happiness is a state of mind

I’ve been thinking a lot about this entry today, the one I wrote the day I quit my job.

I’ve been thinking about how much has changed for me since September 1, 2009.

My life is no longer monotonous like it was back then.

And I’ve decided to start standing up to the people that have chosen to judge me.

I spend more time doing the things I love, like taking yoga class more often, going for walks and jogs when the mood strikes me, and spending more time with my friends.

I’ve also had to continue to make tough decisions, like taking a break from my beloved sketch comedy group because I know it’s the best thing for me right now. And dealing with the unnecessary guilt that accompanies a choice like that.

I’ve confronted incredible challenges with my new business, the bakery Fanny & Jane. And learned a lot about what it means to be a small business owner, someone who works for herself and makes her own schedule – things I dreamed about having before I had them, and things I sometimes now wish I could trade back in for just a day.

I’ve also been blessed with exciting success and progress on this company’s journey. Those little steps boost me up every day. And every time I get an email from someone who’s sampled and loved our stuff, or every time we land a new account, attract a new customer, or come up with a smart new marketing idea, I feel inspired and re-invigorated. I don’t have kids, but I can only imagine, as I’ve said before, that starting a new business probably feels, in some small (and much less significant) way, challenging, terrifying, exciting and rewarding in a similar fashion.

But more than all of that stuff, more than the lessons, the joys, the mornings of sleeping in, the evenings of staying out late, the days of eating lunch on my own schedule, more than the excitement and stress of being the captain of my own ship, I have learned one singular thing that stands above everything else:

That old job, that desk job that I blogged for months about leaving, and planned for weeks to escape from, did not make me happy. NOR did it make me unhappy.

Only I control my happiness. My circumstances do not.

I knew that all along, but it’s been really hammered home for me in these last several months during which I”ve been “living the dream,” so to speak.

I am just as occasionally grouchy and stressed out as I was then. I am just as occasionally joyful for no reason and excited about the little things as I was then. I have different stressors now, and I have different challenges. I struggle with different issues and different concerns. I also have new sources of contentment and some of the same old ones.

In essence: I am the exact same person. I just wear pajamas more often. I am just as happy, sad, confused, eager, frustrated, conflicted and optimistic as I always was.

Is that disappointing to hear? I hope not. It’s the truth. The truth is what we all know to be true – happiness is a state of mind.



9 thoughts on “happiness is a state of mind

  1. Wow–what a great post!! It is fascinating, empowering and quite honestly disappointing that happiness is a state of mind. The eternal bliss just isn’t out there–which is on one part comforting to me and on another part super frustrating! Thanks for your honesty and your courage to speak your truth! I just found your blog and am going to check it out more!

    • Nancy, I completely agree! Isn’t it disappointing a little bit? That’s exactly how I feel. I mean, in one sense, it’s a blessing because it means we’re always in control, but on the flipside – my problems didn’t miraculously disappear. I’m just as flawed as always. UGH. 😉

  2. Thank you for that.

    I found your blog just as I began blogging. And I began blogging as a creative outlet and to find a happy place as I was growing increasingly less content with my desk job. And there were definitely times that I found myself jealous of your escape from desk job tedium (I have since recovered). I am still tired and frustrated with my desk job as ever, and would love some extra PJ time, no commute, and not to have to lock my dog in a kennel everyday while I am in the office. However, it is nice to be reminded that the grass is not always greener and life is really what you make it.

    I am still trying to figure out my escape, but your reminder may help me endure a bit longer.

  3. Wonderful post! I think that we’re all conditioned to find/choose the quick fix, which doesn’t always solve the problem. (I’m not applying that statment to your situation; your post just made me think about it!) Different job, different city, different routine, whatever… it’s funny how we all think that the grass is greener. 🙂

  4. I know exactly what you mean. I always kept striving for happy, happy, happy, but really it’s more about enjoying each moment and riding through not so fun times, too. It’s about keeping a good mental attitude and being even more than singing from the mountaintops every moment of the day. I bet your life feels more…satisfying? than it used to, though?

  5. Pingback: Random Thoughts on Happiness « Nancy Jane Smith, Career Counselor

  6. Pingback: Become Happier Through Meditation |

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