Throughout my life, I've often heard something to the order of "live how you want to live, and everything that is good will come from that."
Which to me always sounded like a bad idea. Even at a very young age (elementary, if I'm not mistaken). I didn't take the words of an adult as Gospel Truth.
Adults were often wrong. I realized this, even then. And if they're wrong on other things, they could be wrong on this. And if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
Live how you want to live. Be who you are. Do this one thing and everything will be good. It will be okay. But it isn't. People live in bad situations. There are bad people out in the world…
It couldn't be true. It can't be true.
However, there are people who say these things. There are people who believe it. And these people have nothing to gain by telling you so.
There's no money involved. They can't profit from it. They gain nothing by trying to tell me that if I stay true to myself I can weather any storm.
If they believe it so much that they're willing to give it to you as advice, despite having nothing to gain from it, then it must be true for them. It's worked for them, so hey, it could work for you!
I never believed it. I always steeled myself against bad shit happening in my life. I've always been ready to be content with wherever I am. To live in the moment. To enjoy life now, because you don't know what'll happen next.
I was playing it safe, from my perspective. And that's allowed me to be happy with who I am. To live how I want to live, because hell, that's the safest way to do things.
Now, I'm starting to notice great things happen in my life.
And yeah, I've had my lows in life.
I've been depressed, I've been frustrated, I've been sad. I have hurt. Hell, I've even felt despair. I've been in a state where I didn't think there was any hope left.
But now, I've started to notice my life is pretty awesome.
I have a job I love. I have a car that I wouldn't trade for anything else. I have a dog that I love and loves me back. I have great, steady friends. I have a family that will love and support me no matter what.
I have a great life.
And I attribute much, if not most of that to being who I am and loving who I'm being. I am living life as I would want to live it. And it's great.
And even now, I keep thinking, "if it's too good to be true, then it probably is."
It's a hard feeling to shake.
I don't want to be paranoid, but I feel like I need to play it safe and prepare myself for whatever bad thing might be coming...
…but it's hard to deny what's around me.
And as I look around at what's happening in my life, I'm also recognizing that by doing the things I love doing, I'm building a foundation in my life that guards against the things that have brought me down in the past.
I am exercising. I'm eating right. I'm relaxing when I feel stressed. I'm planning out my finances, I'm organizing my tasks. And I'm becoming more efficient at what I do every day.
I'm getting better at it.
I wonder if this is sustainable growth and I realize that it doesn't have to be.
I'm enjoying myself now, and I'm determined to enjoy myself, come what may.
When you can be happy eating a single can of beans every day for a week, sleeping outside, and peeing on flat rocks, you can be happy anywhere.
Now, I haven't done that specific combination all at once, but I've done each element individually and was perfectly content doing it.
In fact, the only time I haven't been content was when I wasn't achieving all the things I felt I could achieve.
The only time I haven't been content is when I wasn't being me. I wasn't realizing who I am, who I can be.
I hold myself to a really high standard, and it's because I know I can achieve it. I've always achieved it. I have always been a good person. Even if I haven't been doing the things I probably should be, my heart's been in the right place, and I've always fulfilled my obligations. The worst I've ever done has been falling short of what I might have been.
But if falling short of what I could have been then has gotten me to the much better place I am now, then hell, maybe it was in my best interest not to achieve what I could have then.
I might never have learned to be content with where I am instead of where I "should" be.
I may never achieve the multiple millions of dollars I think I might want to achieve, but I'll be happy and content slumming it with people I barely know in a country I've never been to, eating food that's completely unfamiliar to me, and sleeping under a sheetmetal shingle to keep the rain off.
That's an awesome place to be.
I have lived how I wanted to live, and it's worked for me. Maybe it could work for you!