The other day I was thinking about this New Year’s Eve. I stayed home alone. I was up in the loft of my tiny house, journaling and watching Bones or Buffy the Vampire Slayer – I can’t remember which, David Boreanaz is my favorite. I felt like I was missing out. It was a friend’s birthday and I wished I was with them. I wanted to be anywhere but home, by myself. I even went to bed early, and the only reason I was awake at midnight was because the neighbor’s fireworks were so loud that they woke me up. They were pretty cool fireworks, I went to the window and took a video – which I posted to Instagram the next day. Social media helps us hide the truth. See why I’m not on Facebook.
That night was one like many I have had adjusting to life on my own. The past few months have been pretty lonely. I’ve I have spent many days feeling low. Some nights my whole body ached because I felt so alone. I honestly didn’t know what to do. It is not my personality to go out to meet new people, so moving to a new town made me feel isolated. Back home I always had someone to hang out with because I had so much family close by.
With this feeling of loneliness, I had a “wait a second moment”, I wrote a post almost exactly two years ago about called Being single, not lonely. Now this was not my best work, but I think I made a good point. You cannot look for someone else to fulfill your needs. Looking back through old blog posts, I feel a little bit proud of insightful young Becca.
Here I am two years later, feeling lonely again. After reading that post I realize that it is not because I am living by myself that I feel so alone. It is because I have relied on the support, love and comfort of others to make me happy for so long, that I neglect to find ways to bring joy into my own life.
Yesterday I turned 23. The day before my birthday as I drove home from work I decided, that I wanted to celebrate whether or not anyone was there with me. I went to the dollar store and picked up some streamers and some balloons. At the grocery store I bought fancy lemon cupcakes and flowers. It may sound kind of silly to decorate for your own birthday, but it was kind of fun hanging up streamers and thinking up birthday wishes.
I’ve decided 23 is going to be a year to Create Joy. Instead of thinking – if only so and so were here, or when I get invited to such and such – I am going to find ways to bring joy into my own life. That way my expectations are only on myself, and any joy created during time spent with others will be an added bonus. Hopefully finding ways to take care of my own needs and create a joyful life will spill into interactions with others, and make spending time with friends and family will be even better!
(I did not end up having to spend my birthday alone, my family came down and took me and my new friend Lydia out to dinner. We had a great time!)
In what ways can you add joy into your own life? Should you buy yourself flowers, or another small treat?