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Saturday, June 20, 2015

Making Choices... Being Happy

Happy - feeling or showing pleasure or contentment

What does it feel like to be happy?  Well, honestly, I don't think this is something that you can put into words.  It's just a feeling.  For me, I think it's been a very freeing feeling.  Freedom from all that has weighed me down for so many years.  

When I made the decision to embark on the life changing journey I started almost 2.5 years ago, I didn't realize how much it would affect my relationships with my family members and friends in so many positive ways.  

Just being happier on a daily basis is a gift I never realized I needed to find.  I mean, we probably all think we are fairly happy, right?  Well, I couldn't believe how it felt to actually be 100% happy.  I just enjoy life.  I smile all the time.  I have the energy to run around and play with my favorite little friends.  I want to be around people.  I make an effort to be a part of social outings.  And, slowly but surely, I continue to step out of my comfort zone.  

Taking time for myself is also a lesson I've learned.  There's absolutely nothing wrong with it.  It's healthy to take a little time for yourself.  I've just figured out that isolating myself doesn't work.  I like being around people.  Again, it's freeing to have found people I enjoy being around on a regular basis.

There's something to be said for living a healthy lifestyle. It gives me energy that I didn't know I have.  I don't feel sluggish after I get done eating a meal.  I admit, I struggle with this one on a daily basis.  I love food.  And, unfortunately, I love sweets.  They are definitely a weakness of mine.  But, I now have the tools to make smart choices.  And, when I don't (which happens, sometimes more than I'd like to admit), I have figured out that I can't beat myself up.  I just have to move on and make a better choice for the next meal/snack.  It's okay to slip up, I just know that it can't be a daily occurrence for me.  

It's no secret that I spend a lot of time with my nieces and nephew.  They are, quite literally, my world.  There are some people who might find it strange that I spend so much time with them.  Me, I'll never think it's weird.  And I will ALWAYS feel blessed to have the opportunity and the ability to be such a big part of all of their lives.  They make my life better.  I can honestly say that I never feel happier or more loved than when I see one (or more) of them and they come running at me, screaming my name with nothing but pure joy and excitement to see me.  How many people are lucky enough to experience that on a regular basis?  I'm here to tell you, there is NOTHING in this world that makes me smile more than that initial greeting.  And it really does happen every time I see them.  How lucky am I?  That is one way I can describe my happiness.  To have every care in the world lifted away by seeing the smiles on their sweet faces.  That's the freedom of being happy.

Finding the freedom to be me, and realizing that there are people who love me just the way I am is how I would describe happiness.  It's taken me awhile to figure this out.  And I couldn't have done it without the help and guidance of some amazing people.  They know who they are.    

Take time and do things for yourself.  Whatever that looks like to you.  Set a goal.  Celebrate it when you achieve it.  And realize that each time you take even the smallest step, you are making life better for you and all those who love you.  Thankfully, I've been lucky enough to experience this firsthand.  And I wouldn't change it for the world. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Right Place In This Life

When you finally figure out where you're supposed to be in life, it's quite a gift.  And a feeling that's difficult to describe.

I often hear people say that high school or college is the best time of your life.  Well, for some that may be true.  I guess it depends on the experience you have at those times of your life.  My guess is that often describes the friendships you make, the carefree feeling most of us have during that time and just the general excitement and anticipation of going from a teenager to a young adult.  But hopefully, these aren't the best times of your life.

For me, that's definitely not true.  I struggled through high school and college.  And beyond.  We're all a little different.  And it takes everyone a different amount of time to figure things out.  I guess you could say it took me a little longer than the average person.   However, I'm good with it.  Because I know I've finally ended up where I'm supposed to be to find myself, continue growing and changing for the better and meet some incredible people who have already had quite a profound impact on my life in the short time I've known them.

A year ago (I know because it came up on timehop today), I posted an entry on taking a chance.  That referred to completing my first year in my job at Fairfield.  As I wind down my second year there, I continue to be even more grateful to so many for giving me the opportunity and encouragement to take the chance I did.  Every day when I go to work, I know I am in the right place.  I smile, have fun with my co-workers and really enjoy working with all the families and students I am lucky enough to get to know.  It feels like a little family more than anything else.  I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Finding my place in this world has also been amazing within my family.  As some of you may know, I didn't always feel like I "fit in".  However, I've finally figured out that I don't need to fit in.  I need to be me.  My nephew and nieces love me because of who I am.  And when they look up at me, run up and give me a huge hug while screaming MIMI, ask me if I can spend the night because they want to have breakfast together and so much more than I can mention, I know I'm doing something right.

Having the ability to continue to find the better pieces of yourself is a gift not everyone receives.  I definitely feel as though I am one of the lucky ones.  If there's one piece of advice I could offer to anyone it would be this:

Never settle for anything less than knowing you are where you are supposed to be.  It may take awhile (It's taken me 35 years and some change) but, I promise, it's worth every minute you put into it.  

As the title of my blog states, this is about more than weight loss.  It's about new experiences, positive changes and so much more.  It's about finding Amanda.  And that's a gift I will never be able to repay to any one of the many people who have had, and continue to have, a place in this journey of mine.