Happiness, and finding that happiness even when times are rough, can be one of the most difficult pursuits of life, but the absolute most important. Happiness means you’re doing something right, and keeps you going. It’s what most people strive for in life; more than love or friendship or family, because these things are just a means to the end of happiness.
My freshman year of college I suffered from a mild case of depression. I’d left all my friends behind in Virginia, where almost all of them stayed, and decided to go on a solo adventure to seek happiness. I went to North Carolina (UNCW) for the film program, but I had a tough time making friends. I wasn’t the typical college freshman, especially not the beach blonde southern belle that went to the Dub, and it was hard meeting other nerdy weirdos like me. Additionally, my father moved to Russia that same year, so I was going through a lot.
In LA depression found me again, as I hated the city, hated the “industry,” and wasn’t having any substantial luck with boys. When my freelancing work for Fox ended, that depression is part of what spurred me to move home.
Good thing I did, because home is where happiness finally found me.
A few years ago, I posted a list of 100 things that make me happy, which was a much needed list at the time, reminding me of the little things in life where I can find joy. While I’ve been steadily happy for the most part since, we all have our good days and our bad. In the beginning of January this year, I discovered the 100happydays project and decided once again to appreciate the finer things and turn those bad days into good ones.
For those who don’t know, the 100happydays project is simple: take a photo a day of something that makes you happy, and post it to instagram, twitter, facebook, etc. It’s not a challenge amongst friends, but one with yourself. The social media aspect is just a good way to keep track and keep you accountable. Then, once you’ve completed the 100 days, you can donate to the foundation, upload your photos, and receive a book of your happy photos.
Even though some days were extremely difficult, and some days I was scrounging around trying to figure out what to take a photo of, I completed the challenge (with day 40 represented two days in a row… 101happydays is more like it!).
You can find my photos HERE, and I encourage everyone to take part in the challenge. Only you can make yourself happy, and here’s a great way to start figuring out how.