Internally Happy.


I’ve been thinking a lot about happiness recently, about what it means, how to get it, and how to keep it. I’ve even been reading about it.

Happiness is achievable, we’ve all been happy before. We know it’s real, we know we’ll feel it again. The problem with happiness is it never seems to last as long as we want it too. In fact, it often feels fleeting.

When people say they want happiness in life, they mean for life. And that’s a tall order, in fact, it’s impossible. But still, here we are wanting. So what can we do to hang onto happiness longer, or at least regain it quickly after it leaves?

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The Art of Being:

silhouette 007They say that the goal of growing up is becoming more and more who you are.

And though I believe in that, it’s still strange to me when I go through a period of time when I feel like I’m more myself than I ever have before. Because, after all, I’ve always been me, and I’ve never been one to pretend to be someone else. Yet there I’ll be walking out of the dining hall under an umbrella thinking to myself how utterly at home I feel in my thoughts- how comfortable I feel in my body- and how my spirit seems to be exactly where I need it to be.

You’ve heard about out of body experiences, you hear about people claiming that they felt like they were just going through the motions without actually being there, but have you ever felt those in body experiences? Those moments when you’re not just incredibly present, but its as if all of you has finally decided to work together and be on the same page.

What does it take to become more you than before? Is it as simple as listening to an affirming song or having your actions match your thoughts? The other day I had a friend tell me about myself, and listening to the way she described me all I could think was: yes, this is exactly how I want to be seen as.

The moment was so real to me I had to sit back and ask myself when I became who I wanted to be- rather than wanting to be someone I wasn’t. I had to think about what I did to get there and what I let go of. Was it really that melt down a few weeks ago that got me to let go of my fear? Or has this been building for months on end. Then I had to wonder how long this feeling was going to stick around.

All I know for sure is that I’m at peace. All I know is that I’m acting with confidence because I’ve learned that no other way works. It’s been a strange ride, guys, I’m not going to lie about that. I’ve fumbled and stuttered my way through life- knowing what I wanted but never quite sure how to get there. Then, over a year or so, throwing down the towel and realizing that I didn’t have to get to a certain point I just had to bite the bullet, let people not like me, let myself act like the person I wanted to be.

And if the person I want to be changes, then I’ll have to change myself all over again- because that’s what living is. That’s what it means to be.

On the Topic of Beauty and Confidence:

bA question I get asked a lot is how I became so confident, and let me assure you before I go any farther, I have plenty of bad confidence days too. But despite the ever present pull of society’s standards I’ve realized that there is something more important, and those are my standards. Because, if we are being perfectly honest, society may tell us that parts of our bodies are prettier than others (which is a nice way of saying the “others” suck) but it’s us who really drive it in. When your walking down the sidewalk, the guy walking in the opposite direction, staring down at his phone, is not the one telling you that you don’t look pretty enough in your hoodie and messy top-knot, that’s all on you sweetie.

It’s not easy to accept, but our self confidence is not actually in society’s hands. I know plenty of girls who are over weight or have a nose that has been broken or acne prone skin, who own it. They decided they were beautiful and you can too. Because, yes it really is that simple. Is it easy? Hell no. But it is that simple.

It starts with you faking it. You know that old saying “fake it till you make it” well it’s true in more ways than not. When you look in the mirror you have to tell yourself “hot damn, you look good”. It’s easier to gravitate towards pointing out the giant zit on your chin than it is to fluffing your perfect hair, but we have to notice the things that look good first. The process starts with us just focusing on the things we like about ourselves. Once you master that you can move on to learning that the things you dislike aren’t that bad either.

Instead of saying compliments too ourselves that have “buts” in them, we need to start ignoring the bad things all together. That zit? Just. Don’t. Look. At. It. Ignore it, cover it up (or don’t!) and pull your eyes away every time you feel them wandering in the mirror. It might feel like tricking yourself at first, and that’s completely okay. The key is to keep it up long enough, because trust me that feeling fades. It turns into genuine love for yourself. And when you get there, you start realizing that you don’t need someone too compliment you to feel good about yourself, and when they do compliment you, you’ll take it to heart.

Society is always going to have someone thinner, clearer, and taller than you. The trick is to love yourself enough that you realize that their just that: Thinner than you, not prettier than you. With clearer skin than you, not prettier than you. Taller than you, not prettier than you.

Success: It’s Tied to Your Confidence


Okay, I don’t want to sound like a broken record player saying “confidence is key” over and over again, but it has a lot to do with being happy, and it has even more to do with success. Can you be successful without being super confident? Of course, but there are plenty of studies that show that success and confidence feed off each other.

Why? Because confidence drives us to try new things that we might not without. It increases our chances of rebounding successfully and quickly, because we don’t take failure as personally, rather more of an occupational hazard. People with self confidence are better at selling themselves and more likely to get the job. And a big one? Self confident people are less likely to constantly compare themselves to other, because they know that though the other person is great, they have their pluses too, even if they are different.

Some tips to help raise your self convenience:

  • Know yourself: Knowing yourself is the first step to getting to the point to accepting your flaws (while still working on them of course) and knowing your strengths. Get to the point that you can ramble off ten or fifteen things you absolutely love about yourself talent wise, then do it again physically, and again emotionally/relationship wise. When you start this it’ll be super hard, you might have to make the lists over a few weeks to begin with. But get to the point that you know your strengths and you know your pluses.
  • Build on them: Okay, so you know what you’re good at, how can you be even better at them? Constantly grow. Constantly improve. Keep it up to date, it’ll bring you pride and it’ll bring to confidence.
  • Stop critiquing others: Yeah, gossip is everywhere, and I don’t think it’s possible to rid yourself of it completely, but when you get better about seeing the good in others, you’ll also get better at seeing the good in yourself. See people’s effort, see people’s humor, see people’s dedication. In return you’ll start seeing yours.
  • Stop comparing: I know this is a tip everyone knows, but maybe if people say it enough it’ll be so embedded in your head that when you go “he’s so much better at this than me,” you can shake your head at yourself and say “I’m good in a different way” or “of course he is I just started to learn about this a few months ago, give me a few more and I’ll be better.” You won’t stop comparing yourself completely, but you can get to the point where you correct yourself right after, and then the number of times you have to do that will slowly decrease.

What I’ve learned this Year:

IMG_5895We’re always learning, and in a year a lot can happen. Here are some of my earth shattering moments of epiphany.

  • To love without expecting love in return.
  • How to trust in both myself and God.
  • Everything is exactly how it needs to be at this moment.
  • Friendships aren’t always meant to last forever, but they should all have a good lasting effect or they weren’t with the right people.
  • That I don’t always have to be in a rush for good things to come.
  • How to fully forgive.
  • That sometimes you have to fix your own bad habits in order to fix others.
  • If you’re asked to do a favor for someone you love and you can do it, even if you really don’t want to, do it. There is no greater act of love than giving.
  • You cannot control your emotions, but you can keep them from controlling you.
  • I can make a mean butter cream icing without a recipe at hand.
  • You can reach out to someone you haven’t spoken to in months. It won’t be that strange in action. Sometimes it brings hearts back together.
  • I’m my mother through and through, just with different quirks and hobbies. She’s my mirror, and I’ll never be able to repay her for raising me that way.
  • That my talents aren’t things that I should be undermining, but rather things I should make explosive.
  • Everyone has something that gets their soul going, and as long as it’s not evil, those passions are the ones that often make us fall in love with them as humans.
  • Read instead of getting on social media, even if it’s just once or twice a week. It drastically changes your life.
  • How to spill my soul out on the table and not be embarrassed by the mess I made.

Everyone needs something that they can look back and claim: That was the year I fell in love with myself. That was 2014.

Core Childhood Traits


little anna

12 year old me between the bars of the Eiffel Tower with my younger cousin.

I’ve had a belief for a long time that the traits we have at childhood are really the ones at the base of our soul. The world changes us, we can all agree with that, it’s harsh. I’ve been through my fair share of hurt, as I’m sure you have too. We get tougher, we break, we regain, we grow. It’s nonstop shaping. The “real world” if you will. So, who were you before the world broke you?

I’m not suggesting in any way shape or form that we shouldn’t change from our childhood self, our adolescent traits, I’m saying that they don’t go away, they stick with us, they just shift and mature, and hide. And when you think about, you envy that burden free little kid you were, that weird but great, free but protected. That little kid is a huge part of who you are.

I strive to make myself a mature version of the younger me, and let me telly you why:

  • I was confident in myself in a way that didn’t involve bringing others down.
  • I was always creating.
  • I was full of ideas and inspiration, I wanted to do everything in the world, and, more importantly, I knew I could.
  • I was a social butterfly. I’d make a best friend in three minutes flat.
  • I was fearless.

Now I’m timid around big groups of people, I’m not shy, but I went through a phase where I was. It took a long time to teach myself how to reverse the process and I’m still working on it. I never even lost the creating, but I definitely lost the confidence. I was taught I wasn’t good enough when I was bullied to the point of attempted suicide in 8th grade. I hated myself. Then, as I started to heal and love myself again, I went through a phase that involved gossip and putting people down. Most of it was mental, “well at least I’m not the stupidest person in the room” or “well I might be over dressed but she’s wearing dressier clothes than me.” It took me a long time to shift that to “I’m smart.” and “Opps, I overdressed, but I still look fabulous.” As for being fearless, I’m working on that one. Childhood fearless and adult fearless are very different things, even though they are the exact same trait. I want to not be afraid of new things, awkward pauses, being a little too loud and crazy. I want to experience life in a way you only can when you are fearless, or, at least, tackling your fears.

Do you see where I’m coming from? When find ourselves we tend to find the traits we had we were little, they are just completely redefined.

What did you lose? What have you regained?

Life Tips (series 1 out of ∞)

-Compliment people, always.
Seriously, it takes nothing away from you and it adds so much to someone else’s day. I was having a conversation with my roommate about this. We think all these little things that we choose not to say because we don’t know a person, or because they are walking fast. Take the time, say it anyways. It always brightens peoples day and even more so, it has saved lives before.
And note that compliments are different from cat calls, please and thank you, no one needs any of that.
Walk like you have your dream man behind you
Good posture, long neck, good swish.
Confidence shines in more way than in which you talk.
-Never lie about of hide your emotions
One of the best things that I have done is tell people how I feel when I feel it. I’m in a time right now where I don’t feel like I have the biggest social life. I recently told someone how lonely I was, guess what, they stepped up. This isn’t the first time something like this has happened. Telling my parents I was depressed, well, it saved my life, and it gave me the chance to be happy again. So here I am.
-Man up, text them first
Okay, face it, if everyone on earth decided to play the popular game of “if they want me in their life they’ll contact me first” than no one would have anyone in their life and we’d all be on the curb over what? Not a damn thing. Just remember that if you reach out and they make an effort to talk back, they want you in their life, if they don’t make an effort and shut you down every time, then you can re-look at the relationship. Just remember, everyone is busy, and you’ve been at points in your life before, that you needed someone to text you first. So just man up and do it.
-Spend more time outside in the sun
Fresh air is good for you.
Sun has been proven to help cure depression.
Adventures happen outside, you should look into them.
-Never expect people to change.
Do people change? I want to say no, but there have been cases were that would be very wrong to say. You know, people can change, but you shouldn’t count on it. Put expectations on yourself and the person you can be. Not other people and the person they might could be if they only decided to do this, this, this, and oh, those other five things.
-Never get obsessed
Love is much healthier.
If you don’t know the difference if, you should figure that out.