In high school I wrote my senior research paper on happiness. In my paper I researched the common age old question "Does money by you happiness?". What I learned was yes it did, but only up to a certain extent. It's more about what your spend your money on. People who don't have their immediate needs taken care of (food, shelter, clothing) are less likely to be happy but that doesn't mean that people without these things can't be happy. The Amish for example live their lives completely different from society and don't depend on things like electronics or money. But when surveyed there happiness didn't seem to be any less than the average American.
One thing I took away from my paper is that your specific spending habits can affect happiness. You're more likely to be happier spending your money on experiences rather than tangible items. For example, if you buy a new car your immediately very happy and excited. Its all you can talk about, you show all your friends, you take it out for a spin all the time. But slowly and slowly your happiness fades has you own the car for longer and longer. Suddenly it's just that boring car that you drive. On the other hand lets say you spend your money on a trip to the Bahamas. You buy your tickets and you're super excited. It's all you can't talk about the week leading up to the trip. Then it's finally time for the trip and you're still excited. Then even after the trip you're still happy because you have those memories that you can keep with you forever.
Recently I've been struggling with lack of motivation. I've been waking up really groggy and not looking forward to my day. Part of it has to do with me getting over my case of pneumonia which left me feeling fatigued for weeks. So I've started planning little tasks for me to everyday. I remembered from my senior paper that people get excited and happy in the anticipation of things. I started getting back into horoscopes. I won't say that I'm a firm believing in the placement of the stars and planets but it's definitely something I want to learn more about (and hopefully do a blog post on). And don't worry I'm not the type to unfriend you if we have incompatible signs (haha). Now I have two daily horoscope apps on my phone and I look forward to reading them in the morning. Sometimes I take their advice with a grain of salt but other days I truly feel like they are spot on. And they motivate me everyday to look out for certain things that normally I wouldn't pay attention to.
I've also been participating in a 30 day song challenge using my Instagram stories. Every day there's a theme like "pick a song that makes you want to dance" and then you post it on your story. I do this in the morning as well and I definitely think it has a positive effect on my day. I love music and it gives me a chance to go through my music library and really find songs that are important to me. I probably bet that most people skip over my story but it makes me happy so that all that matters.
These are just a couple things that help me get up in the morning and start my day on a more positive note. If you're going through a slump and dreading waking up in the morning for whatever reason, find something that you can do daily that will make you excited for another day. If you're not into horoscopes then maybe download a daily devotional if you're religious or find a daily blog that you really like, or do an instagram challenge like me. Set goals for yourself. If not everyday than every week. They can be big or small. My current goal is to be creative at least once a day whether that's drawing, writing, or taking photos. Goal setting is another way to make you excited for what's to come. To make you excited for another day. Money can't buy you happiness but you can create it.
There's a song by Tyler the creator titled "Boredom" and in the lyrics Tyler talks about his struggle with being lonely. This is something that I feel I have really struggled with during my semester at school. I was lucky to be able to attend my dream college. It's in the perfect city, the weather is always nice, and the people here are so diverse and from all walks of life. There are always fun things to do on campus and downtown but this semester I feel like I've barely left my bed. I don't have a car so I depend on my friends for rides to places. They're my ticket off campus. Sadly most of my close friends are science majors so they spend most of their free time in the library. So my semester consisted of a continuous schedule of working and going to school during the day and going to frat parties at night. And as much fun as that can be, it started to get real old. I began to get so frustrated that I lived in such a beautiful city and I barely had the chance to explore it. I wanted to travel, I wanted to go to the beach, go to flee markets, see a show etc etc.
Obviously complaining made me feel worse and I didn't want my friends to feel bad over a course load they couldn't control. These restrictions made me feel trapped. Day after day I would confine myself to my room while all my other friends were busy. The more Netflix I watched the more lonely I became.
Rex Orange County features in Boredom and on the track he says, "find some time to do something". See the thing is, I was letting my circumstances completely control me. Instead of trying to fix the problem or find other solutions, I let it completely sweep me off my feet. In life you're not always going to be able to control your circumstances. There are just things that are completely out of your control. But you do have control over how they make you feel and how you're going to react to those circumstances. Although I might not be able to leave campus as frequently as I would like, I can still make the best of the situation. So I made a list of all the things that I wanted to focus on doing. Things that made me feel happy and like I wasn't wasting my time.
fulfilling pastimes other than Netflix
Creating this list really help me to remember all the things I used to be passionate about. It's one of the reasons I decided to write on my blog again. If you're ever in my situation and you're feeling lonely or bored with life, make a list. Make a list of activities you know make you feel good or better yet try some you've never done before. Get yourself out of that same monotonous routine and find some time to do something.
keep your eyes open
Recently I've started watching Sex and the City and I can already tell that its going to one of my new favorite shows if not my favorite of all time. It might be too soon to tell considering I'm only on episode 5 (hehe). I think watching Sex and the City is a right of passage. Its something I remember my mother watching with her girlfriends when I was younger, shooing me out of the room because of the MANY intimate scenes. Now I'm finally older and more mature to understand the context of the show. Dating in New York is a lot like dating in college. All of the sweet men are taken and we're left with the ones who only care about looks. College boys (I wouldn't dare call them men) run wild and enjoy nothing but no strings attached relationships.
My experiences with love are slim to none. Growing up my way of showing I liked a guy was picking on him enough to make him think I hated him. When I got to high school I was still shy in my love advances and kept most of my crushes at just that, a crush. I only ever got close with one guy while I was in high school. He was very sweet to me and took every punch I through at him. I enjoyed hanging out with him after school and learning more about him and his family. My only regret from high school is that we never had an official relationship which was mainly due to me. I was the one who was scared. Scared of what it meant to be someone's "girlfriend" and what it entailed.
Now I'm a sophomore in college and it seems like more more I yearn for a significant other to spend my time with. But there is still some part of me that feels like I'm not ready for one. My problem with relationships is that I give the boy too much power. I let him determine the relationship which usually ends up being nothing more than a hookup. I'm too afraid to admit how I really feel in fear that I'll get hurt. Lying to my friends that I don't like a guy so it doesn't seem like I'm pathetic. Time and time again I fall for boys who don't feel the same and I cling onto whatever kind of relationship I can get from them. Not only is this a big ding in my self confidence but it leaves me with the ever present question
What did I do wrong?
, Was I too clingy? Am I not pretty enough? Did I say the wrong thing? Am I not a good kisser? and the list goes on and on...... but watching Sex and the City has made me realize that I have been looking for love in all the wrong places. If I continue to pawn after shitty college guys I'm going to continue to get the same results. If I continue to look for love in sweaty frat parties I'm going to continue to get the same results. It's like looking through the dumpster in hopes of finding a diamond necklace. You can look, but odds are you're not going to find the diamond in the rough. Most of the time college isn't where you're going to find your true love and that's okay. It is okay if a guy doesn't like you back. You have the rest of your life to find the one. You should not get choked up over someone who's just passing in your life. So in that case, kiss a couple frogs and have fun with it. You're only young once. More often that not us woman give men all the power. Why can't we be in control for once? As Carrie said, "Why can't we fuck like men?".
One day I will find my person and when I do it's going to be great. So instead of crying over all of the frogs I've kissed I can instead learn from them. I can learn what I do and do not want in a relationship. I can set standards for how I want to be treated. I am not going to let boys control the narrative anymore. I'm taking the reigns now, I'm calling the shots. And who knows, maybe one of these frogs might turn out to be a prince ;)