Embracing What Makes You Happy (Part 1?)

There has been a lot of negativity in my past couple of posts. Partly because I’ve been hit with the most intense depressive phases I’ve ever had to deal with, I was learning to finally be comfortable with certain good-byes, and how to say them without having to rid those people from your lives entirely. To shorten this, I’ve been going through a process. A process I’m still in, but I do believe I am taking some lessons from it truly to heart. And the main idea I’ve been really flirting with as of late is the idea of just accepting myself for what I am and more importantly, being absolutely honest to myself about what it is I am feeling and what it is that makes me happy, sad, depressed, jealous, whatever it is– Just whatever makes me feel. And to not end up repeating myself for the umpteenth time, that’s essentially what I have been doing in the past posts. Accepting and being honest about well in those cases the negative feelings. I didn’t want to hide from feeling them, and though I didn’t want to feel a lot of these things I was feeling I knew I had to, otherwise those feelings would keep coming back and I certainly didn’t want that, so that’s what I did.

Now that’s happened, that’s freed up some emotional energy I was severely lacking before and I have been able to try and accept other emotions and thoughts I’m feeling as well now that I’m seeing things a little more clearly. More specifically, what is it that makes me happy? I was happy for a good bit the past couple of months, but the issue is a lot of that happiness stemmed from my relationship. In fact most if not all the positive emotions I had felt during that time I associated solely with this person/this relationship. Talking to them, seeing a good morning text message, that first second when we start a call and the first thing I saw was their smile and excited face to see me after a long day of work– it’s things like this that drowned me in euphoric glee incomparable to any other aphrodisiac. Though that’s sort of the problem. That is mostly the only thing that made me happy, the highs were real high during this time but again so were the lows. And in usual fashion it takes me forever even to begin my point, I have been on the prowl now that I don’t have that crutch I had been relying on, for what is it that makes me happy. Like actual genuine happiness, and not just a pleasant distraction as most of my hobbies lately have been.

And I may have found something.. or at least something that makes me happy right now. I can discount my interests as having fluctuating moods ends up in fluctuating identities and interests so this may not always be something that I enjoy, but until that shift comes I’m going to embrace the living shit out of it, that’s for sure. That something is musical theater. To some people that might not be a surprise, I’ve obsessed over several different musicals throughout the past several years (Next To Normal, Heathers, Wicked, hell even Crazy Ex Girlfriend as well), but I felt there was always a reason I liked it that was separate from the musical itself. It was often more to do with the experience of watching it with people I loved, or just having shared/introduced to me by someone I loved and cared about. And THAT’S what really stuck with me, but I often discounted my enjoyment of musical theater and those musicals because of the reasons I had for liking them or the different associations I’ve made to them. However rewatching Crazy Ex Girlfriend and repeatedly watching the songs on youtube ended up getting me suggested “The Guy Who Didn’t Like Musicals” and since then I have been in love with most, if not all, of the other musicals that both they, Starkid, and group consisting of similar members, Tin Can Bros, have produced and very graciously uploaded to youtube in professional quality. Not that bootleg shit I’ve had to suffer through with my past musical experiences. I can go on and on about how much I love some of these musicals, but I’ll probably save that for a later post.

What I’ve taken from discovering these musicals, and loving just about every single one of them is well the obvious one; I really love musicals and watching them brings me joy and Starkid and co are fantastic. Singing musical songs though.. this is something I am realizing gives me a true high like no other. I already knew I enjoyed singing, or at least that it felt nice to do when I was in the comfort of my car or anywhere where I’m sure no one can hear my awful singing voice. It was mostly with punk-rock songs, or my favorite Sidney Gish song of the week but with this new library of musical songs I’ve added to my playlists I’ve noticed I get so much more joy out of really belting out those long notes, staying on key while also maintaining the pitch of the song for exorbitant periods of time, and following along with the weird rhythm with the more energetic and fun musical songs. Something about getting into character and singing my heart out just makes me happy like very little has before. I’m wanting to actually take some vocal coaching so when I sing it doesn’t sound absolutely putrid, but also to give myself more confidence to sing aloud these songs. The idea is if I can burst into song and sing out loud my favorite musical songs then the thought of simply just talking to new people, or people in general, isn’t going to seem as terrifying comparatively.

I think I love doing this so much because it is easy to just wipe away all your current feelings, any past worries or bullshit just absolutely disappears as you go into this new “musical” persona and in musicals life just feels a lot more gleeful. It’s something small, and that happiness doesn’t last very long but it is something that I know I enjoy so I’m going to enjoy the shit out of it while it still interests me. In this and others aspects of my life I’m becoming more comfortable just allowing myself to enjoy what I enjoy and be more truthful to myself about what it is I don’t like or whatever disinterests me. I suppose I was tired of not knowing what it is that I liked, what really makes me happy. Other than going, “Oh sometimes I like coding. Or watching movies is nice and a nice distraction from thinking about how much easier things would have been for everyone involved if I simply didn’t exist.” That’s what this search has been (mostly) about. Finding what makes me happy, and it’s not going to be a process that ever finishes but the less that I need to find any of this happiness in another person I think the better equipped I will be to accept that kind of happiness when it does come. Instead of sabotaging it like I’m used to.

Also I’m preemptively titling this part one as I’m sure I will soon find more things that make me happy and be more comfortable letting that happiness also come from a person/relationship. And maybe this post “series” will also be about me learning more about myself and gaining a more confident sense of identity. That’s the hope at least.