Friday, December 28, 2012

Guest Blog Post: Destiny from A Little Serendipity

Happy Friday Readers! As I'm putting together my weekly "letters," I really wanted to introduce you all to an awesome blogger, Destiny, over at A Little Serendipity.  I don't have too many guest bloggers but one day I noticed that Destiny was participating in my button swap and decided to check out her blog.  Her posts are filled with such sincerity and she's just starting out in the blogging community, so I thought that more people who love those content-driven posts would really appreciate what she has to offer.  So I hope you all enjoy and make sure you check out her blog :)

Hello, lovely new friends!

I'm Destiny and I blog over at A Little Serendipity.  I'm a quirky, offbeat 24-year old with a crazy hectic life (full time Office Coordinator, full time student, new blogger, etc.) with some pretty different views on the world. I'm a huge believer in positive thought and the pleasant effects it can have on your life (I know, I know- "hippy mombojombo". I'm normal, I promise!). A Little Serendipity is all about my journey through life and all those life lessons that tend to sneak up and bite me in the butt enlighten me with joy and wisdom!

Growing up, I've found that I've really had to "retrain my brain" into a more productive, positive way of thinking. As a teen, I really struggled with my emotions. I think a lot of it had to with the fact that I didn't know who I was. I knew who I wanted to be, I had set expectations for myself, but I always felt like I didn't understand how to get there or how to be that person. For a bit, I just accepted things as they were. I started thinking "well, I'll never be the girl I want to be because I'm too quiet." or "I'll never be able to do that because I'm just not smart enough"- I think we all get stuck in the cycle of being a bit too hard on ourselves from time to time.

I had this huge list of things that would make me happy. For instance, 13-year old me thought she'd be happy if she went to Hogwarts, 15-year old me thought she'd be happy if she moved to Europe and became a fashion designer, etc. A certain part of my fantasy always stayed constant no matter my age- by 25 I always imagined that I would have my entire life "together". That was the plan- I'd be married by 20 to a guy with an adorable English accent (perhaps he'd be royalty), have an amazing job as a magazine editor/fashion designer/Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader by 21, adopt the most adorable little boy by 22, and live happily ever after. Yeah, basically I'd have all my ducks in a row, and have my "stuff" together.

Here's where reality sets in- I got out of high school and took a look at my life and realized I had no idea what I actually wanted. Sure, I'd made all these plans but what did I really want? I still wasn't the person I wanted to be. I was still trying to fit into the definition of "me" that was set by the expectations of everyone around me and (at 18) I decided I needed time to figure things out and made the choice not to go to college. I went back to school the next year, at 19, but 20 came and went without an engagement ring, 21 came and went without that amazing job (although I do LOVE my job now), 22 came and went without the adorable happy kid I saw in my dreams, and I finally, at 24, started to realize that happily ever after wasn't what I thought it was.

You know why? Happiness doesn't come from success. Happiness comes before success. I'm a 24- year old with a messy life but I'm happier than I have ever been. You know that saying- you can't buy happiness?  It's true- you can't.  No perfect career will make you happy.  YOU make you happy.  Success does not make you happy, but being happy makes you successful. You see what I did there?

I've found that I set the bar of expectations for my life. So what if I'm not where I hope to be later on? I'll get there. That's perfectly okay. Happiness comes from accepting that. Happiness is understanding (and accepting) that the perfect relationship isn't real. A healthy relationship involves arguing a bit from time to time, disagreeing, but accepting/loving each other in spite of that. Happiness is the realization that you will have bad moments but the determination not to let those moments turn into bad days.

We live in the age of social media and I think it hinders us in a way because we see these relationships, the pictures, the sweet statuses, the blog posts- and we think "why don't I have that? What is wrong with me?" What we don't see is that five minutes earlier that food blogger burnt a batch of cupcakes and started to swear, those two people smiling in that adorable picture on Facebook probably just fought over finances the day before. We don't see the dirty diapers, the "messy moments" in life and we set ourselves up to believe that we can live a life where they don't exist.

Except we can't.

What we fail to really realize is that they are human just like us. We are, all of us, human and flawed and beautiful. It's a really, really glorious thing that we all struggle with from time to time. But we are real. Happiness is reveling in the realization that those "messy moments" make us exactly who we are and that we are learning, growing, and changing every second of every minute of every hour of every day.

And happiness is the ultimate success, right?


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