I was recently asked, "What makes you happy?" At the time, I didn't have an exact answer, I sort of paused and responded with another question and my lack of response and ability to articulate myself has consistently been on mind since then.
Recently, I have been overwhelmed. (I know, you've heard this before but more than usual this time. As in, I can't really remember the last time I sat still.) I launched a college advising program last year for six former students and tonight is the deadline for early action applications to two popular choices; NC State and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I've been too preoccupied with editing essays, proof reading applications, and writing recommendations to notice much else going on around me. I teach religion at my church, I try to maintain a regular fitness schedule, I write this blog and have been very busy lately putting together some fun upcoming projects.
From an objective point of view, I realize that this does not leave me time to do things for me. Things that make me happy. But as I sit in my office writing this post and reflecting on the eight college applications that have been submitted in the past two days, I realized this is what makes me happy. It is the essence of who I am. I remember being in high school and dreaming of the day when I would simply go home after school and lay by the pool like some of my friends. Instead, I was always staying after for sports practice, clubs, after school labs, group meetings, volunteer work, and tutors. Then, I went to college where I thought it would all end and I would spend my afternoons and evenings watching Soap Net Happy Hour. It didn't take long before I was involved in intramural running, FeelGood, Greek Life, and took on research work. And now, here I am in the real world, living my adult life, and doing the same thing. I don't know how to be me without taking on so much that I constantly feel like I am on the verge of breaking. And while the middle parts can be stressful and not always so exciting, the end result is who I am and it is what makes me happy.
I truly believe that the purpose of my life is to live for others. (Not in the canonizing kind of way, because I still love my Louboutins and a good day at the spa.) I can't live my life and be happy with who I am if I am not constantly trying to make the world a better place.
While I don't have the cure for Ebola, I'm not sure how to stop ISIS, and I don't know how to bring peace to Ferguson, I can make a small difference through the life of these girls and others around me. While it is exhausting now, in a year from now when they are off to college, every deleted comma will all be worth it. I'm sure the overwhelmed-ness (not sure if that is even a word) is shown in my appearance and my lack of 8 hours of sleep the past few nights is demonstrated and my slightly sluggish pace these past few days, but please know that when I go to sleep at night and give my thanks, I am truly happy.
What makes you happy? I would love to hear.