Today I met up with a friend I haven't seen for a few months. We shopped at a few thrift stores and caught up with one another's life. At one point she said to me, "Have you been depressed? Are you taking anything?" I thought she was asking me because perhaps she was asking advice for herself. I was partly right; seems she has trouble, being a southern California born-and-bred girl, with the rainy, sometimes snowy winters where we both now call home.
Why she'd asked, however, was because, to put it in her words, "You are so happy, I thought for sure you were taking medication."
I've thought about that exchange ever since we parted. I am happy and no pill is responsible. Rather, I am the master of my happiness because I took a leap of faith and followed my heart.
For years I've lived in a place that just wasn't suited to me. I am not going to bash the place I called home for twenty-five years. I've made some amazing friends, built a career, and have memories that make me smile. But, I didn't want to be there anymore. I had another place in mind to live, and for many reasons. But everyone around me, save for my closest friends and family, told me I was crazy to want to leave, especially where I hoped to go. They said that I was always doing impulsive acts. They said I should count the blessing I had and stay put! They told me that I'd never be happy (See Happiness is in the Heart of the Beholder).
I knew what was best for me and I finally dared to gift it to myself.
So, at the end of this past summer I settled somewhere else. I still keep tabs on my old stomping ground because I can't make a complete break as of yet, but this is where I plan on being for a long time. It does make me happy. We have four seasons here, and when it rains I don't feel gloomy – I know that Mother Earth is being nourished and I feel giddy. The people here are so friendly! I've made some fast friends in the short time I've been here. And that friend I mentioned in the beginning? We were best of friends a long time ago in another place and we just happened to end up here, in the same place. Serendipity!
We all live in the shadow of others' expectations, and sometimes the pressure of that keeps us from doing what we most desire. For so long I thought I was doomed to accept where I was and that indeed made me depressed.
But now I have a whole new lease on life. I am my own best medicine.