“The three grand essentials to happiness in life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.” – Joseph Addison
Although I like to keep things light here, this time of year is always a little bit rough for me. So while this post feels self-indulgent and I’m sure I’ll regret that I shared it, that’s why I’m writing it—because it’s easy to only share good things and hide all the gray in between.
I promise “funny” next time. It’s not all doom and gloom.
But while everyone is optimistic and resolving to be EVEN MORE AWESOME and productive and “following their passion” in 2013, I’m still counting the minutes until I can crawl into bed and drop the façade of a functioning adult human being. In other words, riding out another wave of depression in which I find it hard to find any or all of those things.
Well, that’s not entirely true.
The past couple years I’ve really come to embrace my own likes and dislikes and peculiarities, and I do have a slightly better grasp of what makes me content. I’m quite simple, and it doesn’t take much.
But depression’s a game-changer, and I feel like my biggest accomplishment in 2012 was surviving without complete self-destruction. I didn’t really live up to my potential and didn’t really care all that much. My weight slipped down, motivation came in bursts and busts and for the most part I just floated along.
We don’t need to go back over that, as that’s not the “something to do” that he spoke of. Instead, I shall overshare more.
For me, “something to do” is to make a living in a way that grants me the freedom to look forward to going to work, ideally writing and making a few people smile. I don’t seek fame, but rather the work that I do and the people I’m around to make me feel good about myself.
I’ve yet to find my “fit,” that place that feels right, but I have to believe that meaningful work is somewhere out there for me.
When you’re depressed, your world gets very, very small and soon you see nothing but things in your head. The last thing you want to do is appear weak or feel like a burden, so it’s easy to keep it all in.
And despite my fierce independence, wanting a connection with others is a natural inclination. Connections are the main reason why I write—along with the fact that I love it—but I often reveal myself to strangers and hide myself from the people I know.
I need to remember that “something to love” doesn’t necessarily mean “something to validate me” and that being in an abusive relationship with myself takes up time in which I could be open to healthy relationships.
As I’ve covered before, the key is to want to want something to hope for, to want to want something to change. For most of last year I had insight, but not much inspiration. So while I don’t aim for extra awesomeness or miracles in 2013, I hope to do more than survive.
I hope to find somewhere I fit.
And no, it’s not a resolution. It’s a reminder that life is messy for everyone. It’s filled with pain and confusion mixed with moments of joy, much of it out of our control. But we can all seek something to do, something to love and something to hope for.
One day at a time.
Like the blog? Buy the book.
What are one of your “three things” from above?