Finding ‘Happy’

The further and further away I get from the person I used to be, the more I find myself questioning everything around me. I embarked on this journey of self-discovery and acceptance last year, one that has certainly stopped and started again, but it’s kind of never-ending in that I’m always changing. What made me happy a year ago wouldn’t necessarily tickle my jimmies now; what threw me in a downward spiral might only slow me down, or perhaps wouldn’t affect me at all.

For a person as attached to routine as I am, trying out new things has been a pleasantly surprising bonus in my life today. I cling to things harder the more unsure I am of them, turning me into a neurotic control freak sometimes even at the best of times. So letting go of all of that and letting myself just be who I am has been, well, fucking hard.

A year ago, I went through a pretty rough time. A lot of it was documented here, but a lot more of it was documented in long-winded Facebook messages and passive aggressive memes now popping up on my Timehop. I’m embarrassed for myself a year ago, but I also feel a lot of love for that me. That pain has had lasting damages – say hello to the woman completely incapable of finding a man “good enough”, the woman with regular re-occurrences of acid reflux every time she has to tell someone she loves them – but my god am I so much further away from that broken, sad person today. I can admit that I’m scared, lonely, angry, or sad to someone, even if that someone is myself.

It’s really funny how sometimes you don’t realize how little love you have for yourself until you are forced to find it on your own. I have a lot of anger, but also a lot of love for the person who (accidentally) caused this explosion inside of me. Without him, I don’t think I could’ve ended up being who I am today or feeling the way I do about myself.

Oh, there’s that acid reflux again. You’d think it’d get easier to tell people you love and appreciate them, especially when it’s encouraged, but holy shit is it not. Love is scary!

Funnily enough, I didn’t mean to write much about love, but I feel like it and happiness go hand in hand. When I fill my life with love, all kinds of love, I’m infinitely happier. Sometimes I think it’s easier to cut myself off and work on myself (without you or anyone else’s help, damnit!), but nothing can grow in such a stark, lonely environment. I’ve both started and stopped, then started again, then stopped again, then started again my journey to “try new things” for 2015. Ironically, when I started seeing someone again was when all those fun new things started to quickly fall off my radar. Sitting here now, I realize that it’s due (mostly) to a horrible inability to master finding balance in my life.
But so far this year I’ve tried countless new workouts, fallen in love with spin classes, tried my hand at meal planning (with some success), traveled to a city alone for pleasure and spent the day there (helloooo Arlington), lost like eight pounds, opened up to strangers, stood up for myself, and walked alone into a crowded room more times than I can count. And I hate hate hate doing that.

I never realized how far from happy you can put yourself trying to make others happy. I’ve also come to accept that I can’t force others to see their own unhappiness, whether real or perceived by me. All I can do is worry about my own. And I mean, jeez, I get one life, why would I want to be anything but?

– a.

The alternative title to this was dirty.

No really, I just laughed so hard I almost fell out of my chair. And then deleted it because probably next to nobody else would find it as funny as me. Hola amigos/amigas! It is officially summer weather here in Maryland, and I can’t get enough. I walked almost five miles on Monday (great exercise) just to be outside. Of course, my hips were sore the next day and my face and shoulders were burnt but it was well worth it. I’m hoping to keep that regimen up though, walking 4-5 miles at least a few times a week. I’m thinking that if I do, it’ll start building the much needed strength in my hips to make me a more solid runner.

I have plans, I really do.

So, I have a few entries that have built up and are lined up for this week. Today I’m focusing on a problem I dealt with over the past couple weeks: Eating out. Please feel free to imagine all of the titles I could’ve come up with for this entry. But it really has been a problem for me! Man-thing doesn’t really cook on his own much and usually when he’s hungry, he’s hANGRY and there’s just no time to plan things. I’ve stuck to not eating fast food, which I’m happy about because I really wanted to give all traditional fast food up, but restaurant eating is killing me. And it hasn’t been healthy: pad thai, barbecue pit beef, more barbecue, burgers with a fried egg, burritos with egg, cheese, and beef…Just thousands and thousands of calories. Of course, I was trying to be sneakily unaccountable and didn’t take photos of most of my said unhealthy meals but I figured telling you would be just the same. 

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Left: The vegetable panini in all it’s sprouty glory. Right: The fish and chips that I know were bad for me, but were so good I just couldn’t care. Bottom: Roasted red pepper and gouda soup – probably my biggest weakness in life.

In fact, what I did end up with, are a few photos of things that are good eating out foods. For example, one of my favorite coffee shops (local business!) has a vegetable panini that is to die for. I mean, oh yes. Pure vegetable heaven with none of that condiment crap and a nice piece of Meunster cheese = happy camper Alyssa.  I need to find more places that if need be, I can get a quick meal without wanting to cry over my “Lose It” app afterward. Also, I’m finding that the 1,200 marker is a lot harder for me to keep to now than when I lived alone. It’s frustrating though, because like you can see in the top right, one night I gave in and ordered Fish and Chips. Don’t get me wrong, these were probably the best Fish and Chips I’ve ever had in America, but they go completely against the lifestyle I’m trying to set for myself.

So basically, I’m looking for a medium that when I spend a lot of time with Man-thing, he doesn’t have to completely change his lifestyle (though, he has mentioned he’d like to spend less on food) and I don’t have to gain 13 pounds and spend all of my meager earnings on meals I regret later. One of my favorite body builders wrote down all of the foods she craved while she was training for a show. Now, I’m not trying to become a female body builder by any stretch of the imagination, but maybe writing down the craving would help me identify when I get them…and then find a solution.

I will say, I went to Wegman’s for the first time ever (I KNOW RIGHT) for Girl’s Day, which will have it’s own special post as soon as I finish PicMonkeying all the things, and probably committed some kind of felony on the vegetarian hot bar. I don’t…I don’t even have words. So many options. I honestly could eat vegetarian 95% of the time. I was one for seven years but it was a healthy vegetarianism, not really. A lot of carbs and crappy Iceburg lettuce salads in high school.

How do you manage eating out when you’re trying to follow a balanced lifestyle?

What are your biggest food cravings?

What is your favorite ‘healthy’ place to eat out?

I’ll try to have a second post up this evening!

– a.