Growing up, in what I would now consider a small-ish town, I had a really lucky life. Some good years (I peaked in 6th grade), and some bad ones (10th grade comes to mind), but I was still a very outgoing and friendly human being, so I survived. College brought some more happiness (sophomore year) and some ups & downs (senior year), and then graduation, and there I was. And there was this city.
Moving to Philly was something I knew I always wanted to do, and so, while my job was a 50 minute commute each way outside of the city, I commited. It was not easy at first. I was not fully independent, and it took me time to make friends and get comfortable. But right around the time of the 24th birthday, I started trusting myself. My new apartment was slowly coming together, my friends from college were moving into the city, this blog was growing and I was meeting amazing new people and having the experiences I’ve always wanted. I would catch myself, walking home with my shopping bags from Walnut Street, or sitting in Rittenhouse people watching, just smiling.
Looking back at some of those bad years, I don’t think I could have ever imagined I would be this fulfilled by and content with who I am now. My life is no where near perfect. But now I have just learned to look at the negatives as positives. Sure, my apartment’s lack of closets allows things to always look just a little bit cluttered but, I live by myself! In my favorite part of the city! Yes, I am single (and like to remind you guys of that frequently), and have not had much luck with my dates thus far, but I am getting to meet new people, try new places, and make some really great stories to tell. And yeah, I don’t even let my eyes wander anywhere other than the Anthropologie basement sale room but, I am still able to shop at Anthropologie! That is a feat within itself.
Being appreciative for the things I do have in my life has allowed me to change things I didn’t really like about myself, like getting too worked up over silly issues, or caring what people thought of me. I’m not really sure which came first, the attitude changes or the life changes, but they are welcomed. The way I figure, I will only be this young and this confident once, so I better enjoy it.
I feel so sad when I hear college students devastated about graduating. There is so much fun out there in the world – amazing friends, the best food, opportunities to pay (yourself) for something you’ve really wanted and worked hard for (the best feeling), and, I swear, love. You can achieve the same kind of fulfillment, if not more, if you learn to look at things in the right light.
Over a year later, I still catch myself smiling and so overflowing with happiness. Recently it’s been coming on after finishing a tough Flywheel class first thing on a Saturday morning, grabbing a Starbucks on my way home, and sitting in my own living room, on my own couch (because I have that now), with the blinds open and a breeze blowing through my window. I certainly have goals and aspirations to only grow the wonderful things going on in my life, but right now, I’m the person I’ve always wanted to be: purely happy.