I recently realized that I was putting too much of my heart into connections with people that would inevitably end more often than not. That’s when I discovered that there were more reliable things that I could fall in love with that wouldn’t let me down.
My career became just as important to me as a partner. I’ve always been passionate about my career, but I definitely imagined my future to include a steady romantic partner. However, I eventually came to the conclusion that I was OK with a life that completely revolved around my career. Society makes us think that a life alone is a life unfulfilled, but that simply isn’t true.
Finding time for a hobby wasn’t easy but it was necessary. Falling in love with my work was the first step to happiness, but I knew that I needed something more relaxed to focus my energy on. Finding a chill pastime that I wasn’t being paid for—watercolor painting, in this instance—actually made me more productive and creatively satisfied.
I fell in love with my own creations. Not only was I spending more time producing art and working on things that brought me joy, but I was also proud of myself for the things I created. I stopped being overcritical of my art and I started embracing it instead. That self-acceptance brought me a whole new level of fulfillment.
I realized that artists from the past would never let me down. It’s dangerous to fall in love with an icon or celebrity because (as we learned from the #MeToo movement) they’re human and will ultimately disappoint you. The great thing about authors, musicians, and movie stars that are already gone is that they can’t do anything now to change your perception of them. Falling in love with classic painters and poets gave me some much-needed emotional stability.
I’ve always enjoyed talking to people, but I learned that silence could be even better. It’s normal to crave human connection through conversation, but it’s also important to be comfortable with silence. Silence is an underappreciated gift and being alone is the perfect opportunity to absorb and take advantage of it. It gives you more time to think and a generally calmer perspective.
I took the time to notice nature. I knew that it was important to get outside and get some fresh air on a regular basis, but actually making time was easier said than done. When I eventually did make an effort to immerse myself in nature on the reg, I noticed a significant improvement in my overall mood. Plus, I realized that a sunset will only ever break my heart in a good way.
I discovered the healing power of music. I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve listened to the same 20 songs for the last 10 years. Expanding my taste in music was something that I never prioritized. However, I felt a lot better once I made a conscious effort to listen to music more regularly. There was also a huge difference between listening to music while I worked and simply closing my eyes and letting myself get lost in everything from French pop to Beach House.
I appreciated the little things. When I stopped focusing so much on others, I started focusing on the little things in life. I put more importance on dancing to my favorite record or baking my favorite dessert. It’s easy to get lost in the everyday craziness and forget to give gratitude for the small stuff.
The most important thing I learned was to love myself. It may sound cheesy, but when I wasn’t obsessed with my relationships with other people, I had a lot more time for self-care. The journey to self-love isn’t always easy but it’s so important for a happy life.
After I fell in love with the world, the world started loving me back. The more everyday things that I consciously appreciated, the happier I became. Once I started putting positivity out into the world, I started getting it back. I felt much less anxious and much more secure. Change in life is inevitable, and with change often comes heartbreak… unless you fall in love with things that will never change.
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