Three years ago, I was in a bad place. I was scared about a situation going on in our lives and I couldn’t see the end. I was stuck in the mud and mire of not knowing. Well, Yoda was right.
“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”
I was scared and angry, and my life suffered. I think back to things I said, things I didn’t say … I have moved on and yet, as I sit here thinking back to those spring days a few years ago, I can still feel a weight. It’s a reminder of where I don’t want to be.
When you’re going through a hard time, you still talk, laugh, eat, eat again, live. But there is always that weight.
What was my reason for the fear? It won’t matter to you. What matters to you is YOUR reason. What matters to you is your fear and anger, your mud and mire. Regardless of things you say, things you don’t say, what you do and the way people react to you and your situation, YOU MATTER. That’s the first step out.
Sometimes what leads us to the first step is a light, and we find the light in so many different ways. I remember my first glimpse of it. I remember it exactly. I remember the feeling of knowing again. There would be an end. And that was the beginning.
I held that light and it helped, but it took me months to figure out what to do with it, how to build it into something else. Coming off a loss and a few hard lessons, it was nine months later when I launched into a personal happiness project. There are many versions of it thanks to Gretchen Rubin – 30 days, 100 days, meditation, laugh therapy. I decided that mine would be every day, no matter what. I would think happy thoughts, create something, share it with the world, take it into my soul and believe it. The next day, I would do it again. It wasn’t full proof, but it worked for me.
Yes, I have slipped. I am sorry for those times. Happiness is a work in progress. It’s a learning experience too. My key was finding the light every day, and finding the light again when I slipped.
I want to share some of this journey with a few who might read this blog. Share some thoughts and perhaps a rant or two, lessons learned. There will be sunny, happy thoughts, a curse word or ten (you are warned), thankfulness, beauty, simplicity. This is my project, a part of the simple adventure. I truly hope you have found or will find yours too.
Part of my project were these photo creations that I shared on a Facebook page called The Simple Adventure. They are still there, though I have stepped away from the page for a while to make changes to this blog.
The next part of my project is to change this blog a bit. We’ll still share travel and stories, as well as life lessons from one who has found happiness in the world. Read if you will. Enjoy.
Since the fall of 2010, I have volunteered in a Chinese school in Shenyang. Of course, I have written about it in the past. It started as one day a week, and now, sometimes, it is five. I chose it and I love it. I am so thankful that I was given this opportunity, that I took it, and that we made the absolute best of it.
Feeling that we may leave China in 2015, this school year has been a bit difficult for me. I have shared and learned so much over the years. How will I ever express how much they mean to me?
This experience is how I truly learned to say, “You’re welcome” and “My pleasure”, and really mean it. It helped save me at times when I didn’t like who I was, when I didn’t like some I spent time with and had to make more positive choices in my life. It is a place I remember how wonderful my real friends are because these amazing people are among them. Where someone can tell me I’m beautiful and I believe them. Where a simple thing means love. It is why pieces of my heart will always be in China.
I hope you all have a place like this, or that you’ll find one in the new year.