This is the weekend that the stars were supposed to align.
We had picked the date because it was a New Moon*: a time of fresh beginnings and new challenges. The start of the next chapter of life. This was the day that I’d finally get a check mark on that ungodly “Life Check-List”. The check-list that I have spent my entire life worrying about, and striving for – but mostly, of not measuring up against. It was finally my time.
And then I realized it wasn’t.
It’s a tough thing to do; to look at your life, and where you’ve ended up and say, “Nah… this actually isn’t for me.” Whether it’s a decade old career, the friends you’ve surrounded yourself with, the lifestyle you’ve chosen, the city you call home, or the relationship that you worked really hard to build – when you put a lot of time and effort into something, it is challenging to accept defeat and raise the white flag.
Maybe that’s too harsh. I didn’t accept defeat when I decided that I was not being authentic to myself and the life I wanted to live. I just realized that I had spent a lot of my adult life pursuing priorities that had no business being at the top of my list. Of course, if getting married, and having kids, and owning a big house and nice car, and having a great career are things that you want, they do need to be on the radar. But here’s one thing that was glaringly absent from mine: happiness as a priority.
I’ll let you in on a secret that’s not a secret at all… happiness is EVERYTHING.
Don’t settle for anything short of a life of happiness. Don’t stop doing what you love. Find joy in the little things. Assess the people that you allow to take up space in your heart and time in your day – do they bring you joy? Do you feel like you can be your wonderful, quirky, honest self around them? Do you laugh?
Or do you not even recognize yourself anymore?
Here’s another secret that I think everyone knows, but many people don’t act on… it is never too late to decide that this path isn’t for you.
You better believe it’s scary as hell. And it takes courage. Like, a whole lot of courage. But god, this is your life! I think the majority of us have been conditioned to just “go with the flow”, to not take risks, to be safe. But is false security really worth an entire lifetime of unhappiness? Can you afford to live out your days with a cloud of regret dimming the light you cast into this world? With your final breath, the only damn thing that will matter is how brightly your light shone in the world. Did you bring joy? Did you shine bright? Were you happy?
“Achievement of your happiness is the only moral purpose of your life, and that happiness, not pain or mindless self-indulgence, is the proof of your moral integrity, since it is the proof and the result of your loyalty to the achievement of your values.” Ayn Rand
So, this New Moon didn’t exactly turn out as planned. But it did turn out exactly as it needed to. I know that I will eventually get to check off some of those milestone achievements – just not today. And that is perfectly OK. Because today, I chose happiness.
* A note about today’s New Moon – it was actually a Black New Moon. “The Black New Moon is connected to many Goddesses, and it is particularly linked to the hypnotic and magnificent Goddess Lilith. Lilith is associated with sexual energy, creativity, rebellion, and feminine power. She is a symbol of divine matriarchal energy that refuses to be dominated or controlled.” (Elephant Journal) So… there’s that.
Wishing you happiness, friends. And courage if you need it.