Over the past few months I’ve found myself reading biographies on people that lived well before modern times. One of the things that struck me as particularly interesting was the way writers went about gathering information on their subjects. There were no TV interviews to watch, no documents left behind on the internet, and no living relatives to interview. The best way to learn about the subjects was through the letters they left behind.
Because fame is right around the corner for me and biographies on my life will be in great demand 100 years from now, I thought that leaving behind a trail of letters (digital though they may be) sounded like a great idea. In my opinion, letters are the most illuminating form of communication we have and the idea of experimenting with that was too intriguing to pass over. My younger sister, Lauren, will be participating in an ongoing letter share with me. Where it goes and what we learn about one another I have no idea. Follow along and find out with us.
“Happiness is an inside job. Don’t assign anyone else that much power over your life.”
I can remember when Emma was a baby, she and I spent a lot of time alone in our apartment while Jonathan was working his long hours at the golf course. One of my favorite things to do with her to pass the time was to hold her up in front of the bathroom mirror. The moment Emma would see herself in the mirror pure happiness would wash over her face. She loved what was looking back at her. She’d giggle with herself, give herself kisses, and beat on the mirror hoping the girl in the mirror would jump out and play with her. 4 years later, the same thing would happen when I would put Nolan in front of the mirror. Babies love themselves. They haven’t lived long enough to live through harsh realities or for their self-love to be tainted by others judgments.
I think happiness is a personal thing for each and every one of us. Saying “I’m happy” could have two totally different meanings for both you and I. I don’t think happiness is a feeling. I think happiness is a relationship between you and the life you live. I think happiness requires you to truly love yourself, even when you’re having a bad day. It’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to let others know you’re sad. Just don’t lie about the feelings and let yourself feel the pain. Breakups, bad news, deaths, etc. I’ve been there and done that. I let myself feel the pain for as long as I needed to. Allowing myself to feel the pain always gave me a deeper understanding of who I was as a person.
To me, happiness and love go hand in hand. Growing up, I never doubted mom or dad’s love for me. Not for one second of one day. I always felt secure with who I was and where I came from. I’ve never not loved myself. When I look in the mirror, I don’t get the same joy that a baby gets, but I can also look past the judgments that people have passed upon me, and I truly like what I see. I’m a great mom. I have bad days where I may yell too much and don’t get much done but I do everything I can for those two little people that call me mom. I’m a good wife. I’m patient and understanding. I believe in Jonathan and try to push him to be the best man that he can be. He’s a good guy though so loving him and standing by him are easy. I’m a good sister and daughter. I try to be there when you guys need me. I’m loyal, honest, and strong. I’ll stand up for my friends when they need me to. I’m a good listener. I might not always know what to say but I listen and I’m there. Those are my truths. My happiness is connected to those truths. They make me who I am and I like who I’ve come to be.
I’ve never explored my own happiness on such a level as this. I know I have several imperfections but all of those imperfections have made me perfectly me. Ain’t nobody else I’d rather be! (Maybe a rapper after a rhyme like that. Ha!)