By Ava Kesler
Song of inspiration this week: "Freak" by Doja Cat.
Self-happiness is often associated with the feeling that you don't need anyone else to be happy. I usually see it encouraged in a way that makes me feel like I have to push away every natural desire, like relationships with other people, romantic and not. I also see it taught that you have to do self-care nights of spa treatments and movie marathons to have this new freedom and self-love.
But this week, as I was thinking about the future, I feel like I've learned a lot about what I really want in my life to be happy. I found that it's actually perfectly normal to want certain people in your life, and to want others out of it. You don't need to desert yourself from others in order to reach this ultimate "self-happiness."
I will admit that there are people out there that will make you be more submissive and limit your independence. I've been friends with those kinds of people, and I definitely don't think it's healthy to have such an overly extensive dependence on anyone to the point where you feel like you aren't anyone without them. So in that case, it is important to separate yourself from such people.
But for the most part, if you want someone in your life, then go get them.
This also applies to other aspects of life. If you are unhappy with any part of your life, then just change it. Take the first step to reaching whatever it takes for you to be truly happy. And this may change on a daily basis. Sometimes we just need a break and other times we are super energized and inspired to work. It all depends on how you're feeling. And that's the beauty of it, just do whatever makes you happy.
At the end of the day, all that matters is that you're happy.
So if anything is ever bothering you or making you feel off, then just make the changes you need to in order to feel better about it.
There is no perfect template for this. For some, distancing from others may be a necessary form of action to recover from a traumatic experience, and oftentimes all of us will have to take a similar step at some point in our lives. For others, this may mean rekindling a friendship that ended for no reason.
But regardless of your circumstances, the best thing you can do for yourself is to start with doing whatever your heart tells you to do.
If you constantly find yourself complaining about someone, but you keep going back to them because you're afraid of what your life might be like without them because they are all you've ever known, then it's probably time to move on. You should want to be with someone because they make you happy and match your vibe, because being without them makes you miss their energy and fun, not because you are latched onto them as a security. When fear of others and other relationships is the only motivation you have to be with one person, then it is likely that one person might have too much of a grasp on you. Even if they just happen to be great, you should never limit yourself or feel like you can't be your own person.
If you feel happy with someone, but have doubts being with them, try to take a minute to just think about it. Separate your feelings from those that others impose on you. First identify what you like and dislike about the person you're considering getting into a relationship with. This could be about their personality, beliefs, motives, viewpoints, anything at all that sticks out to you. Then, consider what you want from the relationship. Do you want a meaningful long-term romantic relationship, or more of a light hearted close friends situation? Take a second to evaluate how well the two answers to these questions relate. Now consider what your family and friends tell you about the person, if applicable. If you discuss it, always describe your feelings and anything at all holding you back. When going to friends for advice on other relationships, it is crucial that you have good communication. These friends may not get the full picture otherwise, and this could lead to a reaction or decision on acting with the person in question that you may regret later.
Overall, I want all of you to remember to look inside yourself when it comes to making your ideal environment regarding friends. I know it's hard, but I also know that if you put the work into it, you will be extremely grateful to yourself in the future. The only one who can help you at this point is you, and as scary as that may sound, if you truly put in the effort and energy to decide what to do, what friends to make and keep, then you will be well on your way to building a supportive connective community around you where you can be inspired, carefree, supported, relatable with and overall just happy.
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