A New Year, A New Start, A Fresh Take

Staring out a New Year, we wanted to put this out there for those of you who a looking for a new beginning. Do you know what you love? Are you looking to start over and find the thing that really motivates you? At the heart of it all though, we ask you – What makes you Happy?

The Hardest Question I’ve Tried to Answer — What Makes Me Happy? 

There are so many things I could talk about these past 2 weeks. I went through a roller coaster of emotions and I lost control of them. I broke down and I cried, cried, cried, and cried. There are moments where I feel confused, lost, and down.

Perhaps it is the pressure of having to sustain myself financially and going to school. Perhaps it is because I am looking for the “right path” and question where I am right now and where I will be in the future. There are some nights where I suddenly begin this very intense rush of thoughts, memories, confusion, and images going through my mind, and asking if this is worth it.

I needed a break from the city. I realize that when I feel that everything is consuming, I need to think and take a step back and meditate. I went to the forest and mountains to find answers, to find peace, and to find the silence between my breaths.

I am at Big Bear Lake, in the woods, in a friendly town, surrounded by breathtaking and mesmerizing landscapes. My friend and I make a fireplace and we contemplate the flames; it’s so peaceful and calming. I opened up and I told him I was not okay. I burst into tears and I poured all my problems out. I had been clinging these thoughts for a while, so it was difficult to express it.

I looked up and met Fall.

I meditated with my friend and he asked me a question that surprisingly, I didn’t have an answer for it: What makes you happy?

I don’t know. I really don’t know. Is this okay? Is it okay if I hadn’t figure it out? It was such a deep question although I had taken it for granted. However, it made me realize a couple things.

1. I’m doing so many things that I don’t enjoy.

2. I love writing, reading, and teaching.

3. I love interacting on social media, especially on Twitter.

4. I love making strategies.

5. I said that I get really happy when I help others or see my mom happy but then, I am not doing things for myself that lead to my own happiness.

I still haven’t figure out what I want but I guess that’s the beauty of life. There’s so much to discover and learn.

I found a breakdown of the 2 type people in this world: the non-essentialist and the essentialist.

The Non-Essentialist thinks:

– All things to all people, “I have to,” “it’s all important,” “how can I fit it all.”

– The undisciplined approach to more, reacts to what’s most pressing, says “yes” to people without really thinking, tries to force execution at the last moment, lives life that doesn’t satisfy them, takes on too much and work suffers, constantly feels out of control, feels overwhelmed and exhausted.

The Essentialist thinks:

-Less is better, “I choose to,” “only a few things really matter,” “what are trade-offs?”

-Pauses to discern what really matters, says “no” to everything except the essential, removes obstacles to make execution easy, lives a life that really matters, feels in control, chooses carefully in order to great work, gets the right things done.

It hit me hard. I fell into the categories of the non-essentialist. I was so uncomfortable of acknowledging it. I came to the realization that we live in a world where people pretend to show that everything is perfect and we aren’t taught how to deal with pain. There isn’t planning ahead for our future and we can’t predict it. Sadness, joy, love, happiness, they all seem to be part of our lives and emotions we must feel. I guess it’s part of the unknown adventure.

These past days, I have gained an understanding of what really means to ask someone how are you today and listen. Each of us are going through our own battles, but we don’t stop to really ask and care about the people around us.

Every person reading this and most people I know have probably gone through something similar, yet no one talks about it. This is why I am writing. Few friends have opened up and shared their most personal stories, telling me about how they were known as “the strong one” and kept it to themselves, falling into depression. I understand what it feels. The emptiness that fills your body and your difficulty to breathe while you cry. I get it and it has happened to a lot of us.

Big Bear Forest.

If you ever feel or currently reciprocate with my feelings, don’t pretend you are okay. Call a friend and let them know you aren’t okay. They will listen, they won’t judge, and you will know that you are not alone. I guess this is how we heal and sharing what you feel is the first step to ease pain. When we keep things to ourselves, we keep anger and fears that are translated to loneliness and depression in the long term.

I realized that I have the ability to choose between stress and gratitude. I have heard this many times, but I had never taken it seriously. I can decide to feel stressed about all the things I need to get done or I can feel gratitude for where I am and the good things that happen every day. Throughout these past months, I had chosen stress and other people’s work many many times. I am working, I am volunteering, I am studying; my mind is all over the place and I can’t focus. Is it all worth it?

San Bernardino, CA

While driving down the mountains, I stared at the sunset and tell my friend, “it’s a beautiful sunset and full of magic; I feel like the sky is talking to me.” I am here, focusing what’s in front of me because I don’t want to miss the present anymore. I choose the potential to manifest beautiful things.

I want to now choose life, purpose, and gratitude. I want to love more and I want to learn how to love myself more first.

It was a great weekend.

This article was originally published by Medium.

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