People are as happy as they make up their minds to be. Truly. I’ll explain what makes me begin this post that way in a moment, but I’ll also start by saying I have been putting sharing all of this off because its scary to be so vulnerable with you guys. However, I figure we all have times like these and maybe I can reassure just one of you that things always get better.
Life has changed drastically for me over the last 6 months or so, and although it felt daunting for a season, I am beginning to see the rainbow after the storm. I briefly mentioned my blog hiatus last week, but thank you all so much for supporting me regardless.
After being unhappy for quite some time and dwelling in the negative emotions that brings, Clayton and I made the incredibly difficult decision to separate after three years of dating. It broke my heart for so many reasons, but I couldn’t fight off the gut-wrenching feeling that it wasn’t right for either one of us.
He’s such a great, good-hearted guy, but we didn’t seem to see eye-to-eye on much of anything anymore. From career goals to where we called home, I knew that I couldn’t achieve what I wanted to while remaining in our stagnant relationship. I didn’t feel like it was making me better and for the first time understood what my parents have always told me: “It’s better to be lonely alone than lonely with someone.”
The breakup happened in late April, and boring me has decided not to date anyone for a bit. To clarify, I haven’t been out on a single date since it happened (and just let me tell you, forward guys who think their gross pickup lines are attractive have made it an easy feat – I could write an entire new post on dating again in your mid-twenties).
For the first time in almost 10 years, I am alone. It was terrible for me at first, I won’t try to sugarcoat it. I am incredibly independent in the sense of providing and doing for myself, but I really missed having someone by my side for the ride. Going from making meal plans, weekend plans, vacation plans.. you get it.. around someone else, to having to put in the effort again with new people was frustrating for me at first.
Then something great happened. I started working on my friendships again, which introduced me to an even bigger circle of great people. My pity party transformed into “I can do whatever the heck I want to… so, what do I want?” That’s when I began to grow. I became more spontaneous and felt like I could make decisions without the guilt of considering someone else’s feelings. I could be selfish, and at 24, I really needed to be selfish.
So, with that said, I not only ended things with Clayton but I also decided to leave Athens after six incredible years and move back home for a few months. I was determined to figure out exactly what was missing for me. It didn’t take long for me to pinpoint the simple fact that although flying around the world had given me so many rich experiences, I was lacking purpose. I wanted to be in communications and I wanted to set difficult, yet attainable, goals that made me feel like I was growing. I am an incredibly ambitious (nice way of saying competitive) person, and whether I like it or not, I am fulfilled through advancing and learning.
So what did I do? I went against every single piece of advice given to me by my family and resigned from being a flight attendant (with amazing benefits) to take a temporary position elsewhere. Flying introduced me to some of my best friends and I now have a buddy to visit no matter where I pick to get away. However, it was lonely and lacked the challenge that I thrive off of. So, I accepted the challenge of having 6 weeks to prove myself to my new colleagues.
Spoiler alert: I’m writing this from the other side of that risk. Without risk there is no reward, and although I jumped off a cliff head first, it paid off. I now have my dream job working in communications for an amazing company.
I go to work every single day excited and leave fulfilled. I am learning so much and doing so from the best people you could ever meet. Even more thrilling for me is knowing I still have so much to learn. When I began my time at this company in early July, I remember thinking what in the world is everyone talking about and what have I done. It’s pretty cool to see how things progress. Let me tell ya, landing this job was God saying “Hey Taylor, relax, I’m here.”
I began making more of an effort in my relationship with Christ, having dedicated quiet time in the mornings and attending church more regularly. But just as things began to feel ‘normal’ again, I witnessed an amazing family endure unfathomable tragedy. I felt something I had never experienced before. My heart ached for them, yet there was an uncomfortable numbness inside.
I had a lot of unhealthy thoughts and frustration. I was inexcusably mean to my family for a few weeks, I was distracted at work. Then, after a few debates about life and death with both loved ones and even my pastor, I gained control again. I continued praying daily on my thoughts, but I chose happiness.
The alternative was much too heavy, and that’s when I knew: people are as happy as they make up their minds to be. We can be hurt, but we do not have to live hurt. I’m still sorting through the weeds of my life, but I’m content. I don’t have to know what tomorrow holds, I just have to trust that Jesus is already there.
With all this heaviness, I leave you with the promise that God is working all things together for your good. I say that with the utmost faith as I reflect on the last couple of years in my life. Although we don’t always understand in the moment, we can usually reach a place to just simply say thank you. So, thank you Jesus for all that you have done for me and I promise to choose happiness every single day.