I’ve spent the past 10 years in a full-speed 5th gear drive to success. I was molded into a “Get more to be more,” kind of a gal. I spent my time trying to earn more, be more, have more, learn more, express more, read more… In order to be happy, I had to seek happy by constantly striving.
I’m not gonna lie. It was exhausting.
So during Shitstorm 2013, I essentially lost most everything that gave me security. I lost the house I loved, the family I dreamed of, the job that made me feel necessary. I lost friends, I lost normalcy. I mean, shit, I lost my Vitamix. I went from a path of more-more-more to a downhill slide into less-less-less. And I will tell you what – my ego took a bruisin’. All those people and things that made my life feel cushie and soft peeled away as I ripped down the side of that mountain. By the time my ego hit the ground, it couldn’t even lift its eyes to see how far it had fallen. Embarrassing. Depressing. Unfair. Those were all the words my little go used by the time it finally decided to get up and brush itself off.
I sat in the garden on Sunday morning with my dear friend, sipping coffee as my roommates slept and the birds woke up. We giggled at how silly we were the night before watching Ghostbusters. There I sat in a little white nightgown my friend gave to me with a cup full of hot coffee on a warm, spring morning and it hit me.
There is very little that resembles my life before that still exists. I have LESS. Literally…far, far LESS. And yet, I have so much more. I have time to dream. I have laughter surprising me around every corner. I have room to be angry and sad. I have space to stretch. I have money to buy the things I need and just a few of the things I want. I have presence to grow. I think having gratitude for these things is nice, but even more powerful is that actual conscious recognition that they all exist, and they could all be taken away again tomorrow and I will sit up at the bottom of the mountain and start walking again, knowing I am still just as OK as I was when I “had.”
Slowly but surely I’m figuring out that “happy” isn’t whether or not life looks like I think it should, or like other people’s lives. Happy is just kinda whatever is right now, this moment. It’s sitting on my bed blogging at 4:00 in the afternoon. It’s so much simpler than I thought it all was for so long.
Here I am, with less and still more.
(It’s so cliche that I want to ralph a little when I read it, but unfortunately most of the old cliche’s are true.)