Saturday, March 26, 2005

What I want. Who I am

Saturday evening. Everywhere I look, there are idealized images of life being thrust toward me. Television. Magazines. Catalogs. Like a sponge, I've sucked all of this in for years and years now, using these images to inform my vision of what "happy" and "beautiful" and "elegant" mean. I've been such a good student, in fact, that I'm not even sure what I want for myself.

I see the beautiful Crate and Barrel and Pottery Barn catalogs and I envision my perfect house, with perfect furnishings (all picked out and coordinated by someone else, of course), then I see a spread on a Hollywood bungalow in House Beautiful and that's what my dream home looks like. The models in the windows at Ann Taylor draw me in, whispering promises that - with enough hard work and sweat - I can look just like them in a few months. Until I see the Boden catalog and realize that it's not classic and cool that I aspire to, it's quirky and down to Earth that will make me happy. On and on and on it goes, and where it stops depends on what I see last.

How can you create a personal aesthetic with simply no idea in the world what makes you happy, what brings you joy? Or, is it that too many things bring me joy? I don't even know anymore. I just want to be happy as I am right now - no changes. I am enough if only I will think I am. The secret is that there is no secret, there is only what we put our minds to and what we commit our lives to.

I want to be happy, and so I shall be. Not every moment of every day, perhaps, but happy with the overall direction and content of my life, yes. The weight will come and go (I hope more of the latter than the former), but this is who I am, at 37 years of age, for better or worse. It's time to stop trying to be what I think is beautiful, what someone else's idea of happy is, and just be me. Fully. Happily. Without guilt or recriminations for what might be.

Here I am, world, ready or not.

11 comments:

MR Hester said...

Denise - I looked at your progress and you should be very happy with the 60 lbs you have lost in the last year because that has made you a much healthier person. I'm so glad you are happy today!!

Shannin said...

You are already beautiful...

I do know what you mean about liking so much. I would have to have a 9 bedroom, 10 bath house with 4 kitchens and 6 "outdoor living areas" to accomodate everything I think I want.

You're developing your own style -- and you can define it however you want.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I think happiness is a choice we have to make...
And yes, you are already very beautiful. :) Happy Easter.
Chana
www.bunnyburrow.com

agategoddess said...

I'm convinced being happy is a constant decision making process. Happiness is whatever we make it to be, right now mine is a few spoonfull's of Ben & Jerry's Coffee Ice Cream.

Again you've said it perfectly :)

Plantation said...

Hey D,

I'm likin' what I'm readin'!
Good for you. {Paula Abdul clap}

ms ralph said...

I do the same thing, but mostly with fashion magazines. Dreaming of a day when I can afford any label. I think it is somewhat healthy to admire what we don't have. But I also think you are beautiful the way you are.

Silverella said...

If only you realised how many bridges you have crossed! You would glow with pride for yourself, just like I do for you!!!!

The world is always ready when we are ready!

I just loved this post!!!!

chaos said...

Great post, Denise. I think that happiness is a balance between the Buddhist-like acceptance of the moment but also, for me, it is important that this moment is challenging. In other words, happiness is being content with who I am right now as well as pushing myself to change, grow, improve, and take risks.

Lynda said...

This is a wonderful post! I may be wrong, but I believe when you reach this decision is when you "really" grow up and start to live life fully. Ever wonder why people in their 30's, 40's and beyond suddenly start unleashing true creativity? Maybe it's because they "get it" - It sounds like you do and you're living it. Congrats on your remarkable progress - in all aspects!

Crazy Single Mom said...

Finding out who we are is a hard thing to do, and I see you're doing it! We are what and who we are, there are many things to love in us. As for style, well that's something that sometimes has to be learned and felt. I think you have a style, I see it in your writing, let it out and you'll also see it!

Amanda said...

that's the spirit!!! :)

I am currently reading, "Confessions of a Reformed Dieter" by A.J. Rochester. The author writes about her journey in losing eight dress sizes. She is so motivational...funny....truthful....and just bluntly honest about her disorder. If you haven't read it....get it. You will be happy you did!! I am loving it!

xx island girl