I was recently asked if this was a happy year. My instant answer was honestly a bold yes!, yet I didn’t have a response as to why it was?
In actuality, 2014 had been a challenging year and one where I heard the word “hustle” joked around between my friends, too often. They were probably pretty right, though. I didn’t stop moving.
This year was my first year as a “freelance-contractor” and that title was one that was given to me and not asked for. With that title came a lot of due diligence and extra work to find projects that could collectively keep me afloat, all the while trying to stay focused to my industry path.
Finances were never secure, meetings and connections were daily, and there wasn’t a coffee shop in town I didn’t know. I was mentally and faithfully stretched. The stress of it all could have TKO’d me at any moment and sometimes the thought of accepting the next 9 to 5 that walked my way, seemed appealing.
BUT I was happy, though, and I didn’t give in! (I am my father’s daughter and am refusable about some things. I know it’s hard to believe..)
2014 for me was about discovering my God-given passions, strengths, and letting them lead my present/future work and personal arenas of life. A lot was learned. Some thing’s didn’t pan out. Some thing’s shined! As I told another friend recently, this was my “year of Yes.”
I thought back regularly, to my trusted and well-respected friend’s question about my year’s level of happiness. Then like a lightening bolt, I was reading a couple of sentences from my present read, The Happiness Project (thanks Eryn!) and it hit me. These sentences helped me answer my WHY?. When it could have so easily been “no.”
“Feeling right” is about living the life that’s right for you – in occupation, location, marital status, etc. It’s also about virtue: doing your duty, living up to the expectations you set for yourself. ..it isn’t about goal attainment but the process of striving after goals – that is, growth, – that brings happiness.”
It’s about the in-between time, the studying, the prep work, the late nights, the coffee meetings..before a goal is reached.. hmm.
Given the challenges of my year, I was ultimately happy because I was working towards something I believed in for myself. God was/is preparing me. Preparing me for a role that I love and that I could dive into fully. I’m grateful for this time and it’s discovery of passions and strengths. I’ve had amazing experiences this year, both professionally and personally, and I’m so grateful for them.
I do believe my next professional role will come with many challenges, but with that I say “Bring it!” With challenges, comes growth, and then that continues happiness. Or at least, that’s how it works in my head. 😉
It’s like that quote you see retweeted often, “Life is a journey, not a destination.“ Amen.
Can I encourage you to look at this very moment you’re in and find it’s value? Maybe you’re working really hard for something. I know it’s murky to see the value, but it’s there. And I say, “don’t stop now, babe! You’re almost there!” But I also say, relish this moment too, because it’s temporary. And soon after you’ve reached the thing you’re working so hard towards, you’ll be back hitting the pavement for the next one, before you know it. Or at least, I hope so!
“a line from William Butler Yeats – Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that, but simply growth. We are happy when we are growing.”
A last note: I was hoping some inspiration for a 2014 recap post would come my way. This year meant too much to not give it the proper send off with a little reflection in the mix.
2015, let’s do this.