Journals are important. The mind distorts memories, it twists and changes the truth of what happened as soon as it happened. Every time we recall that memory we save over the former memory with a newer, updated version of how we remember it. Of course, we are also the greatest source of bias. We only remember things the way we saw it happen.
I like looking back and seeing how my life has changed every year, every few months or so. Sometimes it is striking how little changes. Sometimes I wonder how I ever made it to where I am now.
I was reading through my journal for last February and I found that I used the same phrase more than once, and some combination of that idea in almost every post. I am happy but I ache [february 14th, 2013] I was happy but … [february 15th, 2013]
Thinking about parts of my life as storybooks that open and close is helpful in moving forward and becoming stronger. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how people will rationalize the faults of their relationships. I am happy except for these very important things that are completely unchangeable. I spend a lot of time on reddit in r/relationships and it’s echoed frequently there as well. I am so happy and love my partner very much and they are great for me except actually theres this huge problem I have that cannot be fixed. Maybe if I just wait, maybe it will be different, I like them so much, I’ll figure it out.
Why is it that we can say “I am very happy and totally satisfied” and “but I have been hurt, and my relationship is actually making me unsatisfied” in the same sentence? Why is it that I look back and see “I’m happy, but“ with such frequency?
I think that it can be difficult to realize that you are unhappy if nothing in your world has changed except you and what you want. Maybe you’re confused. These things used to make me happy, why don’t they make me happy anymore? Maybe you bundle up the things in your life as a happiness package (noun) and expect that happiness package to carry out the experience (adjective) of happiness. It worked before, shouldn’t it work now? But then it doesn’t and that’s confusing because you think you’re happy. You must be happy. You have all the things that made you happy before.
I think about this a lot for couples in their 20s or 30s who are going through exceptional shifts in life goals, or life plans, and their wants and desires are changing. What do you do when what used to make you happy makes you go “… but.” Where do you take that hesitancy? How do you differentiate between the need for change within a relationship and the need to end a relationship? How can we stop delaying our happiness as soon as we realize we are unhappy?