I’ve been reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin off and on for the past two weeks. I’m only about two and a half chapters in but the book is already making a real impact in the way that I think about things (Wow how lame and generic does that sound…). While I’ve been learning a lot and I should be taking notes, there’s one point in the book that has really resonated with me above the others.
Gretchen creates twelve commandments, which are essentially principles, that she would be following for the next year to make keeping her resolutions a bit easier. There are some great commandments and you should pick up the book if you have a chance and read over them all, but the one that really hit a nerve with me was the first one. BE GRETCHEN. Now when I read over the list of commandments for the first time I simply skimmed them and I thought that was enough, but then I went back after reading the next few pages and really read through the list. Many of the principles jumped out at me but Be Gretchen was really getting into my head.
The third chapter is where Gretchen decided what her career move would be and there’s a point that she realizes she’s not really interested in her current career and wants to make a change. (Spoilers?) She decides to become a writer. Which really shocks her and she wonders how she never made the connection between her hobbies of reading and writing and actually making a career out of it. She places a quote by Erasmus in this portion of the book that really made me think. The quote was “The chief happiness for a man is to be what he is.” Wow.
Gretchen then says that its always really hard for her to be herself and that she’s even noticed herself pretending to like activities that she’s actually not really interested in. She says, “I ignored my true desires and interests.” WOW.
She even points about the phenomenon of fake it till you make it and how at a certain point you might be faking it too much and become trapped by activities that don’t really interest you and leave your actually passions and interests behind. WOWWW.
Gretchen get out of my head!
I’m at this point in my life where I don’t think I really know who I am? I have a basic idea but I feel that there are aspects about myself that I’ve brushed under the rug out of fear of judgement and essentially wanting to conform to the norm. For example, I was entrapped by Kpop during my high school years but I didn’t really bring it up a lot or express my fondness for certain bands because I felt that it wasn’t really the norm. So, I slowly moved away from it and I didn’t look back on it for a while but then I slowly realized that I essentially gave up on something that made me really happy.
I’m also suppressing myself when it comes to the clothes that I wear. I’ve definitely been wearing clothes that make me happier these days but some days I’ll get dressed in such a bland outfit that doesn’t make me happy because its the trend right now. I really miss wearing colors. I love the color red and I’m slowly putting it back into my wardrobe! Wearing red makes me super happy.
I haven’t been watching movies that I really like either. I’ve really started to watch movies that I want to watch a lot more these days. I love weird movies! I’m going to watch more weird movies! Sign me up for the weirdest shit! Strange movies are fascinating and I’d rather watch them then another damn super hero movie.
It was uplifting to read that someone else understands the idea of not being yourself and that its something that you can slowly make changes to. I’m ready to make those changes and figure who I really am.
Here’s to my one commandment of the year. BE SANJA