I shared some of this on my instagram and had it in mind to go further with a blog post:
When I was 18 years old, blogging was very new. With an affinity to writing, I readily embraced this new way of journaling. I liked the idea that I could share my story with other people. Being the introvert I am, it was perfect. Though my journal was open to the world, it still had an intimate appeal.
My blog was titled Memoirs of an Army Brat, with the tagline “In the Pursuit of Happiness”. I was young, unhappy and seeking an outlet that wouldn’t get me into trouble. My brother and I had been through alot in previous years. We were children watching our family disintegrate before our eyes; our parents, breaking up, making up and then breaking up again. And when they got divorced, my father moved away for work and my mother remarried. We hadn’t gotten used to one adjustment before other adjustments had to be made and it caused alot of strife in our household, Healing at that time was a long way off.
Writing for Memoirs of an Army Brat proved cathartic. It chronicled me leaving my mother at 18, moving out on my own and subsequently leaving everything I knew to move to California. I talked about my life experiences in the span of 6 years and the people I met [and left behind] along the way.
At that time, my view of happiness was that it had to be pursued and didn’t exist within me. But the move to California was everything I didn’t know I needed. Though it’s merely a dot in the timeline of my life–it completely changed the course of my life. It removed me from everything familiar and forced me to look inward and examine myself. That’s when my view of the world and my place in it began to shift.
One year after moving back to the east coast and bouncing from Maryland to North Carolina with my Father and back again, I came to one important conclusion: Happiness was nowhere to be found.
As I closed out the very last entry for “Memoirs…”, I wrote this: “Happiness is not so much a destination, something to pursue as it is a state of being. One must choose to be happy. And I’ve made the decision to just be happy.“
It is said, “the decisions and choices you make are based on how you see yourself”. And finally, through many steps toward living with a more positive attitude and outlook, I saw myself as someone worthy of being happy no matter the circumstance. That decision alone moved me beyond happiness and into joyfulness–I chose it and it chose me in return.
Choose to treat yourself with kindness and show yourself some love. Even when you’ve been through things that tell you, “you’ll never be happy”. That is a lie. If needed, find counseling, do the work to find healing and you’ll find that there is joy within.
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