Happiness as my Birthright

Growing up, all the families I had around me seemed like the typical “happy family” . Mom and Dad still together, in a mostly healthy relationship, good jobs, nice home, kids running around. As a kid, I really thought that is how most people lived. Except for the poor malnourished African children you see on television, people in the West, to me, all had nice homes and nice parents and were able to be carefree and play soccer and have big birthday parties. 

I thought I would grow up and meet the man of my life, get married, a nice house, a good job helping others, and have 2 or 3 cute blond kids that love their momma. I thought that was my destiny and my birthright. 

I turned 21, and I was quite on track: engaged to my high-school sweetheart and almost done with my Master in Psychology. But something was really strange: it absolutely didn’t feel how I thought it would feel. I wasn’t happy or fulfilled, or even satisfied. I felt empty and trapped. And bored. My fiancé was a very kind and smart man and we got along great. I had very good grades in college. Friends. Money my parents were sending me every month. But I grew more and more not to be able to stand it. 

Was something wrong with me? I thought: that must be because I haven’t met The One, my bad. I broke up with my fiancé. 

I graduated from college feeling drained and stressed by my time spent in hospitals trying to help patients and feeling like I failed miserably to make any difference. Seems like a well-payed job "helping others" wasn’t working as well…was something wrong with me?

I thought: that must be because being a psychologist wasn’t the right fit, it’s ok, I’ll find something else and resume on my tracks. 

From then on, years passed and I started to feel like my compass was broken or something. Despite my best attempts at getting it all together, it seems like the life I “was destined to” kept slipping off my fingers every time I thought I had grasped it. From one job to another, one man to another, somehow things kept crumbling in front of my eyes, despite all my efforts.

The day I turned 30, I had just moved in a new city where I barely knew anybody. I was freshly divorced, job-less, broke and very angry at life. 

Why was it not working?! Who had given me a broken compass that always led me to dead-ends and broken hearts? It must have been God. So I was angry at God. Big time. 

These past couple years were so filled with healing and wisdom that it feels like I learned more in the past 24 months than in my previous 30 years. To the point of wondering: what if my compass was never broken?  What if it always worked, but it was just pointing to something else than I thought I needed and wanted? What if the life I’m guided towards was never meant to be as I envisioned it as a kid? 

If that’s the case, I can imagine how many times I tried to swim against the current, making Life’s Work more difficult with my resisting and controlling. 

The environment I was born in, as great as it was, was just that: what I was born in. Just as bad childhood doesn’t have to determine your destiny, my great childhood doesn’t determine who I should become. Maybe I’m destined for something different, that doesn’t look like anything I have known. A new path. Imagine not having any standards or criteria as to what life is supposed to look like to “get it right"! That means that, actually, I can’t fail at this! Whatever I do and try, I can never fail. Failure only happens when you fail to meet a standard. What if there is no standard anymore? Then every moment can become a win. Just because it happened. And I’m doing perfect, no matter what I feel.

I like that.