I have never been happier in my life than I am right now. It’s hard to believe that I’ve been living in Pennsylvania for over five years. This year marks the third fall in my house on Pine Grove Road.
What’s even harder for me to comprehend is the incredible ways my life has changed, it’s almost as though it’s a brand new life. In many ways it is. Never in a million years did I think that a job interview with a company 1/2 way across the country would eventually lead me down the path I’ve been traveling.
I remember the day of my interview like it was yesterday. I flew from Omaha to Philadelphia at the crack of dawn and felt a celebrity when I saw a limo driver holding a sign with my name on it. After a day of being “on stage” and being interviewed by a half dozen people I headed back to the Midwest with high hopes (and a few misgivings).
Five months later I boarded a plane on Super Bowl Sunday wondering if I had made the right decision but knowing there was no turning back. I was in pursuit of happiness. My job, my marriage, and my outlook on life all needed some adjustments. My hope was that a new environment would mean a fresh start and new found happiness.
Nothing turned out according to plan. My house in Omaha didn’t sell so we moved into an apartment that was 1/3 the size of our house. We sold, donated, or stored the majority of our belongings, keeping only the things we absolutely needed. The move made the chasm in my marriage bigger instead of drawing us closer.
There were days I didn’t think I was going to survive let alone find happiness and I’d become my own worst enemy. Thank goodness for the support and love of my friends and family and in particular for the advice I received during one of my darkest times.
The advice was to “learn how to draw,” “take more pictures,” “play the piano again,” or “write, just write more.” “Use your gifts, be creative and constructive, be yourself – don’t destroy yourself.”
The next day there was a brochure for online classes through the local community college in my mailbox and I registered for my first writing class. Of all things, I took a class about how to write romance novels. The class was the first in a series of turning points, personal discovery, and an ever growing belief in both serendipity and faith.
The journey has been anything but smooth (just ask my parents). It turns out that the road to happiness isn’t paved with lemon drops and rainbows; it also has a fair share of obstacles, challenges, and disappointments. I’ve learned that happiness has more to do with how we choose to handle the obstacles and not that life is without them.
I now cook for one, report to myself (and my business is thriving), and have gotten back in touch with my creative side. I don’t know what the future holds and I know there will be joyful times and difficult times; I hear that’s called life. :). I do know that I’ve never been happier and even the most difficult things I faced in my past have helped to shape me and it’s because of them I am where I am today.
I used to wonder if I could experience happiness and it turns out the choice was mine all along. It will be interesting to see where I am 5 years from now and it’s amazing to feel like I’m headed in the right direction after having been lost for a very long time.