I feel like I write a lot about happiness; pursuing it, appreciating it, coping with not having it...
But right now, I want to talk about the happiness that can come from "being your own houseguest."
What does it mean to have your shit together, for the sake of you?
If you read my last post "Let's Talk About... This Internship Thing," you'll know that I recently moved from Saint Paul, MN to Moorhead, MN (in the same metro as Fargo, ND). Personally, one of the toughest things I've dealt with in this move specifically is loneliness. And this tends to lead me to have a bad attitude. I default to thoughts like; Why keep my apartment nice and organized? It's not like anyone is going to see it, or Why put effort into cooking dinner? It's just me who's eating it.
So the other afternoon, it was my day off, and I'm lying in bed watching Netflix, clothes covering the floor because I hadn't really bothered to organize them since moving in, and phone in hand to order pizza, when I realized; I need to get my shit together. Living by standards that actually look like a lack of standards just because there's no one around isn't ok. Last year, I was going to have people over and I went and bought an end table because I didn't think they would want to use a crate. I didn't want to be using a crate. But it wasn't until I was about to have company over that that seemed to matter.
Why am I telling you this? Why am I unloading all of this seemingly confessional information? Because I'd be willing to bet money that at least one of you reading this can relate. We set our own lowered standard of living because it's just us... who's going to see it? We can't offend the guests we don't have. I want to tell you something you need to hear, and it's something I just recently realized:
We Deserve Better.
We deserve to live in a space we would proudly have company over to.
We deserve the peace of mind that comes with walking in the door and not being overwhelmed with a mess.
We deserve the kind of smooth morning we get when we don't have to dig through piles to find clothes for the day.
I honestly believe that the first step to finding happiness is not depending on others to create it for you.
The second step? Stop acting like you have your shit together like it's a part-time job!
I don't know about you, but my apartment never feels more peaceful than the day after I had people over. So why, after that, do we "clock out?" Why don't we find value in working hard to sustain a model of living in which we have our shit together for ourselves? Why do I go to grocery store and buy actual ingredients and work hard to make an interesting meal when I'm cooking for others, but have no problem eating cereal or ordering pizza when I'm by myself? Because deep down, I didn't think I was worth the same amount of effort that a guest is. We don't show ourselves hospitality in our own space, and I think that's kind of sad.
Once I realized this, I spent the weekend cleaning and organizing, as if I was expecting company. I actually vacuumed and lit candles and set my kitchen table... and I have to say, it felt really good to know that this is where I live. Now, I don't believe in miracle cures by any stretch of the imagination, but I have to say that overall I felt better the next week. There'a a certain kind of confidence that comes from knowing you don't have messy, disorganized, (kind of sad) separate identity where you live.
So go forth and vacuum friends!
You deserve it!
thanks for reading!