What Is The Meaning of Happiness?

Hey all! I’ve been MIA for a bit, taking care of things, adulting, and everything else under the sun. Lately, I’ve been either reading, swiping left or right on tinder (I’ll explain later on in this post), or on Netflix for hours at a time. Through it all… I’ve been in a funk

That slump where you don’t feel like doing anything, where while you’re engaging in productivity, you kinda wish you were curled up, in your room reading, or doing anything but.

When I’m in a funk, there are times where I’ll ponder the meaning of a lot of things.

This time, I started thinking about happiness. More specifically:

  • What is it?
  • Why is it important?
  • What do we attribute it to?

Let’s look up the definition of ‘happiness’, shall we?

Def of happiness

Okay… Well that doesn’t give us much of a definition, but by the looks of it, it seems like the word is quickly getting phased out.

Why is it important that we are happy in our lives?

Being happy has been linked to lower stress levels and a sense of ease in one’s life. When you’re happy, like genuinely happy in your life, you have no time to focus on other pointless bullshit. You are busy working on yourself and building that happiness from within.

A lot of people, however attribute this happiness to money or another a person. And I’m just here to tell you the reasons why you shouldn’t attribute your happiness to these things

Money

The funny thing about money is that our moods change the moment that direct deposit hits.

We go from this

to this

Money is amazing, right? It’s the only thing that practically allows us to get anything we see a need or a want for, like clothes, make-up, the new iPhone, etc. However, does anyone remember the old adage “Money doesn’t buy you happiness”? Money can get you things to a certain point, but it can’t give you love, security or anything as abstract as the concept of happiness. You can’t even buy a personality with money or a new wife, HOW CRAZY IS THAT?

As a matter of fact, I’ve been watching this telenovela on Netflix called Sin Senos, No Hay Paraiso. Set in Pereira, Colombia, the show follows two teens and the poverty that surrounds them. Since the poverty rate in the area is so high, the teens decide to forfeit school and engage in some pretty lucrative stuff, in an act to get money, without the hard work.

Among the characters on the show, the teens’ mom explains that money isn’t everything in this world, that money isn’t meant to fix up every little issue that one has. Frankly, sometimes those problems, those deep rooted problems, can’t be remedied with insane amounts of money.

Another person

Relying on another person for your own happiness, is a definite no-no in my book. Yes, it’s nice that a person makes you happy, but they really shouldn’t be the boss of your own happiness. Like I said before, you should only be focusing on filling up your own cup of happiness. Let the other person be your overflow of happiness, not the consistency of it!

So I downloaded Tinder and with the help of one of my best friends, I was able to create a really good profile! In fact, here are some of the pictures I used:

and for my bio, I just put something short, sweet and to the point: Classy, never nasty, just a bit sassy✨.

The way that tinder works is that you have a set amount of guys in your area, you either swipe left- if you’re not interested- or swipe right, if you’re interested. On the first day, I received so many sweet messages, compliments, along with quite a few corny jokes. A good bit of the guys that I matched with (as in we both swiped right on each other), said the same line over and over: “Never nasty, huh?”

It was definitely an experience. Even though I lasted only four days on the app, I realized it wasn’t something for me. I think I’ve always known that and I just wanted to see what the app was all about, meet new people, all that jazz.

To be frank, I was not and am not looking for a relationship right now. I’m still working on myself. The fact that people actually look for relationships on tinder surprises me, because tinder isn’t built for that. It’s just built for people to meet, chat, and that’s it. This really opened my mind up to another area in the realm of dating and how easy it has become for people to meet, just by swiping right.

By the time I was hitting the fourth day, I noticed how drained I felt. Like this physical tiredness where all I ever did was just keep swiping, in hopes that I would get matched and have some sort of message sent my way. How unhealthy is that? How did I suddenly come to this conclusion?

It was then that I realized that If I was going to be physically and mentally drained from using a ‘dating’ app, why even bother using it? Why bother using or doing something if it doesn’t make me happy?

So I deleted my tinder because I realized that I could do without it and I’m going to be starting soon at a new school, where I’ll meet more cool people who share similar values and passions. Granted, I met some pretty cool people on tinder and may even stay in touch with a few, but as I’ve said before, it’s not something for me.

Before you do something, remember to ask yourself these 3 questions:

  • Are you going to be happy doing so?
  • Is it going to cause you a great deal of stress down the line?
  • Are you doing this for you or for another person?

The bottom line is: Happiness is being content with who you are. If you don’t feel happy with who you are, start by searching some ways that can bring you back to your happiest self.

Sending a ton of love and light your way,

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P.S follow my adventures on Instagram!

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The Growth Mindset

Bear with me a bit guys, it’s been a while since I blogged! Before I begin, I’d like to ask a question…

So has anyone been at a crossroads with a relationship? Or maybe you decided that you needed to make a decision that would work best for you.

In any case, if any of you has gone through something like this, you know that making a decision isn’t always the easiest thing to do… especially when it involves making changes to your life.

Well, shit, life is full of difficult decisions. Sometimes, these decisions are so difficult that you have to realize what would work best for your life going forward, all in a short amount of time.

For the first time in my life, I’ve had to decide what I needed, in the long run and that proved to be difficult, because it meant deciding what was important to me: my well-being or staying in a relationship with a significant other. All in a matter of 72 hours.

I realize that there were many factors that ultimately led up to the break-up; one of them simply being that we have grown apart. In life, we are often caught by surprise when we realize that what we once wanted, like a career or personality traits in a person, isn’t what we want anymore. We go in different directions, because whether you like it or not, we are constantly changing.

We are not the same people we were a few days ago.

We’re not even the same people we were a week ago.

Growing apart doesn’t always have to be a bad thing. The way I see it is, growing apart gives you the opportunity to grow as an individual. It’s life’s way of giving you a chance to find out what you like, what you look for in a person, and what you want your next relationship to consist of, etc.

Another thing that contributed to this was that I was face-to-face with a situation that, quite frankly could’ve been avoided, made me realize that I had to make a decision (yes, the same decisions as mentioned above).

After careful thought and advice from some of my best friends, I chose me. I chose my well-being, the desire to become a better person for my family, and for myself.

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Within those 72 hours, I gained so much clarity about the relationship I was in and realized that we want different things.

 

Originally, this post was going to be fueled with anger and empowerment, but this was all before I had a chance to even talk with the person. By the time we talked about it, I finally got a chance to understand why the relationship didn’t work out, what could’ve been better, what we noticed in each other, how the relationship went, etc. It was actually a liberating experience because I never really had that. I’ve always had break-ups end in misunderstanding and hate… all for no real reasons.

If you didn’t know, I’m a communications major and for me, it’s very important to see what another person’s point of view is. Communication is all about listening. It is an essential component in all relationships and I think that if we spent more time talking face-to-face, we would eliminate a misunderstanding (more on that here). Through learning and seeing where each other was coming from, this proved to be one of the most polite break-ups I have ever had.

A part of growing up is deciding who can stay in your life. Part of what choosing myself entails is that my happiness and well-being need to come first.

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After a break up, I get that it is hard to stay strong, no matter how good of a relationship it was, and it is hard to find some motivation to practice some self-love habits. I’ve been taught to get up and dust myself off after a relationship has ended.

My word of advice: don’t ever stop taking care of yourself, don’t quit going to the gym. Allow yourself to feel what you’re feeling, but just keep in mind that you’re still the shit and realize that things happen for a reason!

Along with self-love, I needed to be okay with losing this person. I get that there are some people who can be friends with their exes and that’s great for those people, but that isn’t me.

I can’t stay friends with my exes. Trust me, I’ve tried.

I saw that if I wanted to move on, I can’t really be in correspondence with the person. In the best interest for myself, I can’t do it or else it gets too messy.

I want to be with someone who is willing to take me out to different places, every weekend. I want someone who is consistent, always keeps me on my toes. I want someone who is open to learning about a new culture. I want someone who surprises me, because I love surprises. Someone who challenges me, whether it be intellectually or whatever, I want someone who is encouraging in the most positive way possible. I want someone who shares my values, goals, someone who respects me and above all is accepting of how absolutely crazy I am.

With all that being said, I am in no rush to get into a relationship. For the time being, I’m going to focus on myself, learn about myself and stay off Tinder. When I start up at my new university, it’ll be a completely different experience and will be one that I can immerse myself in.

The way I look at is, it’s a beginning. A new chapter in my life. I’m only 21 and this gives me time to meet other people, and I’m totally on board with that.

Sending love and light your way,

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P.S Follow my Instagram for more uplifting posts!

3 Ways to Be A Better Friend

Hi guys! Welcome back to ADM. This summer, I’m interning at this local radio station, not far from where I live and I’ve been signing up for events left and right! One of my favorite things about this job, is that I get to meet so many people at different events. It’s definitely a steeping stone into something I want to do with my public relations degree, which is pretty cool!

So in light of what has happened with Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, I want to take a moment to talk about the importance of having a support system. As humans,

we need people to understand us,

we need love,

we need compassion

Depression and other mental illnesses are not something that we can ‘just get over’. It is a long struggle and sometimes, it takes this long to realize that there is a problem. There needs to be more advocacy for people and that while it is okay to not be okay, it’s also okay to reach out, regardless. So here are 5 ways we can be better friends to the people we love and care about.

1. Listen more than you talk

Sometimes, we get caught up in talking about our lives and telling friends what’s new in OUR OWN LIVES, that we often forget to ask how the other is doing. Getting into the habit of giving yourself enough speaking time can totally make you more reliable and more willing to listen to what the other person is saying. The more we are able to listen, the better we are at responding more thoughtfully. When you listen, you can also pick up on some patterns that they may subconsciously engage in and you can take note in that and follow up with questions like:

“When you said (*insert what they said*), what did you mean?”

or

“Hey, it sounds like you’re on edge about something, are you okay?”

Having the ability to listen, is key, especially if you are trying to console a person you consider your best friend. When you listen, do so with the sole purpose of just hearing the person out in their opinions. Listening should be absolutely judgement free.

2. Honesty is The Best Policy

I’m pretty sure y’all have heard this one more than once. Honesty in every relationship is essential. When you’re honest with the person, you are letting them take a step into your perspective. Better yet, you are physically opening the door to them into the way that you see a situation panning out. If I’m asking for advice, I’d appreciate it if people are honest with me (not saying that any of my friends reading this aren’t, I’m just illustrating a point). The more honest you are with the person you are friends with, the more accountable you are, the more reliable you are to that person.

A person who is no-bullshit, brutally honest with me, is someone worth having in my life. It’s no shocker that I’m brutally honest with my friends. In any advice I give them, I don’t mess around, I speak my mind on the situation as. I. see. it.

Granted, I make an effort to at least give myself a moment to cool down or to collect my thoughts, so that I don’t sound like a complete bitch… but at the end of the day, if I care about the person, I’m definitely going to be honest with them and tell them exactly how I feel about a situation they need advice in.

Remember: a friend who cares enough to be honest is a friend worth having around.

3. Being Attentive

When I mean be there for your friend, I mean be there at their beck and call. We need to be able to rely on each other when we are weak. The way I see it, is if we feel weak at some point or another, we need to reach out to people who are closest to us, not our 500+ followers on Instagram or the world wide web. It is in times like these, that sometimes people need more than just a “feel better soon”, “aw nooo”, etc. We need to be present and actually there for our friends.

I remember one time, I was grieving over the loss of a relative and I remember calling a friend at the time and after the phone call, I didn’t really feel that much better.

When I had told another friend about the same situation, they offered to meet up with me at the nearest restaurant. I remember feeling like an anxious mess and getting sauce all over my leggings haha, but the important part was that I had a friend who was willing to sit with me, just listen and tell me funny stories.

Again, it is okay to not be okay, but it is even better if you have someone there who can see that you are not okay and goes a step further, by being physically there for you. Life is tough, but it doesn’t always have to be, if you keep a couple of close friends nearby.

I could seriously give you 5 ways on up to 100 ways to be a better friend, but they would all stem from these top 3 ways in which you can incorporate these into your everyday life as a human! Be that friend that is really there for your person and help them get to their best self, because we need each other to grow, to live, and to love. Reach out to a friend you haven’t seen in a while and ask the simple question: “Hey, how’ve you been”.

 

Sending Love and Light your way,

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The ‘I Told You So’ Phenomenon

Hey y’all! So this past week, it’s been primarily rainy and gloomy in my area. However, yesterday was pretty great and I finally felt that spring feel. The feel where it’s not too cold, not too warm, but just right? That’s always the best feeling. Now that we’re entering April, it’s the start of gloomy weather. While it is great and all, I think I’d much rather have some 60 degree weather, right about now. But as the saying goes, “April showers bring May flowers”

Haha! Anyway, I’ve been noticing how we are so quick to point out other people’s shortcomings/red flags.

We, as a society, seem to actively look out for any ‘imperfection’ that we find out about someone. It’s like we wait for it, we stalk instagram, facebook, and any text or conversation about said person.

and when we find said imperfection…

We’re literally ITCHING to tell our best friend. Whenever you tell them this, it starts off a little like this: “So lemme tell you about this bitch…” Like when we see something that is out of our own experiences or out of our own beliefs, it’s automatically something worth talking about.

Hell, that’s how magazines make sensations, they report on things that are either divorces, marriages and even the occasional “what the fuck?” type stories ALL AMONG STARS. Just like magazine reporters and paparazzi, we’re actively making mental notes and pasting it to our personal weekly or even daily magazines. We are always up-to-date with what our favorite celebrities say or do on their social media platforms and interviews, that we kinda leave them with no room for error.

So when they step out of line or do something uncanny…

We scowl and laugh at their shortcomings.

On top of living to be able to point out and even call people out on the things they’re doing, when it all fails, we live to say ‘I told you so’ as if we were damn fortune tellers

Has it ever occurred to you that if said situation actually did work out for the person as they thought it would, where are we? I mean, we practically live to see the shortcomings of other people, but what does that say about us, if we were so sure, it was going to fail?

Why are we so quick to point out other people’s imperfections, when we already have some of our own? The moment that someone tells us about something we’re doing wrong or is a massive red flag, we get on the defensive. Depending on how each person reacts completely varies, but for the most part, we tend to be defensive and we try to justify why we do certain things.

and then we go so far as to reciprocate the same sentiment back to the person. Now shots have really fired, haven’t they?

So what do you do in a situation like this?

Realize that it’s coming from a good place

We all know how family members are quick to say something because believe it or not, we value their opinions. Even though they “grew up in a different time”, the same philosophies they have learned when they were our age, still apply to today. They’re honest because they know you (unless you’ve been estranged from your family for quite sometime) and want you to see yourself as a great individual.

However, Friends won’t tell it like it is… unless you have a serious problem. I have only a few good friends who are literally willing to give me and all out honest response. If a friend is willing to actually ROAST you on how you’re handling things, then you know you have a good friend. The good ones always bitch because they care.

Don’t Brush it off

On top of realizing people are coming from a good place (yes, even if they roast you, lol), take their criticisms into consideration. We aren’t perfect people and this part doesn’t imply any sort of perfectionism. What I am saying is we can work to become better people, in whatever way we can.

The important thing is that you listen to them. Have a positive outlook on it. Work towards becoming a better you and don’t read too much into what people are trying to say.

If your support system tells it like it is, points out what you’re doing wrong and how you can be better, I’d say that this is out of love. The people around you want to you to get to a point where you can be comfortable with making mistakes and learning from those mistakes, so that you can be better equipped to handle things head on. Your support system can be entirely friends, entirely your family, or both!

Definitely make it an effort to surround yourself with people who care about you and are willing to go the distance for you.

If you’re constantly withdrawing from your support system all because you can’t accept one little criticism, then who is really at fault? People won’t want to go the distance for you, if you don’t let them.

If you’re gonna blame everyone around you for the behaviors that you have, the mistakes that you continually make, that doesn’t serve you any good and it isn’t fair to the people who love you. You aren’t growing as a person in this way.

I read somewhere that the more we assume what other people think about us, the more we limit ourselves and our perspective of the world. 

Don’t beat yourself up

With whatever they tell you, just know that there is always room for improvement. Beating yourself up about something that you need work on, doesn’t help you grow either. It’s time to move on and see to it that you will take the steps needed to be better.

Step up. Learn about yourself and quit whining. That was me, roasting you.

You are a person full of worth and value, and the thing is: I see it in you. I don’t know everyone who reads my blog, but I do know this: each person in this world has worth. Each person is worthy of love, guidance, and all that is good in the world. I see your worth, but in order to make a difference in your life, you have to be able see it in yourself as well.

The bottom line is, it’s so easy to point out other people’s shortcomings, but we must not be so quick to point out theirs, if we know that we may do the same thing. We are not perfect.

Always stay mindful of the fact that you can always become a better person and can learn from the constructive criticism of other people. We’re works in progress and we learn each day something new about ourselves.

Thanks for stopping by!

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It is OKAY to Fail

Aye y’all!  Wow. I can’t believe we’re in our last week of March! Where has the time gone?! Like I could’ve sworn I wasn’t going to get out from this winter tundra my area has been having. Happy Easter to all my friends who are celebrating!

So Today’s blog post is dedicated to all my perfectionists.

Haha, anytime I think of the word ‘perfectionist’, I think about Monica Geller from Friends. She always has to win, always has to have the house (or apartment, if you will) clean, but basically she’s what I like to call a perfectionist. If you watch the show, you know what I mean!

But all joking aside, perfectionism comes from the stem of “(This/I’m) is not good enough.”, “This needs to look good”, “I have to look (good/thin)”, etc etc.

Personally, I know that I can get into this train of thought where I just want everything to pan-out exactly the way that I’ve planned it. Sometimes, however, life doesn’t always go the way we want it to go, and that’s completely OKAY. You have to get to a point where you can plan for all these things in your life, but in the end, you have to realize that life just, kinda happens and that’s out of your control.

Perfectionism comes from the same stem of control. We want to be able to control the things that happen to us. We want to be in control of how we want something to fit or something that deep down, we cannot change.

In fact, depression happens when there’s something in either our past or future that is out of our hands and we try to control it.

Anxiety happens when you expose yourself to stressful situations (like starting at a new school, meeting new people, etc). It’s not really a choice you have. Anxiety just kind of happens naturally. As things get harder or more advanced, it’s expected that you get with the ebb and flow of things. It’s hard, but not impossible to overcome.

Granted, there are some people who don’t have this problem or people who work on their anxiety and frustrations so that it doesn’t interfere with their productivity at work.

All I’m saying is, it is okay to fail.

When we fail, we learn from those mistakes. In fact, I’ve learned so much from making mistakes in my life and they have lead me to the conscious person I am today. I can’t change the past, but I can change my attitude to a more positive one and look at “mistakes” as works in progress.

I remember back when I was in high school, (damn, I feel old) I was in color guard for the marching band…

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Senior year. Fellow band kid at your service lol. (Fall 2014)

I had these instructors, who were some pretty great people and whenever we would work on a part of the show that needed some cleaning up, they would impress upon us to Make Different Mistakes”. It means exactly what it says. Make a different mistake so that you can continue to work towards being a better performer or a better person. The idea is that once you make a mistake, you learn from it, you grow and move on. However, if you make the same mistake on different occasions, then what does that say about you? Said mistake becomes a choice that you make.

There are people in this world who have a tough time discerning from their mistakes and think that what looks like the same mistake they made, is a different one on a minuscule level.

The important part is that at some point, you have to learn from those mistakes and be able to grow from them, not be mortified by them.

We aren’t perfect people, we are human. We fall, we rise and we grow. We are capable of making our own decisions.

I used to be mortified by all the mistakes I’ve made. I would look at them as a past I never, ever wanted to revisit for knowledge.

But how can we be scared of looking back on something that we ultimately wanted to do, at one point… and it came out pretty bad. There’s a lesson in every mistake.

Back when I was depressed, I struggled to come to terms with being okay with recovery. I wanted my recovery to be perfect and I wanted my depression to end by a certain date. What I have come to learn is, no one’s recovery journey is perfect. (It may take longer depending on how long you’ve dealt with an illness or if its been as a result of your upbringing and other external/internal factors.) As much as we want it to be, it’s the drive in wanting to get better that motivates us to work towards our better self.

I look back on my life now because of the sole purpose of providing you, the reader, an insight to how I dealt with a particular situation. With some of the things I look back on, I laugh. I laugh because I’m not a perfect person, I laugh because I see how far I’ve come, I laugh because I see that some of the things I thought were going to define me, ended up not doing that at all.

I’m thankful for the experiences that have lead me to today and while, I may get into my perfectionist ways, I know that I can always stay mindful of the fact that, it is okay to slip up. It is okay to fall down every once in a while, but what matters is how you get up and how you can learn from a situation.

In a perfect world, we wouldn’t know what was right from wrong. So we have to be mindful of the fact that we are human and that we need to understand that making mistakes, is a fact of life.

so go out and make all the mistakes!!!!

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