Hello my friends! I have Wi-Fi again. The funny thing about traveling is you realize your dependence (addiction?) on Internet. It’s like driving around the corner and not finding a Starbucks. Although cell service and Wi-Fi has been spotty throughout this road trip, I’ve actually enjoyed the times I’ve been without it. A strange calmness that I’m not used to comes over me. All the comparing, all the wanting to be more and be busy drops away. It just disappears and I’m me again. That sounds odd doesn’t it? I believe I’m simply finding happiness in just being.
One of my goals for this road trip was to find clarity and focus. It’s an ongoing thing for me right now and I believe this is something natural that happens when we’re going through big changes in life. You know when you’re mulling over a big decision and all you do is beg and pray for clarity? There’s been a lot of that going on in my world.
It’s strange how clarity can come from the oddest of places. While driving up the California coast, I stopped for lunch at Nepenthe in Big Sur. If you’ve never been, let me tell you, Big Sur is stunning. There’s no easier way to say it. Vast mountainous coastlines with crystal blue waters, what more could one ask for? The restaurant overlooks the ocean in the heart of Big Sur and the view was breathtaking. Now you’d think I’d be telling you I found clarity from staring out at that gorgeous vast blueness, right? Well, it helped but here’s the real deal:
As I approached the hostess, I became uncomfortably aware of my single status. Surrounded by couples and families, I quickly realized I was the only group of one. Usually I get over this quickly but depending on my mood, it can stick with me.
“Just one please”, I told her. “No, no. You mean foooor onnne.” She said in a dramatic angelic trilling voice.
For a moment, I was baffled and she noticed my confusion.
She continued, “It’s never JUST one. Don’t say JUST. Say Foooorr onnnne.”
I laughed and quickly agreed with her. “You’re right. It’s For One please. I’m going to remember to say that wherever I go.”
All this time, I had been referring to my single status as something negative. When in actual fact, I’ve been pretty happy while single. It’s an unfortunate fact of life but society does place an emphasis on being part of a duo and it can inadvertently affect your mindset.
Without even realizing it, I was accepting society’s label of me. That I was a pariah for being single – that it was not normal for me to check in to a hotel without another person, or to dine alone.
It’s the language we tell ourselves that determines our happiness. Both what you tell yourself and what others hear from you reinforces certain behaviors and alters how others treat you.
When I said, “Just one” I was being an Eeyore. Yep, a mopey donkey from Winnie the Pooh. I was telling the world (and myself): woe is me and yes I know you know I’m single and I don’t like that you know. But really, who cares? If I’m happy, and I’m rocking being single, so what? I’m happy and that’s where it’s at.
The funny thing is, I know I don’t need a relationship to validate me or provide any form of happiness in life. There is no gaping hole to be filled with anything. Sure, someone to share this beautiful world with would be awesome, but it’s not meant for me right now. I’ve accepted that.
Happiness comes from within. It comes from matching your values to how you live each and every day. When you have an internal values conflict, unhappiness and inner turmoil come to the surface. The life you’re living is not matching what you hold most dear.
It’s moments when you feel a longing for something that you need to step back, internalize and understand what is being asked of you. What does your soul want?
And trust me, your soul doesn’t want more clothes, hundreds of shoes, a fancy new car, or shiny new objects. I’ve learned that the $19,000 hard way. It wants you to rediscover your connection with life and the world around you.
The key to finding happiness is embracing whatever stage of life you’re at in this moment and accepting it. Whether you’re single, married, divorced, single mom, unemployed, underemployed, you’re there for a reason. Yes, that reason may not be apparent and you may feel as if you’re struggling and experiencing a whole lotta “why me?” But looking within and becoming self-aware will help you discover why you didn’t get that job, or promotion, or why people don’t believe in you. Here’s a hint: maybe it’s because YOU don’t believe in YOU or you felt deep within that you somehow didn’t deserve that job. Any of these thoughts or beliefs will derail you.
So from here on in, I’m changing my lingo and boosting the “this is who I am” vibes to the world. And by the way, it’s FOR ONE please.