Are you happy?
Every few months Sam asks me this question. I always tell him yes. I have an amazing, loving, and supportive partner in Sam, I have two perfect, healthy children, I have no debt or financial worries, and I feel creatively inspired and fulfilled in my writing career.
And yet, I feel stressed out all the time. Lately it’s felt especially overwhelming, like my to-do list gets longer and longer and there’s no way to accomplish everything I want to accomplish on any given day.
I’m in a unique and privileged position that I don’t have to make money because Sam makes plenty to support our family, which means I get to do, literally, whatever I want.
Therein lies my predicament. I don’t know what I want.
I spent most of my life trying to both support myself financially and make others proud of me. Now that there’s no pressure to make money I still tie my self-worth to what others think of me. There’s a strong motivator to do things just so I can make others happy and be recognized for it.
Instead of asking myself what I want to do, I ask other people what they think I should do. When people told me I should coach field hockey because I was good with kids and had so much experience, I thought that meant I had a responsibility to coach field hockey.
But when I commit to things because other people tell me I’m good at those things, the high I feel is short-lived. It can’t last if I don’t also love what I’m doing. Which is why I finally quit coaching after eight years.
The stress and pressure I’ve been feeling lately is self-inflicted. Any deadlines or commitments I have I’ve created for myself because that’s what I said I wanted to do.
So yes, I’m happy. But a more important question is, What do I really want to do, and why?
Five months ago I wrote an essay about my Dad.
When I shared the essay on Twitter, it got 13 likes.
Yesterday I turned the essay into a thread and this happened:
Once it started gaining traction, I added another tweet to let people know about my newsletter.
So welcome to 138 new subscribers!!!
Episode 7 of the podcast is out!
I’m obsessed with sleep training Layla and desperately wish it was a straightforward process but I’m pulling my hair out over here! Sam and I recap our visit from my parents (mostly good but I always have complaints), and Sam gets into the nitty gritty of how his fund is doing (not well).
Until next week,