Self-searching for happiness.

When I hear people talk about trying to “find themselves” or finding that ‘peace of mind’ – it makes me wonder. What is ‘finding yourself’? How do you go about finding the person you supposedly already are? I use to think that as humans we are constantly searching for happiness. After a few personal experiences in my life I figured that it doesn’t matter how or where I search for happiness because in all reality, happiness has always been there. I must therefore, choose it. 

A couple years ago, when I decided to give my degree a break (as a result of bullying and “drama”) – I made one of the biggest decisions of my life to move across the ditch to Australia. I traveled back and forth from Melbourne to Sydney trying to, well… “Find myself”. In saying that, at the time, I didn’t really know what it was that I was trying to find. I was only 19 – so really, what is there to find? But all in all, I was literally, trying to find that peace of mind.

You see, everything on my end seemed to slowly crumble. I wasn’t happy – primarily because of the relationship I was in, despite heading into our 4th year anniversary. I had no real friends at College and the only people who knew me where that of those who spoke about me (behind my back). So I thought that if I left, then i’d be escaping all this ‘mess’ – though we all know, that’s not the case. The idea originally was that, a trip to Melbourne was going to be my break; my time away to think – then return with a fresh mindset and be all happy-dandy! 

Long story short – on the day of what should have been my return for our anniversary, I purposely missed my flight back to New Zealand. I rang my parents and told them I couldn’t do it. I attempted to go long distant with my ex – relationship wise – and it failed miserably (not surprised). I decided to stay in Melbourne and made it my temporary home-away-from-home. I worked for several small corporate companies, made new friends and had this somewhat, independent life going on. It was nice. I felt brand new and at peace with myself which I hadn’t felt in a very long time.

I made it my choice because I knew that if I didn’t – I’d be avoiding all my chances of ever truly being ‘happy’ or, experiencing something like this at the very least. Everything that I thought made me before I moved, had soon been forgotten. Months after trial and error in the work-front, re-igniting my passion for art and photography, dating and even experiencing the night-life, I felt like I found myself. I found the girl who is now and still, determined to succeed in the work-front, who passionately loves art and photography, hates the night life and dating scenes (believe it or not) and the same girl who is aspiring to graduate from College with a degree she’s passionate about.

Laugh if you must. This was a pretty major self-discovery. Prior to my move over the ditch, nobody knew it, but for a good year, I left my lectures hours before they had even started simply because my ex-partner never trusted me around any other male counterpart. I stayed home every weekend & found work preferably where there were no guys working in the same office. Believe it or not, this was only the beginning of the list. I’ve composed over 20 songs on my guitar. In those very years, I hadn’t touched my guitar once. Not once. There was never a time I could, literally. 

I missed caring about my education. I missed having a hobbie and job that was totally acceptable. I missed the feeling of falling asleep knowing I’ve blogged a good piece (Which never happened, because I wasn’t allowed to blog either). The feeling of constantly missing something about ME and who I knew I was, became tiring. I slept less and stressed more. 

I’m telling you right now, there is nothing worst than feeling like you’ve lost who you were before you decided to get serious with someone who didn’t make you happy anymore. Nothing worst than realizing that things were so much better when you were you, and you knew you never had to force change upon yourself for the satisfaction of another. I know this because that was me for 2 years. Constantly convincing myself that, where I was, that was as good as it got. My mind became occupied with stressful thoughts. I had absolutely no idea what ‘peace of mind’ was until I ‘found myself’ – how sad is that!

How do you find someone that was always there? Is that even possible? 

I’m back in New Zealand determined to finish this degree of mine. Every now and then, I find myself thinking about the journey I took to get here (well, back here). It’s been overwhelmingly tough but a journey nonetheless. I can’t seem to help but look back in utter disappointment. I can’t lie – I shake my head to it all the time. How could I have been so blind? I lost myself for such a long time it amazes me. I’m now doing things that make my heart smile; I’m playing my guitar, I’m blogging and guess what? I’m attending my lectures for the full hours, thank God. I may not be the same girl. It may not even be possible to go back – but i’m more ‘me’ than I was 2 years ago. 

What I want to know is… Once you’ve found yourself, are you really the ‘same self’ you were, before you were lost? 

I’ve always told myself to think of my mistakes as lessons learnt. My past experiences aren’t full of rainbows and butterflies but they are experiences nonetheless. After flying back and forth from Australia to New Zealand, I realized that not everybody has to leave the country to find themselves like I did. Not all women and or, men have to leave their significant other in order to realize what they’re missing or realize they’re unhappy. I did learn one thing, that if you aren’t happy – know this, it’s not healthy. Do something about it. Maybe not be so dramatic like I was and fleet the country… (let’s be honest). But, do something! Take a risk. Try something new! Whatever you do, don’t ignore your feelings in the faint hope that it’ll fade. 

If there is one thing I could tell those who consider themselves lost, it would be as easy as, go find yourself – in whatever way you interpret that. Whatever ‘being happy’ means to you, keep it. If painting or singing makes you happy, make time for it. You deserve to know yourself and have some sense of peace of mind. You deserve to know what makes your heart smile. We all do. I’d hate to meet someone who has found themselves where I was. 

Are you happy with where you are in life? What makes you happy? If I were to ask you these two simple yet deep questions and you hesitated to respond because your first thoughts were of something negative? Think. 

Liv 

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