All the Things I Thought I Wanted

If we take a quick look around the internet and social media, it is not long before we find something that catches our attention, causes us to pause through the scrolling, if only for a second. We see someone’s post from a beautiful location, another person sporting a perfect six pack on the beach, the fashion blog writers with their on-point outfits wearing the latest trends (seriously, do those people re-wear an outfit, EVER?!) many more with beautifully decorated homes… you get the picture. Essentially, we find something that we want. Something that we may even think we need.

Here’s a list of the things that I believed I needed to be happy:

  1. A perfectly decorated condo to entertain guests.
  2. Muscles worthy of a bikini at the beach.
  3. To live in a beautiful location, where every day would feel like a vacation.
  4. Lots and lots of friends.
  5. A perfectly designed outfit for every event. Heck, maybe even just every day.
  6. Counter to that, the perfect “minimalist” capsule wardrobe (Hint: Most sites are lying to you. “33 item wardrobes” usually mean they are leaving out certain items and many are per season… 33 x 4 yo, I’m not that impressed anymore).
  7. A pet (Never mind if I have the time or space to actually take care of it responsibly).
  8. Perfectly organized everything.
  9. A bed so cozy that every night is a perfect 8 hours of sleep night where, if guests didn’t know better, they would swear that it is where a garden fairy sleeps. Cue expensive sheets, pillows, etc. (I see you Anthropologie).
  10. The perfect job. It may not pay much, but I can ooze that I am working my “dream job” to anyone who will listen.
  11. Perfect photos or documentation of my life. Photos are amazing memories, but they don’t have to be perfectly posed or stylized.

Honestly, this list could probably be a lot longer. I have stressed myself out in any one of these areas, trying to plan, plot, acquire and control it. And for all my efforts, when I come up for air to look around at what I have “achieved”… it doesn’t look like I’ve gotten anywhere.

Jim Carrey once said:

I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer.

This morning, as I sipped my coffee in bed, the window was open and it was a pleasant 50F outside; as my fan gently circulated the cool breeze, I listened to the rustling of the leaves and the sound of birdsong drifting through the air. I felt such Peace in that moment that has carried into my day; and I thought, this is happiness. This is contentment. I smiled as I opened my Catholic Youth Bible (no shame, same Bible I have used since I was eleven), realizing that the only thing I really need to be happy, I already have.

And so do you.


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