Wednesday, 25 January 2017
On happiness and loving life
I'm not sure when I became so happy.
As a young child, I don't think I was someone about whom people said "Oh, she's such a happy little child." I wasn't unhappy either, but if anything I was probably described as bossy rather than happy. Lol.
It must've started in my late teens then. Perhaps.
For now people often describe me as happy. Or optimistic. Or positive. Or enthusiastic.
When I left my last job (did I tell you about that yet? I'll get on to it, bear with), a lot of the messages in my leaving card thanked me for always being smiley and jolly. But the thing is, I didn't realise I was any smilier or jollier than anyone else.
Similarly, kind blog readers I don't even know sometimes message me saying they really appreciate my enthusiasm for everything I write about, but I never try to be enthusiastic - it's just how I am.
And whilst I accept that enthusiasm and happiness aren't the same thing, I do believe they're linked.
I love my job, my life in London, my family and my friends. I'm very lucky.
Back on my year abroad, I remember thinking I was so happy and would probably never be happier, but I was wrong. I had the same thought during my final year of uni, and yep, I was wrong again. It happened last year too. Maybe life just keeps getting better.
So yeah my job - if you didn't know, I've been a Lifestyle Writer at The Independent since November, and I couldn't love it more. (Oh my god, I'm literally annoying myself, I'm so sorry).
Literally all I do is talk to interesting people, learn fascinating things, have fun experiences, and write about it. They pay me to do that. It's mad! Journalism is literally the best job in the world in my eyes.
It still blows my mind that I actually am a journalist - it was about 10 years ago I decided I wanted to become a journo, and I can't believe I legit am one now.
Inevitably people then ask if you enjoy your job, to which I respond "I LOVE it!" (out comes the aggressive enthusiasm). And people are often like, "Really?"
Apparently most people actually don't love their job, which is totally sad if you ask me. Such a shame. Whilst it can take a while to find something you truly love, life's too short to waste doing something you don't enjoy. (Vom, I'm so cringe.)
I'm also v lucky to have such wonderful, friendly, fun colleagues - even the best job in the world would be unbearable if you had to do it with awful people.
So job satisfaction gets a huge tick right now, but my home life does too, which is awesome.
I live with two girls - Maddy and Jess - who, like me, are both 24, single, young professionals. We get on so incredibly well and I feel so lucky to have them. Isn't it just the best when you can come home knowing you'll have pals to laugh with when you want to, but also people who'll understand if you just wanna go to your room and watch Netflix/play on Tinder/write a blog post?
We live off prosecco and houmous and it's just ace.
The flat we share is in Brixton, and the longer I live here the more I love it. I am SO glad I live somewhere so vibrant, fun and exciting, and I genuinely think it's the ideal first home in London for me.
Sure, the rent is expensive because hello, London, and my room is a shoebox, but I am actually incredibly lucky with my rent compared to most Londoners. AND my landlord is a babe. How I have lucked out I do not know.
I'd hate to live in a location where I didn't have all the shops/cafes/restaurants/bars/clubs/transport links I could possibly need on my doorstep, PLUS the Victoria line is the one - so quick and all the best stops!
Living in London is a dream for me. Sure, Oxford Circus on a Saturday afternoon makes me hate all other human beings, but any time I walk anywhere in this city I fall in love with London even more and have to pinch myself that I live here.
It's not for everyone, but as far as I'm concerned, London is the best city in the world and there's no place I'd rather be right now.
And then there's the fact that about 90% of my friends live in London, which means I always have pals with whom to play. Plus, the non-Londoners tend to come visit pretty often too, yay!
I feel very lucky to have a wide circle of friends - I'm not someone who has one huge squad, but I have a very solid girl gang (you know who you are) and then a selection of fantastic individual friends whom I see on the regs too.
It's also super nice that everyone's now grown-up enough to come to social engagements (and I do like to host) where they may only know a couple of others and make new friends. Makes me v happy.
And you would be correct there, eagle-eyed reader. However to that I respond: don't care, mate. I have literally never been happier to be single.
A) being single is hella good fun. I can flirt with randoms, do whatever I please and swipe my way through dating apps when bored.
B) I don't need a romantic partner to make me feel complete or whatever. Like, I don't feel I need an "other half" because I'm already a whole (without coming across arrogant), if you see what I mean?
I am v open to a relationship which is why I do go on dates and stuff, but I don't need anyone. So if I don't meet anyone I actually like enough, off you pop, mate. Sorry but I'm only going to make time for someone in my life if I really like them.
Ngl, I am only at home one evening a week usually, and when I meet someone with whom I'd rather spend that evening than my flatmates or myself, FANTASTIC! But until that guy comes along, I'd rather spend that evening alone.
I'd love to fall in love because it looks really nice in La La Land (which I'm sure is a really realistic depiction) but I'm not desp, ya know?
I can almost imagine you reading this post and wanting to shoot me - am I coming across really annoying? I don't even know where I'm going with this but I suppose I wanted to talk about having zest for life in general, even if it's not all perfect.
I'm just having too much fun.
And I don't want this post to come across as 'Hi I'm Rachel I'm perfect and my life is perfect and you should all want to be perfect little me.' Because that is sooooo not the case. (For example I definitely eat and drink too much and don't exercise enough and go to bed too late blah blah blah yes mum I'm working on it.)
But I am a firm believer in the saying that what you put out to the world is what you get back - I truly believe that happy things happen to happy people.
I know that I have been extremely lucky in the card I've been dealt - how fortunate am I to have been brought up in a loving home and have such supportive family and friends around me? - so it's hard not to fear everything suddenly turning to s***.
But I don't think that will happen.
Bad things will happen, I know that - loved ones will pass, people will hurt me and things won't always be so rosy. But I plan to stay positive.
Do I fear being tarnished by old age though? A bit. Am I just enjoying the naivety of youth? Maybe. But I do seem to be generally cheerier than the majority of my peers.
I wish I could explain why though. I don't know.
We all have amazing things in our life, I think it's just a case of focussing on them.
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