout the day, and making sure to eat a full meal three hours before bedtime. I stopped drinking soda which helps the migraines, and have focused on eating more protein and less sugar. I also have all kinds of pills and methods to alleviate the pains, which is better than last year when I just had to suffer through them.
So I’ll give myself a five on a one to ten scale.
Career-wise, things are going decently well. Over the past year I’ve developed a good fan-base on social media. My blog now has consistent readers, and though the number of hits per blog still varies drastically, those numbers are still high. I’ve developed some actually satisfying bonds and connections with fellow writers. I’m happy with the short stories I’ve published, and am excited about the extracurricular projects I’m getting done. I’m still hesitating on pursing publication of any of my novels, but the truth is, if I can suck it up, I pretty much have done everything I can except the actual submitting part.
On the other hand, I’m unemployed. I didn’t get fired or laid off at least. The business I worked at closed down, which opened up new horizons for me. And I have plenty of money saved up. But still. I have no idea what I want my day job to be, and honestly, I think job searching is far worse than pretty much any job you could actually have. And, in order for me to find a job, I need to decide where I want that job to be. I’m ready to get out of my hometown, but I’m not sure where I’m going to go.
Without knowing what kind of job I’m looking for, without knowing where I want to live, I am unlimited and therefore overwhelmed. Also, my lack of novel publication is a huge step back in my career, so despite all the work I’ve done, and the satisfaction I have with marketing what is published and just myself in general, I wouldn’t say I’m where I want to be.
I’ll give myself a six.
For those of you following me on Facebook, I’m looking to move in the next several weeks. I would like it to be “immediately,” but that would be easier if I had any clue on where I want to be going.
Or rather, was sure about my decisions.
My two top choices right now are Boise, Idaho and New York City. Very different, I know. NYC allows for more opportunities, and honestly my biggest reason for moving is to find more people that I can connect to. I like the external properties of L.A., like the weather, the opportunities, and even the traffic doesn’t bother me as much as New York’s (it’s slow, but not stressful). But, while I had friends there, the only person I ever bonded with was my ex-boyfriend. And even then he had that same polite, keeping up appearances attitude that kept me on eggshells the entire time I was living there. I think I’d like the people in New York. I have no idea what the people in Boise are like.
But Boise offers a lot of opportunities as well, and better yet, cost of living is extremely lower. It would give me less options, but more time to work on my career and hobbies.
The indecision about my location is my prime issue right now. On the other hand, the goal of moving and being able to progress as I’ve been has made me excited and inspired more so than I’ve been in the last few months. Confusion makes it painful, but the possibilities enjoyable.
I don’t know. Five.
Family: Supportive parents. Don’t fight with my brother like I did when we were kids. Supportive external family. No one’s going through super drama right now (that I know of). Plus points there.
Pets: Dimitri has an indefinite problem and my vet doesn’t know what it is. My cat has been gaining weight though, and recently started to play again, but for the last week he’s been lethargic and needy. The love I have for him gives me bonus points, but my worry takes some away.
Friends: I’m going to say negative points. My biggest concern is my lack of sociability. I alienate people because, though I like them, I often have a hard time actually going out and doing things. They stop inviting me. And in Jackson, my hometown, everyone I know seems to be at least 20 years older than me, going through very different parts of their lives. The people my age aren’t done partying, and I’ve never been into that. I have a few life-long friends that I feel bonded to, but they all live at very different parts of the country.
Romance: This one’s hard to calculate. On the one hand, I’ve never minded being alone right now. On the other hand, I don’t want to be alone forever. This wouldn’t worry me so much, but my lack of socialness, my disinterest in dating, my incapability to flirt all means that it takes a long time for me to date anyone or even be interested in someone. Last year I realized I did have the capability to love, and did have the capability to get my heart broken. I’ve at least made some amends with the guy, and have had some closure. It didn’t end the way that I wanted which gives negative points, but there is a part of me that’s relieved that heartache is done with and I’m free to move on, so bonus points.
If I had to guess, I’d say that this is the worst part of my life. I’m giving it a three.
I’m looking at these numbers and wondering if some of my happiness isn’t based off of holding myself to too high of standards. I don’t feel that apathetic right now, or that miserable. I would say, in fact, that I lean on the happier side than not. At least currently.
But the numbers disagree. What aspect am I not looking at?
I realize the tipping point comes to the way I view myself. While I am not satisfied with my situation, and am generally lonely, hope’s coming from somewhere. At least in all my neuroses the one thing I don’t lack is self-respect. I have confidence in myself, am generally happy with my appearance, and see any mistakes I make as simply mistakes. Satisfaction with my choices and my progress keeps me afloat, even when I’m not exactly where I want to be.
I’d say my happiness with who I am is an eight. Compared to how much I can be in love with myself at other times, it’s not as high as it can be, but still, it’s not an area I’m worried about.
This last week has been so much emotional ups and downs that it reminded me that I haven’t been feeling as much as I could be. I’m not happy and I’m not sad. In the last few days I was brought to tears and laughed a lot more than I have been. But, as I examine what’s going on here, I don’t think I’m mucking up my own happiness. I’m doing things I think will eventually make me happy; I just need to find something that makes me feel right now.