IE Is Happy

Gone are the self-recriminations and obsessive guilt over not blogging enough, or not writing engaging content. Certainly some regularity in posting would be nice for readers, but I’m not going to feel poorly about not being able to deliver that. I’m so happy these days, and I’m not going to let any absurd self-imposed standards get in the way of that happiness.

Also gone are the days of strict life-planning (for now). I’ve lots of thoughts and directions about the far-off future, but for now I am going to devote myself to health, to work, to school, to art and to my circle of people. To who and where and what I am right now.

At the end of undergrad I was doing a great job with health and fitness but slowly (and definitely surely) a desk job, long hours and a lack in personal drive contributed to a backslide. So starting this month I am going to be more conscious of my food (going back to that veggie-centric focus in cooking I had for a while, and cutting back on wheat as well as processed foods) and striving for consistent exercise. I’ve started marking it off on my chore chart again. I’ll be checking in on here too, so do hold me accountable. I’m doing this because I’m starting to notice that when I eat unhealthy foods I don’t feel well, and also I want to build up physical stamina so that I can take full advantage of this area. I miss how active I was as a kid–camping, hiking, swimming and biking used to be what our family would do for recreation and I want to be able to not only do all of those activities, but take it up a notch and go backpacking and kayaking and adventuring!

As an adult I’ve had a tough time balancing work, art, life, friends and all I want to do. I think this is normal and as I will always have a million interests I shall always have this problem as well. You may remember that back in January I wanted to do a better job of engaging socially and getting out of my one-person cocoon. I would like to report back that I think I have been quite successful in this area. So successful, in fact, that I’ve even noticed myself getting lonely on the weekends (and to be honest weeknights) when I don’t have any social time planned! Yes, me, lonely.

I’ve got to tell you, after 23 years the All-About-Emilie Show is getting pretty old.

So what have I been doing? (I shall now contradict the above statement by continuing to talk all about myself). If you follow my social media you’ll know that I coordinated the SMU Alumni Sand in the City Team (I’m on the Alumni Board). We made a giant Bigfoot going to school. To be fair, I helped with the pound up but I was unfortunately not much of an asset in the carving portion. I pick up most art forms pretty quickly so it was a shock to my system that I might quite possibly be the worst sand carver ever. My mind doesn’t function that way. I can build, but I can’t carve. Strange, huh?

Yesterday I spent the morning having coffee, then I went downtown and sat for a few hours around Capitol Lake sketching. After sweating and covering my fingers in charcoal I nipped on over to Radiance for some motherwort as well as a couple of delicious aromatherapy candles. I chose “balance” and “harmony” and highly recommend both. There is apparently some sort of festival going on this weekend called Harbor Days at the downtown marina. I did a quick walk-through and from what I could tell there were a lot of vendors and a couple of boats that you could visit. I didn’t stay there long. But! Oh! I totally aced the “back-in” parking by the lake! Maybe next I’ll be brave enough to practice my parallel parking in public…

I’m also taking Family Systems Therapy this term as my first MAC class. I’m glad I started out with this class because while systems therapy is quite different than individual therapy, it’s a great jumping off point to recognize the patterns in my own family interactions. I’ve only had one class so far but we started by reading a couple of books for the first session. The shifting dynamics between the “case studies” covered in the books were very interesting because they very closely mirrored status exercises in theatre. I’m getting so excited about the possibility of combining theatre and therapy, and eventually focusing my scholarship on art and therapy.

In addition to admitting to myself that I love living in this area, I have also come to terms with the fact that I want to stay in higher ed forever and ever. Some bosses of mine may be laughing and saying “I told you so” right now but I shall ignore such childish behavior and open myself up to all of the possibilities in this field. Yes, I definitely want to teach as well as continue on in administration (most likely eventually moving out of enrollment) and yes I do plan to perform and practice therapy and write and teach and work all at once. I can do it all. I’ve always done it all. It’s ok to do it all. I’m going to anyway, but thanks to some advice passed on to me, I’m teaching myself that I’m going to do it my way anyway so rather than flailing around and feeling guilty about it before breaking down I should just do it my way from the beginning and be happy.

It seems to me that a lot of people don’t value happiness very highly. Professional success, sure. Money, definitely. But happiness? A lot of people seem to do without. I’m not ok with not being happy. Of course I will go through moments and seasons of unhappiness, but even at my most troubled there is an underlying happiness (not just contentment!) that I believe is found by living in the present and having faith that life will work out. In my experience it always has.

In my case life seems to have done much more than just “work out”. It is glorious.

Have a delightful September, and I’ll check in as I have things to report.

Be happy.


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