Thursday, June 7, 2012

Happiness: deal with it, okay?

I realized that for being such a happy, optimistic, perky person, I am often my own worst critic.  I am a harsh judge of myself.  I am guilty of worrying about what others think of me, sometimes constantly.  Lately, it can be pretty easy to fall into a trap I've set for myself, ending up overly self-critical and generally down on myself.  I have a tendency to let comments and good things slip my mind if I'm having a bad week/month/year.
That is, um, if it's okay with you.
For example, I can't help but think that last year (2011) was a bunch of crap.  A lot of bad things happened.  There was a lot of stress.  Yet, through all that, I managed to have another awesome year of marriage.  I had a poetry feature in another state in which I also led workshops for school-age kids.  I had a poetry feature at my home venue in Philadelphia.  I did a lot of dancing.  I sang more karaoke than I have since my senior year of college.  I went to my first drag show.  I stepped in as secretary of the poetry slam.  I was published in two different literary magazines online.  I kept up this blog, despite feeling overwhelmed sometimes.  I stuck with my job, even through the frustrating days.  I bought a Dexcom.  I took a chance and dyed my hair red.  I went to a few really awesome events all by myself and had a great time.  I met some cool people and had some great experiences.

See?  I am a happy person from day to day, for the most part.  I sometimes feel like I don't show that to myself often enough, if that makes any sense.  I can say I'm fine, I will tell you everything is great, but on the inside it may be a different story sometimes.

It's so easy to get hung up on the negative, the disappointing, the discouraging, the bad news.  I am so guilty of it lately.  It's hard not to when bedbugs are causing stress at home, when my job is less-than-cool, or when diabetes is making me feel like garbage.  I have a friend who says when you are feeling down, you should write a list of 36 things you are grateful for, happy about, thankful for.  So here are some things that are happy in my life, just to remind me that in the grand scheme of things, I'm okay.

I have some truly incredible relationships in my life.  I have an amazing, supportive husband.  I have a supportive, loving family.  I have friends who treat me like I'm family.  Despite almost 22 years with diabetes, I have yet to experience anything more than the most minor of complications.   I can afford to work, eat and play.  I've held the same job for over four years now.  I am a blogger with over 60K page views and over 1000 followers on Twitter.  I know how to take a decent picture.  I have a pretty good eye for design.  I've got great love in my life.  I can make people laugh.  I was the only woman to compete in semi-finals this year for the Philly National Poetry Slam team. Even at 30, I have a pretty ridiculous imagination.  I've got great support out in the DOC.  I have people who believe in me and what I'm capable of.

So I just have to deal with it.  I've got plenty to be happy about, even when that little self-doubting voice in my head is trying to tell me otherwise.  Happiness is here, I just have to remember to look for it first, before I see the negative.  Just deal with it, Hannah.  


  1. Anonymous6:29 PM

    Amazing post, so, obviously, you're an amazing young woman.
    Seriously, I smiled while reading, and I'm still smiling.
    Thanks for sharing your happiness!

  2. This is why I always have to go back to "Feeling Good" by David Burns when I'm feeling crappy. It's all about talking yourself into -- and out of -- depression, and seeing awesome things for what they are, while not blowing the crummy stuff out of proportion.

    A good reminder on this rainy Friday!

    1. I may have to check that one out. *runs off to Amazon*

  3. Anonymous3:09 PM

    Great post, so true!
    We all need reminding at times that things are not all that bad :)
    It's nice to read something positive, well done on finding your great points! Especially liked the "even at 30 I have a pretty ridiculous imagination" ... Brilliant!


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