Rachel Discovers Happiness

my life and road to happiness

Archive for the tag “love”

I Believe in You

I have been reading Thought Catalog for years, but recently it has felt a little… stale I guess. That is, until tonight. I found a couple that really spoke to me, but none so much as the one here.

There is so much truth in it; I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did.

It’s called “I Believe In You,” by Gabby Dunn:

Hey.

I believe in you.

Maybe you think no one does. Maybe you’ve been a disappointment so long you don’t even remember what it was like to look up and see a light ahead, indicating a future full of love, happiness and goals. It’s a never-ending spiral — you made a mistake, people stopped believing in you, and then you resigned yourself to being a perpetual mess and stopped trying. You think no one believes in you or that you don’t need someone to step up to the plate for you because you reject them before they can reject you. You don’t need them, you think, but it’s a reaction to feeling unneeded by others. You brush it off, laugh at the platitudes, steel yourself against anyone trying to breach the gates.

Everybody needs someone else to believe in them. You think you don’t because you’ve been hurt before, because you left yourself open to wounding when you asked someone to believe in you. So you stopped and built a wall. You decided you needed no one. But it still hurts, doesn’t it?

You’re not happy. There are things you want that you don’t pursue. You’d rather come up with excuses, or sabotage, or not try at all than try and fail, than to prove right what you think everyone believes about you and so what you believe about yourself. God forbid, you go out on another limb to move forward in life and it backfires. You don’t think you’d be able to take it. It would only solidify what you think you already know about yourself: that you are worthless and nothing, that you’ll never be the person you want to be.

You’re wrong. You’re so, so wrong. Whatever it is you want, you should go for it. You can do it. You’ll face pitfalls and rejection, but I have no doubt you can accomplish whatever it is. Maybe you’ll take some detours, but that’s just life. That’s what everyone has to do. Nothing is ever set in stone, as they say. Don’t make excuses based on age or income or gender. Don’t place limits on yourself and then wallow in self-pity for things that are out of your control. Focus on what you do have power over. Use that to reach your goals.

And if not me, some stranger on the Internet, how about you let someone in? Let that person who wants to love and believe in you break down your barriers. The comedian Mike Birbiglia describes “love” as when someone else recognizes that special part of you that, no matter how low your self-esteem, still desperately hopes is there. When someone else see that in you, you feel invincible. But you can also be let down. Don’t be afraid of letting someone believe in you. They must see something you don’t quite yet see.

Or believe in yourself. If you don’t think other people have faith in you, don’t let it convince you that you are nothing. Have immense faith in yourself. Don’t invent patterns where there aren’t any. Don’t lose hope that things can change at any moment. Don’t resign yourself because others haven’t believed in you or because you just haven’t found what is it you’re looking for. Especially if you’re young. It’s wasteful to start thinking like life is over before it’s even really begun.

So there’s some food for thought. And even if you don’t need it, I’ll tell you: Someone believes in you. I believe in you.

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Confession: I’m a Hopeless Romantic

Alright, brace yourself, I’m about to blow your mind with three facts about myself:

  1. I’m single
  2. I love Valentine’s Day
  3. Yes, I still love Valentine’s Day even if I don’t have a special someone of the opposite sex to spend it with (or same sex, depending on who you are, I don’t judge)

" So today I was in Hallmark buying my mom a Happy Birthday card when I noticed this old man stnding in front of the Valentines card section contemplating which one to get. I decide to go over and I ask him “Are you getting a Valentine’s Day for your wife?” in which he replies 'No my wife died 3 years ago from breast cancer but I still buy her roses and a card and bring them to her grave to prove to her that she was the only one that will ever have my heart' " (via Facebook)

Okay, that’s enough, lift your jaw off the floor. And if you are just going to respond to this post by saying that Valentine’s Day is a commercial holiday that was developed by greeting card companies in order to increase revenue, I will say that I don’t care and if you really feel that way, you can stop reading now. That also goes for all of you who complain that Valentine’s Day causes more problems than it’s worth and that it forces an obligation for couples to go above and beyond when it comes to giving gifts and topping whatever it is that they did for the previous holiday – not to mention the couples who have been dating for only two weeks, or don’t have a title, or whatever. I’ll say it again, I don’t care.

The only argument that I will address is this: Why should there be a specified holiday for showing the one that you love that you do, in fact, care about them and want to be with them? Shouldn’t you do that every day?

The answer is: yes, you should do that every day, but that doesn’t mean that you always have the ability to do so. Valentine’s Day, anniversaries, etc. are great opportunities for people to set aside time, be with with sweetheart, and spend time just the two of them.

There doesn’t have to be all the added pressure that society has added to the day. I love seeing men (or women, whatever) walking down the street with roses (or their significant other’s favorite flower) in hand. I liked going to Papyrus yesterday on the search for a birthday card and seeing all the people standing in front of the card display, picking up and putting down cards in the search for the perfect words. I love getting texts from my family and friends saying “I love you” or, in the case of my father about 30 seconds ago, “Happy valentine’s day! Love daddy.” I don’t care what you say, I like the sentiment and I think it’s sweet.

When I was younger and had more money than I do now (I’ve had a job since I was 16 which means that I was saving a bunch of money what with not having to pay for rent, utilities, food and whatnot) I used to go all out for Valentine’s Day. I not only dressed up, but I also made Valentines for my friends (yup – made), baked cupcakes, and always did something special for the guy I was dating. When I was 17, my boyfriend at the time, Mike, and I decided that, instead of buying each other something, we would make each other a memory box and put things in it that reminded us of the other. I decoupaged a wooden box, filled it with candy and pictures of us, plus a few other things that I can’t remember right now. It doesn’t matter that we broke up a couple weeks later – I still look back on that fondly.

But now, get ready for another confession:

  • Although I love Valentine’s Day, this year has been a different story. It’s not that I’ve dreaded its arrival, I just completely forgot about the holiday all together… the dread set in after I realized that it was, in fact, going to occur this Tuesday, AKA today.

I don’t know why I have this feeling this year. I have tried boosting my own spirits by dressing nicer than normal today(substituting the stereotypical pinks and reds for a nice, pretty, girly lavender instead), smiling at people on the street, wishing people Happy Valentine’s Day, etc. but something has happened today that has never happened in Valentine’s Days past – my happiness and good spirits for the day have felt (gasp!) fake.

I know, it’s a shame. And it makes me sad. I don’t think it has to do with the fact that I’m single and don’t have someone to spend it with (well, besides my roommate and Jameson). I think it’s just more that I am not worried about that part of my life right now. There are other things in my life that I am happy about, and Valentine’s Day/romance in general seems kind of… I dunno… trivial right now?

That doesn’t mean that I don’t love a good romantic movie (hello, The Notebook is still one of the best movies ever), or want prince charming to sweet me off my feet, or whatever else goes along with being a romantic. I’m still happy for friends when they are in healthy relationships, still get excited when someone tells me they are engaged (for the most part), etc. But I have also become a lot more cynical when it comes to relationships*.

In any case, this doesn’t completely change the fact that I want to spend Valentine’s Day with a special man in my life. Unfortunately, I don’t have a special person in mind. Because of this, Christine and I will be spending this day of love with our special man friends: Jameson and Jose.

What will you be doing for Valentine’s Day? What are your thoughts on the holiday? (Despite earlier rants, I promise I won’t jump down your throat.)

*Note: What I mean by this is that I am a lot more judgmental and get more frustrated with people who don’t see others’ true colors, or only see what they want to see. I have also adopted a mentality of “if they refuse to listen to what others have to say and/or continue to put themselves in a situation where they know they will get hurt, I have no sympathy for them.” See: Bachelor Ben and Courtney (“My feelings for Courtney are strong and I don’t want to let external forces get in the way … It’s amazing to see how deeply the women felt about their dislike for Courtney, and it’s equally amazing not to see any of that coming through in her actions with me.” uhhh hello? She’s a manipulative bitch. I know the kind. She’s crazy. Don’t let her get to you. But I digress…) Or Best Friend and Jerk Boy she dated this past summer (a story which I will not get into.)

Twas the Season

I am a firm believer that one of the best weeks of the year is the one between Christmas and New Year’s.

It is that week when there are no more presents to be purchased, no more stress about how Christmas day will go, no more worrying about whether or not someone will like your gifts. There is just family. Oh, and maybe one or two returns.

holiday decorated bird house in my mom's neighborhood

Yesterday morning, as I walked into the bagel store, I was struck by how much I love this week. I love that children are out of school and that parents take the time out of their day to sit and have a jelly smeared bagel and hot chocolate/coffee with their kids. I love that it is still cold enough to cuddle up on the couch and watch a movie. I love that it is still appropriate for said movie to be a holiday movie. I love that I’m still able to order Pete’s peppermint soy hot chocolates and not feel dumb. I love that the house still smells like pine needles. I love that there is no more pressure to ge a bunch of things done, but that my family is still home and I still get to spend time with them (minus Caitlin who just had to go back home. Whatever Caitlin.)

MJ and her daddy

Of course, this holiday season had its downs too. I was stressed about work. I couldn’t quite figure out what that perfect present would be for my step dad so I was disappointed with my gift to him. I wasn’t feeling well. I was exhausted. My mom and step dad had to put down our dog, Toby.

Toby, we will miss you

This holiday season I learned a lot about myself though. I guess it means you’re growing up when you realize that you are more interested in seeing other people’s reactions when they open your present to them, rather than unwrapping your own presents. I had four Christmases (having divorced parents is sometimes really exhausting), but it was wonderful to see (almost) all of my family. I really treasure our holiday traditions and was so happy when each of them came along (including eating minestrone soup with my mom’s family, eating Mexican food with my dad’s family, cuddling up with my family on the couch to watch It’s A Wonderful Life and watching my dad cry without failure, etc.)

Anyway, just in case you were wondering, here are a few more holiday photos from this season. Enjoy.

Merry Christmas Eve – family tradition: home made enchiladas
brown paper packages tied up with strings (how I wrapped my Christmas presents this year)
Doogie, my handsome nephew
Christmas dinner table
me and my older cousin
cousins 🙂
I love her hair like that
MJ and Grand-Piffy
Oh, Christmas Tree
MJ and Toby
Auntie Rachel and MJ – denim shirts, leggings, and over the knee socks
me and MJ in our matching outfits 🙂
MJ in her “ugly” dress (I thought it was cute… she didn’t)

Prey, MJ, Pookie, and Toby

me, MJ, and Toby

Wondering how four christmases works? I’ll tell you:

  1. Wake up at one parent’s house – this year it was my dad’s (luckily, Gramma and Grampa spent the night on Christmas Eve so we got to see them)
  2. Open presents, eat a delicious breakfast, then get on the road to go to the next Christmas
  3. Show up at Christmas #2 – mom’s house
  4. Drink delicious cappuccinos, rush through presents, head to the next Christmas
  5. Show up at Christmas #3 – aunt’s house
  6. Help make Christmas dinner, hang out with cousins, open presents, rush out to get to the next christmas
  7. Show up for Christmas #4 – mom’s house again, with step brothers and niece
  8. Open presents (letting your niece open all of hers before anybody else opens anything)
  9. Get worn out and head back to dad’s to sleep.

Whew. And that doesn’t include the  fifth Christmas that we normally have. The one where we go back to our dad’s house and say hi to our family who always comes over for Christmas dinner there. There just wasn’t enough time this year. I think it might have worn me out beyond return if I’d had any more “Christmas cheer.” It was pretty exhausting, but I’m so glad that I saw the family that I did. Maybe next year I will have Christmas over two days instead of wearing myself out all in one day. We shall see.

I hope your holiday season, no matter what holiday you celebrate, was full of love, family, and compassion.

What are our favorite holiday traditions?

Look, Daddy. Teacher says, every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings – Zuzu, It’s a Wonderful Life

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