Oh, Valentine’s Day. The day we all love to hate and hate to love. Right? I was thinking about what I should write for the day and I realized that I’ve been keeping a post written in my head for a while and never really gotten around to sharing it. But today, it seems extra relevant.
I definitely grew up watching Disney movies and while I liked the princesses, I never found myself obsessed with them. The happily ever after thing never was appealing to me and I certainly never dreamed of finding a Prince Charming.
So while I never subscribed to this “happily ever after” dream, I do constantly (and I mean constantly) look to the future. My happily ever after was less about glass slippers and life-saving kisses, but more about checking off all these boxes on my list. This goal, that goal. Happily ever after was something that I felt like I was constantly chasing and, in the process, I realized that I wasn’t doing much living. To combat that, I adopted the phrase “Live Your Dreams,” which I repeat to myself over and over again in my head to remind myself to live in the presence to have a dream life every day.
It’s motivating, refreshing, and a surprisingly good stress-reliever. Tomorrow is simply tomorrow and the past is in the past. The present moment is all that matters.
And the real kicker is that all the present moments add up to equal your past and your future.
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t look to the future to make plans or avoid looking back in the past to learn lessons, but that should only be about 20% (roughly speaking). The majority 80% is all about making the right decisions and listening to how you feel right now.
Happily ever… as is.
With relationships in particular (romantic and friendships), I have found that frantically guessing what the future holds is the best and most efficient way to sabotage it. There’s something to be said about being happy in the moment and letting one moment turn into the next. Way less pressure and way more enjoyable.
When I seek that happily ever after feeling for myself, it’s almost always focused in some sort of career sense and the stress largely, if not entirely, falls completely on myself. But with relationships? We share that pressure. It really does take two to tango! From personal experience, I’ve found that once I ditch the “happily ever after” and adopt “happily ever as is,” it really is a lot happier. Why wait to be happy later when you can be happy now?
Looking back to where I was last February, it’s almost a complete 180 change. I definitely made more mistakes than I can count, but those mistakes were the best teaching points for me. And in fact, I can trace almost every single one of them to a forcing the happily ever after issue… instead of just being happily ever as is.
Let’s ditch the fairy tales and leave those to Disney and the princesses… Instead, let’s enjoy where we are (whether that’s single, in a relationship, in a complicated situation, in a gaggle, etc.) and be happy.