So, it’s been a couple of months since I embarked on this ‘journey’ and as I was crammed into my daily commuter train (sandwiched between the girl tweeting offensive things about her fellow passengers and the man breathing on my neck) I started to think about whether I’ve actually gained anything or moved forward in any way –
Tentatively I would say yes. I’ve definitely put myself in situations I wouldn’t have done before!
I’ve learnt to meditate (although I have to confess that my daily practice consists of 5 minutes positive thinking on the way to work rather than any prolonged period of time at home, but it’s a baby step I guess) I’ve laughed so hard my cheeks hurt, danced in a drum circle, been inspired by some great mentors and leant to make a conscious effort to be kinder, more generous and more trusting. (I definitely wouldn’t have stopped to ask my Big Issue seller if he wanted a homemade chocolate banana muffin on my way to work this morning!) I’ve met a community of like-minded people (both on and off line) and discovered that you don’t have to live in a tree-house or wear tie-dye to want a happier, more fulfilling life (man, I wish I could live in a tree house.) I’ve made new friends and re-connected with old ones. No doubt, these are all awesome.
Don’t get me wrong. I have not become a perfect person. I have not turned into the quiet serene girl I always admired in school (then I’ve always said mysterious is over rated) I still get quite outrageous road rage, I’m grumpy when I’m hungry, I judge people who I think are idiots and I tut at people who jump into the train carriage as the doors are closing when there’s clearly no room left (just a few things to work on!)
When I started this project one of my main sources of unhappiness was feeling like I was on the wrong path. I now work in a job, which although isn’t perfect, strives to combat prejudice – who wouldn’t forgive the office politics when you get letters from people telling how much your project has inspired them. I also used to hate living in London. I try not to use the word hate very often because it implies something venomous, but I really was miserable. Despite having met the most amazing person who I hope to spend the rest of my life with and having a large wonderful group of friends – I felt like the city was sucking my soul. Boyfriend used to tell me that it was more in my head than where I was, and turns out he was right (oh how wise he is. ggr) Having started to get out and explore the city I have found that I can appreciate it’s diversity – there is SO much to do here and so much of it is free! Although I know I can’t live here forever (I need to live near the sea…) I’ve accepted that I have to be here for a while and have to get out of it what I can.
‘Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim
and end of human existence’ – Aristotle.
And, what have I learnt about happiness? There is literally so much to read about the topic that’s for sure. Just when I find something which I’m certain is true something else comes along and changes my mind! A girl I met told him something interesting when I told her about this blog. She said ‘When you ask people about happiness, they tell you about sadness. When you ask about love, they tell you about pain.’ I thought about this and I understand what she means – both happiness and love are what we, as humans, are all programmed to pursue – yet they the hardest things to keep. When we have them we are in a state of high and if we lose them, then it is as if we have lost a piece of ourselves. Does that sound too deep (clichéd)? If there is one thing I have learnt so far is that happiness isn’t a state of continuous bliss. It’s just impossible (and just unrealistic) to try and stay ‘happy’ all the time. Happiness is about becoming internally more positive so that when something bad happens it feels less like falling off a cliff and more like a bump in the road. I also think it’s about finding things you like doing and making time to actually do them. And it’s about having a future goal and working towards it. I’m still searching, I really want to have my own (ethical) – business (hey, u can’t take the hippy out of the girl what can I say?!)and just waiting for the right idea, but in the mean time I try to be thankful for the good things I have now.
There’s still so much I want to try – trapeze swinging anyone? There’s bound to be more dancing with strangers.
And so the journey continues!
Thank you to all those who have got in touch to say how much they enjoy my posts, it’s always awesome to hear from you.
May happiness always win