I Decided to Choose Happiness

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Here’s a little back story on the following words that you will read…

I recently stumbled across an old post I had written in 2016, a year after my mom passed away. The post brought up so many emotions and made me realize how much I’ve changed over the last four years.

26-year-old Liz was making changes and just went for it. At the time, I had a total work/balance shift, instead wanting to spend more time with loved ones, which made sense because I had lost my mom. Before, I would always work weekends, miss special family and life events, putting work first (and while I am sometimes forced to miss out with my current work schedule, I have found a good balance in my life).

When I first wrote the below, I just remember thinking, “What do you want?” And all I wanted was to be happy again. So, I quit my job (thankfully another amazing opportunity came up only two weeks later), went back home and spent time with my family and friends.

It’s been a hard four years and I miss my mom everyday. Holidays, her birthday and major life events are really tough without her. I just got engaged to the best boyfriend in the world and it makes me emotional thinking about not having her on my special day, but I know she’s here in spirit. It really is crazy how time flies, when it feels like I was just with her not too long ago.

I don’t always open up about my feelings and grief, but it’s there and I am so thankful and grateful for the people that have been there with me through it all.

The below probably isn’t edited or all over the place, but it was what I was feeling at the time. And if you’re wondering if I’m happy, yes, I really am… But, I will always wish my mom was here.

2016: Happiness. Oftentimes we search for this all our lives. We crave it, we dream about it, we make it a goal and strive for it. But why?

Heck, the United Nations even declared March 20 the International Day of Happiness as a time to recognize “the relevance of happiness and well-being as universal goals and aspirations in the lives of human beings.”

This year I decided to be happy. After almost a year of losing my mom, losing inspiration and motivation, putting all my time and effort into work, I felt burnt out. At the age of 26 I’ve been the most successful I have ever been and yet a part of me was missing. I have friends and an amazing boyfriend, family and acquaintances that truly put a smile on my face. I had enough money, clothes and work to make me feel “happy.” Though, it’s hard being at that age when you want to make a name for yourself and be successful. Every move I made until now was carefully chosen to “lead me” to the correct career path that I so desperately wanted. Things changed.

I still want the career I have planned in my mind, I still want to be motivated and most importantly inspired by my work. For all this to happen I needed to take a risk. At 26 I quit my job. I didn’t have anything lined up, I applied and hoped for the best. To be perfectly honest I’m still hoping for the best. I needed to distance myself from a place that I no longer felt connected to. I learned so much, did so much and had experiences that will last me a lifetime, but something was missing. I was told I should wait, I was told I should talk to someone, I was told many things, but at the end they all told me that I should do what was best for me and what makes me happy.

Now I know I can’t bring back my mom and I can’t summon up my next position. But one thing I can do is give it my all. I can concentrate and focus on what I truly want and how I can make it happen. I always said my biggest fear was failing. All my life I was told that I would be somebody; but the fear of letting everyone else around me down consumed me. Now the one person that I cared for the most, the one that I tried to impress and supported me is gone, but my will power and determination isn’t. So what if I turned down a better paying offer that could benefit be in the long run? Will it? I don’t know. Life is weird, crazy, unpredictable and unfair. Do I know what’s in store for me? Hell no. Am I scared? Heck yes! But I’m putting me first. My happiness and what I need to do are taking top priority. I don’t want to wake up one day and realize that I wasted my time doing something that I sort-of, kind-of, maybe liked, or was at a place I was treated unfairly. Yeah, no place will be perfect, but it can make me feel better than I did.

I appreciate all those who support me but if I fail, please don’t judge me. I just want to continue to be happy. I know my mom would’ve wanted that.

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