A few months ago my partner was made redundant. Aside from increased anxiety about how long our money would last (not long) and whether we would have to depend on benefits (we would), I began to feel troubled about whether I too, should seek employment, if only because at least then it would give my other half more time to find something. I thought about it, and over a period of weeks and months it dawned on me that even if my SO did get another job he would still be on the same meagre salary, or perhaps something even lower, and that all of my hopes and dreams for my future life hinged upon saving up a degree of capital that would not be achievable on this income. So it was decided. I would continue my Cake Decoration business in my spare time and get a ‘proper job’. This felt like a positive sacrifice in order to achieve my goals – seems logical, right? Well, the key is in the word ‘sacrifice’; I have only had one job since leaving university in 2005, a 6-month temporary administration role, and I hated it to the point of going to bed crying on a sunday knowing that it was all going to start again the next day. I have never felt so horrible and I am terrified that a new job will make me feel exactly the same, and lead me to regress to that depressed state. I have made so much progress since then with my social anxiety (a whole other story which I will touch upon later) and my depressive moods that it is really upsetting to think that it could all be undone; being so distressed about how I was spending the majority of my day unhappily was the reason I chose not to seek further employment but instead pursue my goal of becoming a published author (yet another story, which somehow led to being a part-time cake decorator earning no money), and now I’m about to return to it all.
This, coupled with the stresses of actually searching for work – tailoring my CV for each application only to be rejected yet again, spending hours searching for nothing and having to prove it all to the government – has meant that I have recently lost what little happiness I had and everything feels purposeless. Every aspect of my life seems to be below par; I cannot motivate myself to clean the flat, to cook meals, to go shopping, to clean my hair, to return emails, nothing. I told my partner last night that if it weren’t for having him, and for fear I would probably now either be running away or killing myself. It was most likely hyperbole, but right now my life doesn’t seem to have any worth; I’m not making myself happy, and excepting the SO I’m not making anyone else happy, so where is the point? So something has to change. I have to try to find that point. I want to find small ways in which to live in the moment and to savour small moments of joy. This needs expanding upon, but one of the reasons I think I haven’t been able to do that thus far is that all my hopes, dreams and grand plans are for the future, and are heavily dependent on each other, but I’ve come to realise that my life is going to pan out one of three ways if I don’t do something soon:
- All of those hopes and dreams come true. But I spend the next 4+ dreams in misery, torturing myself over whether they will.
- I achieve all of my goals but they were only illusions of happiness. I spent 4+ years in misery only to find that my plans didn’t bring happiness.
- None of my dreams are brought into reality, I am crushed and I have no idea how to live my life in a happy way.
So this blog is about trying to find – and share with you – those little things that can be done each day, perhaps each week, to bring me present-day happiness; happy moments that I can savour, no matter what happens in the future. I want to reclaim the feeling that I’ve only ever had fleetingly in my life and that others too often take for granted; I want to go to bed satisfied with the day, and wake up excited for the next.