About this time last year one of my book clubs read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. One of the things that really stuck with me from that book was her emphasis on really figuring out who you are, what that means in the terms of the way you live your life, and learning to embrace that no matter what. It’s amazing how difficult that is to do. I don’t doubt at all that it can lead to a happier life, but I’m sad to say that even at the ripe old age of 33 I’m pretty lousy at it.
I definitely have a much better grasp on who I am at this point in my life than at earlier points in my life, but living that out is not always so easy. I still get far too influenced by other people’s opinions and am far too worried about what people think about me. As a result I often stay silent about things I shouldn’t or keep parts of myself hidden from certain people. Hopefully this is something I can continue to work on in my life.
I know that the more I learn to let go of the things I think I should like and replace them with the things I actually like the happier I am. For example, I have never been a huge fan of hanging out in bars, but at certain periods in my life this was the only way I knew how to have a social life. This was a little bit more acceptable to me in times past when I was actually able to drink, but since medications ruled that out in my life years ago the prospect of spending hours hanging out in a bar is even more unattractive to me. It’s not to say that I never go to bars or never have fun when I go to bars because that is certainly not the case. I in fact will be spending this evening at Librarians’ Happy Hour, where I always have an excellent time hanging out with some awesome people. But I have also found other ways to have a social life and more and more frequently find myself saying no to people when they suggest that as something to do. Sometimes this means I wind up going home and not spending an evening out with friends and other times it means we find something else to do.
And then there’s the reason that I even thought to write this post, which are my awesome librarian shoes. I am currently wearing these shoes, which I think are super cute, and on which I’ve received many compliments from other librarians. My sister, who is much more concerned with fashion than I am has informed me that they are extremely ugly. I however, do not care. I prefer to be comfortable rather than trying to dress like a model. I care only moderately about clothes and shoes, do very little with my hair, and have never worn makeup in my life. Sometimes I wish I had a little bit more style, but I am never going to be happy spending the effort required to have it, so I live my life as I do and am a happier person for it.