There was a time when an okay life seemed extremely appealing to me. There was a time when comfortable and safe were things I thought I needed in order to do life properly; when milestones took precedence over my own happiness. My whole life I hit every big milestone on time, in the proper fashion, with the accompanying celebration to follow. My life was “on time” and it worked for me.
Until one day, on time and okay no longer meant the same thing anymore. My reality of a comfortable life was thrown into a hurricane. It spewed me and my values out into a different world that seemed to shine a little brighter despite how messy it may have looked from the outside.
The other side of the storm forced me to relearn happiness and what its definition truly meant to me. I decided that my version of happiness meant never allowing myself to settle; never allowing something into my life that was just okay, just because I felt that it was time. For some, this works and that’s cool. But for me, it just wasn’t okay anymore.
Some may look at my life and think I’m playing it too risky. I know for a fact that the way I do life now makes some people uneasy. The way I swing through the air, like a trapeze artist without a safety net making up my own rules as I go, is not a life that many would choose. It’s not a life I, myself, may have chosen only a few short years ago but it has become my reality and it has become my happiness.
I’m not okay settling for a relationship that doesn’t grow me, teach me, and help me become a better person. I’m not okay settling for a man who doesn’t make me laugh, motivate me, or believe in my dreams no matter how absurd they may be. I’m not okay settling for fake friendships that do not allow me to be 100% real, 100% of the time. I’m lucky enough that I haven’t had many of those in my life and I plan to keep it that way.
I’m not okay settling for a career that I hate and dragging myself out of bed every morning wishing for a snowstorm in the middle of June because I don’t want to go to my job. By all means, I would work shovelling horse shit if that’s all there was and I needed to pay the bills but in the end, my goals and my dreams will always be my motivators.
Too many times we believe that our happiness lies somewhere beyond ourselves. We believe that it is just around the corner, waiting to present itself but as we chase it we realize it is always out of reach. Maybe buying a house will make you happy, maybe getting married will make you happy, maybe having one, two, three children will make you happy. Perhaps that promotion will make you happy, that new car, that new wardrobe, that new person-on-the-side, maybe that next big thing will make you happy. And if it does then that is amazing. But if you are constantly chasing the dream and still thinking that your life is “just okay” then I encourage you to look within for what is missing instead of hunting down happiness like it’s a prized deer to be caught and hung on your wall.
If you think your life is just okay then take a look around and see all the goodness that is present. Find what’s already there that makes you feel alive and appreciate that. Take time to notice the smaller things we too often overlook and find happiness there. If there are things you absolutely cannot change then build on those instead of continuously believing that’s as good as it will get. If there are things you WANT to change and CAN change, then do it. Find a way to believe that your life is GREAT, not just okay.
I once lived a safe and comfortable life and some days it’s easy to miss the happiness I thought I had. Now, as I live life on my own time and dream bigger than I ever have before, I realize that the biggest risk I could have ever taken was not thinking that my happiness was worth more than just okay.