Be Okay

I recently read that lifetime happiness tends to follow a U-shaped curve – it starts off high in childhood, then takes a downward turn from the age of 25, and picks up again when we retire. It basically implies that once you start working, you lose your sense of happiness until you finish work. Many people (i.e. everyone I talk to) have plans – plans to do something in a few months, or in a year, or a few years from now, or when they retire, but during the past year, all that’s slapped me in the face is death. I went home for ONE MONTH last summer and had to go to TWO funerals. I never even thought I’d be having to go to one funeral, let alone two. And it seems like during the past few years, I’ve been hearing about a lot more death than I’ve heard during my entire life. I lost an aunt AND an uncle last year, both my mom’s siblings. And it scares the crap out of me. It scares me that anything can happen to yourself or to a loved one at any time, that cancer seems to be its own “living” organism – evolving faster than any of us can fight it, that one day you could be making your big plans for next month, or for next year, or for when you’re retired, and the next day it can all be taken away from you. But there’s nothing much we can do about it, except live. I refuse to be part of the statistic in the U-shaped happiness curve, where according to the data, I should now be starting my downward spiral into unhappiness for the next 30 years. I refuse to start making plans for my retirement – plans that I may or may not be able to pursue. Since I’ve returned to London, I’ve reached an ultimate high of happiness. I’ve hardly let my job take over my mood, I’ve been going out and seeing all that I can, and I’ve just been enjoying every day as a new day. I’ve really started becoming more perceptive when it comes to relationships of all kinds – I’ve started looking at how I feel when I’m around different people – where I get positive energy from, who I feel good vibes with, when I get that natural high… With me, I find that it’s very difficult to find people that I just click with and when I finally have that feeling, I hold onto it and I don’t let it go. Good friends are hard to come by, and I’ve become more and more impatient with negative energy and lack of commitment. London has taught me so many life lessons and changed me in a lot of ways, and that’s what I love about the power of travel and living abroad. I’ve often doubted the way I’ve lived  – just working to live. I’m not really doing much to improve my resume (except now accepting this new position), I have no 5-year or 10-year plan, I’m not interested in finding anyone to spend my life with at the moment, not interested in starting a family (ugh, children…😉), I’m really just focused on me and my own happiness. I often wonder.. Is there something wrong with me? Am I doing everything wrong? But then I realize that it only feels wrong because society has ingrained the “right” way to do things and the right order to do them in – go to school, get a degree, get a job, find a husband, buy a house, have a family, work for 30+ years, retire – otherwise known as living to work. My conscience literally tells me (and constantly continues to remind me) that I’m doing it wrong, that there’s a deadline to these things, that I’m going to regret missing out. But why? Maybe I’m doing everything right and the rest of the world is doing it wrong… I do know that I won’t look back on my life 20 years from now and think, “Wow, I’m really glad I stayed in that Wednesday night to make that lesson plan and do all of that marking…” I’ll be thinking, “Remember that time I lived in London and spent every week doing something new – going to musicals and rugby games, checking out Christmas markets, and exploring different countries every six weeks?” I’ve done everything right my entire life, I think it’s time to go against the grain and rebel for once… 

(Everyone needs to listen to this song because it relates perfectly to my post!) 
Be Okay – Oh Honey

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