I wrote about being Marvin Gayed many posts ago.
What I have found though is when I’m vulnerable & sincere, it’s a better look. Not that I’m not honest with people. I do my best. It’s that I don’t always put everything out there for fear of judgment – isn’t that most of us?
Since that post and the posts I’ve been writing for the #30in30, y’all have been so amazing and wonderful in your responses. It’s amazing to read your comments, emails and tweets. I’m thankful.
With all that said, I’ll tell you how for a few months I had lost my happy. I’d like to say it’s floated between here and somewhere else for a few years.
So let’s talk about how to get your happy back.
Nene, God love her, from the RHWOA used the term a few seasons ago. When she said it, it resonated with me. It made sense. I wasn’t as down as she was at the time, but Lord knows I know what it’s like to be down. I have found myself on the other side of happy for too long.
So here are some things I’ve learned about when you lose your happy and need to retrieve it:
- It’s no one’s job to make me happy.Really. It’s not. I mean, someone can coax out the happy, someone can brighten my day. I can be happy to have the person in my life. But it’s not their sole job to make me happy. Caveat: people cannot make me miserable either. If I find a relationship is too labored – and I mean one where I am often drained, often feeling like I need to retreat for a while. This can be family, friends or lovers, but still. It can’t be all the time.
- It’s also my responsibility to make sure I don’t let anyone steal my happy.
FoolsPeople do things to upset us, things that will hurt us, things that will blow our minds. I promise if you live long enough and deal with enough people and open yourself up, there is someone that is going to utterly devastate you, break your heart or just flat out disappoint you. Protect the happy.
- Create a space in your life where you have time alone. I know it can be difficult to do it. But sometimes, we have to ask for the time to be alone. It could just be in the bathroom. However, I learn more and more as I get older, I really need the time alone. I NEED it. If I cannot get it, then the happy gets pushed down and I become not-so-nice. Some people can’t always understand it. However, I still defend it.
- By the way, protecting the happy means saying no more often. Listen, if there is nothing else I can help you to get a hold of it’s about saying no. No is a complete sentence! There is nothing more to say. Sometimes, we don’t need to give a drawn out explanation for why we can’t do something. I mean, if it’s about ending a relationship or something major – we do need to offer closure. However, if someone wants to borrow your car, asks you to drive them from here to kingdom come, or asks for like $50 and you don’t want to do it and/or can’t do it, then it’s a no and that can complete the discussion. I have been stretched too thin in my time saying yes to everything and doing favors all the time.
- Getting back to happy is about being able to be myself. I am all about self-expression these days. Some of the things the men in my life have taught me over the years is they don’t bend or change for anyone. That’s not always a good thing. But here’s the deal – how many times as women have we started to wear our hair different and change up because he likes it that way? We stop doing all of the things we used to do waiting around. This isn’t being true to self. Do this enough times for enough different people and you’ll realize the real you has been covered up!! Every now and again, we all meet people who can “upgrade” us and I welcome it. But when someone is trying to change you and make you into someone you’re not – it’s time to push back.
- Setting boundaries will protect the happy. I have set boundaries. If there isn’t anything else the last few years have taught me, one thing I am sure of is that I have boundaries and I can clearly see where they begin and end. I know when someone is going too far or is too invasive for me. Or maybe what works for them isn’t going to work for me. Bottom line, I am allowed to push back and tell someone clearly I have a line here or here and here and you’re crossing it. Don’t.
- Happy means opening your mouth. Closed mouths don’t get fed. But seriously, I have learned how to better and more kindly defend myself and the relationships I cherish. If I’m not getting what I need, I need to say something. It means having a difficult conversation sometimes. But why is it so hard for me to tell someone I need something or I’m not getting what I need? Fear of rejection. Well, the good thing is if you’ve ever been left or felt rejected, hopefully it gets easier to do this. For me, I feel like I could lose either way, but what if what I want is granted? What if it makes the situation better? There is a right time and a right way to do it, but just make sure it gets done.
- If the happy has been lost, put an missing persons report out for that shit. I mean really? So I’m just going to sit here and be upset and depressed? That’s cute for about a day, maybe five – don’t judge me. But if it starts to flow into weeks, I have to have a come to Jesus meeting (aka the CTJ) with myself. Does it mean I need to have a conversation with a trusted loved one? Maybe I need to go to therapy? By the way, for all the jokes and whatnot, therapy is the business. If you think you need to go, you should go. It can be life-changing and in a good way. I’m not going to just waste my life being depressed and generally unhappy.
- Working my ass off x working on my dreams x knowing I have control of my life and choices = Happy. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. When I am working on the goals I have set for myself I am a much happier person. When I am doing the right things for myself in my own life = happy. When I work hard for myself and I know I’m giving my all, it’s satisfying. Find what satisfies you. Figure out your goals. I know sometimes the shit just seems overwhelming – I am speaking and typing for Overwhelmed, USA located in Washington, DC as we speak. But you know what? How else is life going to change or get better? We start where we are with what we have. Period. It’s enough to get started on whatever dream you have.
Have you lost your happy? How did you get it back? In pursuit of it? Loving life? Do you manage to keep your happy at all costs? Talk to me. I’d love to hear from you.