Life Lesson 13: You Always Have You

Yesterday: Find Yourself Some Work Ethic
Today: You Always Have You
Moving cities does not cure unhappiness. Most of the time.

Check in the mirror my friend,
No lies will be told then...
You cannot run, for you can't hide from you

When I heard this song the first time, it was during Christmas break of my 6th grade year. It changed my little 11 yr old life.

What I'm getting at might not seem obvious right away, so go with me.

There are two possible centers of control. External and internal. Those who operate exclusively from an external locus of control are the ones who believe that there is only fate. In the end, you have no choices, who you are, where you are, what you do are all pre-determined and though you may think you decided, for example, to go back to school, the universe (or something else) actually worked together to make sure you'd make that decision.

Those who operate exclusively from an internal locus of control, believe you and only you determine how things will turn out. There are no external factors. If you want it, you can have it and if you don't have it it's because you didn't work hard enough.

Healthy folks will fall somewhere in the middle understanding that we have to play the cards we're dealt, but that doesn't mean that when you're dealt a bad hand you give up and throw in the towel.

Sometimes, it's just time to go. You've lived in a city for too long. I left Washington, DC 2.5 yrs ago, a city many people would love to live and work in, because it was just time to go. I didn't want to be there anymore. That was it. Maybe you don't see room for growth for yourself or you're no longer enjoying the city. Maybe everything about the city reminds you of bad things. You're having a hard time making friends. Or, maybe, you just want to see and experience something different. In and of itself, wanting to move is not a bad thing.

If we tried, we could come up with several scenarios where moving cures unhappiness. Like, moving to a city to be with a significant other. Separation can create unhappiness and obviously moving cures that right up. But that's obvious and that sort of unhappiness is situational. The true unhappiness? The kind that starts in your soul and won't leave you alone? That's personal and it will follow you because it's a part of you.

Happiness is such a fickle thing. You have it and then you don't. Try as you might, it can be hard to determine exactly what it is and how you can keep it (though, once you have it -- really have it -- you won't lose it). While fresh starts can be the jolt to your life you need, happiness isn't a thing to be found as much as it's a thing to be created.

Happiness is something you have to find in yourself, for yourself. If you're unhappy with yourself, it doesn't matter where you go or where you live or what job you take -- changing unhappiness starts in yourself. If you're unhappy because you don't like who you are or what you're doing, you probably won't like those things when you move to a new city, either. Why? You can't run from you. You are the one person who will always be with you. It is why, as I said before, you have to be your own best cheerleader.

If you want to move, do it. But take stock of why, exactly and be honest. Yes, maybe the new city will have more dating options for you or yes, maybe the new city will have new job options for you. Sure, the new city might offer you opportunities that your current city could never. But will you be unhappy if not? Is it the city that needs to change or is it your life? Yeah, maybe a move will be the change your life needs but know that before you pack up everything and start all over. Fresh starts aren't as easy as they sound.

I don't want to come off as if to say, "make sure you have a damn good reason to move" because you DON'T HAVE TO HAVE ONE. Risk is a part of life. Sometimes, the only answer is to just jump. This isn't about knowing the end before you begin, it's about making sure your risks are calculated and have purpose; if you've determined that you're unhappy AND you think the best thing to do is move, make sure that there is truly a tangible reason why a new city would fix what is usually an internal issue. Otherwise, look for ways to make that change first. There's nothing worse than being miserable in a brand new city with no one to call.

Tomorrow: I Call Bullshit

No comments:

Post a Comment

Now open to everyone! Leave a comment -- let me know what you think.