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Happiness…

Well here we are and I am at the end of my second week at school. I don’t hate it yet, which is a really good sign. I am actually enjoying all my classes and teachers as well. My fourth class is a late start, so that has yet to be decided how I feel about it, but I guess I’ll stay optimistic about it.

Thank you, by the way to the people who reached out to me about my previous post, it was greatly appreciated. Like I said, I don’t go looking for attention, if anything I want other people to feel comfortable with themselves and talking about the things that aren’t easy to talk about. I love you amazing, beautiful people.

The world has a crazy way of bringing us bad news and then following those events with lessons. My lessons from the passing of beautiful girl and depression is coming through the way of my English class. Of course, right? Well, anyways our focus is happiness. The first book we are reading from is called the Pursuit of Happiness. The cover is pretty cute, it has a basket full of puppies. Did you get that? A BASKET FULL OF PUPPIES. My teacher wasn’t impressed, but I find it funny, what’s better than a basket full of puppies, think about it. I’d take a basket full of puppies over a cup of coffee or even free tacos. That’s right, I said it, deal with it. Ugh, but really, I want a puppy, I want a golden retriever or lab. Anyways, so the pursuit of happiness. We are all on some sort of pursuit to find happiness and be happy. Me, I always say I’m going to Neverland. That’s my happy place, my thoughtful spot as Pooh Bear puts it. The first essay we read from was an excerpt from “How Happy Are You and Why?” by Sonja Lyumbomirsky. Honestly, it wasn’t my favorite thing to read and I feel like I didn’t get much from it. She focused A LOT on the scientific studies of why we are happy and how scientists try to determine why or why not we are happy. Some scientists believe we are born with the “Happiness Set-Point”. The Happiness Set-Point at birth is 50%, 10% of our happiness will be determined by life circumstances and 40% by Intentional Activity (I.E. what’s under our control). While that is definitely interesting, I’m not very certain that I can back that up 100% or agree with it. I don’t know if being a mom changes how I feel about it, but seeing my baby girl I couldn’t imagine her being born with anything less than 90% for her Happiness Set-Point. Leaving 10% for the other two. So much is out of her control and circumstances are hard to determine. In my opinion at least, but also I am no scientist, so who am I to say. Sonja also discussed how they believe genetics have a lot to do with it as well. They did studies on twins, both identical and fraternal, and no matter what was going on for both in their lives and where they were, they still felt the same about life which was pretty cool.

Celestino Fernandez gave a lecture at SRJC a couple years ago and our first assignment was to watch it and take notes on it. I loved his lecture and what he had to say about happiness and I recommend people to watch it. If, that is, you want some better understanding on happiness and discover that people have been studying happiness since the beginning of time. While he did talk a lot about statistics, he kept reinstating the fact that we have the ability to determine our happiness. We can change our current life circumstances, we can do so many things to help us become happier people. He said and studies have shown that social interaction, going outside, listening to your favorite music, being healthy, it all can lead to happiness. Fact, unhappy people watch 20% more television than the average people. Now, I know Netflix is changing the game a bit and we all have a binge day. But, what they are getting at is people who sit inside in front of a television for hours, every day, with no social interaction and don’t go outside and enjoy nature are unhappy. If you know me I completely agree that people change their intention activity. Circumstances can be hard to change, but they can be for sure to an extent of course. It took me a very long time to accept my demons and find my Neverland. So when I am around people complaining about mundane things or things that are easily fixed or attainable I get so irritated. Life is there and ours for the taking and some people just let it waste away, how awful.

I was 205 pounds people, I am the last person you want to tell that it’s hard to lose weight. I lost 45 pounds don’t tell me how hard it is, I know very well how hard it is…but I also know how fucking easy it is. I had someone who I love very much come to me and ask me for advice and that made me so happy. It’s not easy coming to terms and saying I want to make a change and asking people for help. That doesn’t make me irate, it’s when people talk about it and do absolutely nothing. Don’t be a “DNB” (do nothing bitch) as Ronda Rousey so kindly puts it. Don’t tell the single mom who was working full time that you don’t have time to work out. Don’t tell the woman who has two mouth to feed that’s it hard to buy, eat, and cook healthy food. I’ll give everyone that it is hard to cut out foods, but it’s totally do-able. And please don’t blame it on your heritage. I’m Italian, Spanish and Portuguese. My favorite foods consist of Italian and Spanish faire. I could eat tacos and pizza all day. It is so easy to make alternatives and it inspires me when my friends find healthy twists on some of my favorite foods. My sister, is a smoothie master and so incredibly good about drinking green tea. I try to get on her level, but I’m not there yet. Green Tea is taking some time for me to adjust to since I am not normally a tea drinker, but I’m getting there. My girl Jenna has been feeding me delicious and bomb-ass soups. Soup is so versatile and you can literally throw anything it and she does. Goddamn does she make soup like a goddess ha. Seriously though you can throw anything in a soup, like kale. Oh my god, kale in soup is so good and a great way to enjoy it if the taste is way too intense for you. Kate, makes sweet potato tacos and zoodles like a goddamn boss. Her spiralizing and cooking skills are out of this world. Momma Jenna & Kate, I’m hungry now! Ha-ha. Also when it comes to substituting foods, it is hard at first but you have to stick with it. When I first started taking away dairy for my diet (and diet as in what I eat on a normal basis, not diet for losing weight purposes) and my coffee drinks, it took a good 2-3 weeks before soy tasted semi normal. You can’t try something once or twice and then give up, did you give up riding a bike or tying your shoes because it didn’t click the first two times? No. Now you are, hopefully, a bike riding and shoe tying boss. Now I have switched to almond milk and find soy too sweet. Your taste buds and stomach will and do adjust, you just have to give it time. You put time into so many aspects of your life, your friends, family, and school. So I can’t wrap my mind around the thought of people not putting or taking the time to look at what they eat and see what changes they can make to be healthier all around.

The topic of being healthy came up a lot in the happiness discussion and I can back that up 100%. Not so much because I have lost weight, but because my overall health has improved. I have a healthier mind and look at my curves and love the shit out of them. I’ve grown to love my thick thighs and calves. I may not love my stomach, but I still appreciate my body because of the hard work I put into it. When you work incredibly hard at something the end results are so much better and satisfactory. You’ve pushed yourself further then you thought you could and pushed your body to do things you didn’t think it was capable of doing. Your body is a like a car, you have to take care of it or else you’ll run it straight to the ground. Even with my four year old, I have so much more energy than I did in high school. I honestly could sit here and talk about health has become such a part of my journey to being a much happier person and how it has helped fight my demons, but then I might really start to bore you. But either way, find your happiness people. It’s out there, it just isn’t going to come to you out of thin air.

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