Blame It On The Rain

We’ve been experiencing drought conditions here in California and I was delighted to hear the news of not one, but two winter storms heading our way.  For three days, water poured from the sky in light drizzle and heavy downpours.  In between the rain, there were moments of bright, blue skies and thick fog that hung low, hugging the mountains.  It was perfect weather to stay in under a blanket with a good book and a fireplace roaring.

What is it about the rain that is so inspiring?

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Happy Marks The Spot

Every now and again, we are bound to go through times that make us question everything we know to be and everything we know we are.  They may be the result of a major-life change.  They may be due to a tragic loss.  They could exist during stressful moments.  They could be caused by a hormone imbalance.  Regardless, no matter how dark the days seem, there is bound to be light at the end of the tunnel.

In order to endure through these difficult and often depressing periods, one must hold tight to a very special thing: a happy place.

According to Urban Dictionary, a happy place is “The mental state achieved when one wants to avoid the unpleasant or uncomfortable. Everyone’s happy place is different, and usually consists of the things that make them joyous.”  It’s what gives us the “warm fuzzies” when we are feeling blue.

Do you know where yours is?

Even with a compass and map, your happy place can be hard to find.

Even with a compass and map, your happy place can be hard to find.

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Celebrating A Totally Awesome Day

Have you ever had one of those perfect days?  You know, when the planets align and everything just seems to go in your favor?  The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and you could burst into song at any moment because you are just incredibly happy.

Today was one of those days and I just have to share it.

From the moment the Santa Ana Winds woke me up from my slumber on the couch (I sleep there from time to time) with their mighty blows noisily shaking everything in the apartment, it has just been a great day.  I must have done something really good to warrant a day like this and I have been thoroughly enjoying every minute.

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Happiness Starts With You

What makes you happy?  Are you getting enough of it?  If you’re not, why aren’t you?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the choices we make and the reasons we make them.  What I’ve discovered is that a lot—and I do mean a lot—of the decisions we make are because we are trying to make other people happy.  It makes sense.  We focus on families and loved ones because, in order to be seen as kind and selfless people, we must put their happiness above our own.  We justify it by saying things like “if they’re happy, I’m happy” or “their happiness is more important than my own.”  But is that always right?

The simple answer is no.

If we always put the needs of others before our own, we lose sight of what we need as individuals and can turn bitter and resentful.  There have been a great many times when I have witnessed or experienced the anger that comes when one’s own needs are forsaken for someone else’s.  The seed of resentment is a slow-growing emotion that once realized, is far stronger than you thought possible and incredibly hard to get rid of.  And let me tell you, it’s not pretty.

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Expect Less, Enjoy More

I’m sure I’m not the only one out there who has had great expectations for something—be it a first date, a new movie, or a job interview—and has been let down when reality did not match up to our vision.  It can be hard to deal with and certainly disappointing when life just doesn’t go the way you expected it to.

So how can we deal with our own disenchantment and how can we prevent it from happening again?

We must expect less.

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Savoring The Simple Joys

I’ve always been a big believer in the phrase, “It’s the little things in life…”  There are so many tidbits that can bring a smile to my face and I strive to relish the common pleasures that are all around.  I have been known to break out in a huge grin—or just a happy dance—at the sight of a friendly animal, package on my doorstep, or laughing baby.  Here are some of the little things that make me happy. Continue reading

Illusions Of Adulthood

I have passed the age of 18.  I drive a car.  I have a full-time job.  I pay bills.  I am an adult.

I think.

What nobody seems to tell you about the years after high school and college is that you never really feel like you are an adult.  Most of the time, I still feel like I’m “faking” it and I’m going to be found out at any moment.  It’s as if someone is out there watching my every move and is going to take away my adult card because I’m just not doing it right.  What “it” is, I don’t think I’ll ever know.

Sure, I go through the motions of a typical office job, rent an apartment of my own, and can get into clubs without a fake i.d. but I still don’t feel like a grown-up.

As a kid, I was so eager to turn 13, entering my teenage years and feeling more grown up every year.  When I was 16, I could finally get my license and drive into limited freedom.  18 brought me the right to vote, sign contracts, and purchase cigarettes.  The party began at 21 when I didn’t have to slide the 21+ wristband off my friend’s wrist and onto my own and could finally show my own i.d. when I ordered a drink.  After that, it was all downhill.

Even though the number of years of my life keeps getting higher and higher, my mind refuses to let go of the dreams I’ve spent a lifetime imagining.

As ridiculous as it may sound, I continue to imagine a life of grandeur as I did when I was a little kid.  A part of me believes that I will be walking the red carpet of Hollywood, either on the arm of a famous actor or as a celebrity in my own right.  I honestly believe that given the chance, I would get along very well with Prince Harry and Jason Segel.  I longingly browse the online listings of estate homes in the multi-million dollar range and cross my fingers with the hope of “one day” when I’m a talk show host—a career that seems absolutely perfect for me and entirely entertaining.

Yes, I can see myself as a combination of some of the great women of talk shows.  I would dance like Ellen DeGeneres, get high-profile interviews like Oprah Winfrey, have the biting wit of Chelsea Handler, and maintain the elegance of Barbara Walters.  After I have proven myself through three successful seasons (one could be luck, two could be a fluke, three would mean business), I will become the network darling and receive an extended contract worth millions of dollars and a book deal.  I will no longer have to worry about whether to renew my lease or buy a place of my own.  I will be free of student loan debt.  I will not be tied to a job that does not fulfill me.  I will have made it.

Of course, I don’t expect overnight success.  No, I see this dream taking some time because let’s face it, I don’t exactly know anyone in the business, I’m not making any strides to move forward with this plan, and I don’t resemble a size-0 runway model.

But alas, I know my place in this world.  In all, it’s just a fantasy.  A fantasy I won’t relinquish because I am an adult.

No matter how old I get, I can’t seem to abandon the dreams of my youth.  Though they have changed—posters of Devon Sawa are no longer plastered on my walls and I don’t think I’ll make the Olympics gymnastics team—I still dream big.

I believe that one day I will have the house of my dreams with children and a partner to share it all with.  Though the house may not be an eight-bedroom mansion with a built-in movie theater, it will be made a home with little feet thumping through the halls, the smell of baking in the air, and family photos adorning the walls and mantlepiece.

I may never become a talk show host, Academy Award winner, or wife of a royal, but at the end of the day, I will be happy.  Happiness is the one dream that I refuse to let go from my childhood.

And neither should you.