Photographs and Memories

I was conversing with a good friend earlier tonight, and we got on to the subject of photographing events or milestones in our lives. I commented that one of the things I truly feel sorry about for our children is that with the ease of digital photography, they’re no longer really living life so much as they are on the quest to make sure evidence is captured on film. “Pics or it didn’t happen” is a refrain heard all too often. What happened to actually experiencing things and enjoying them; building the memories in our heads?

As a child of the 80s (born in ’75) I had a nifty little 35mm camera to take pictures with. Film was treasured because it was expensive to begin with, you were limited to 24 or 36 shots, and then you had to pay to have them developed afterwards. I always tried to make sure that every single frame counted, and there was that wonderful element of surprise getting to see the photos you took days, weeks, months, sometimes even years prior once the roll was finally developed. It was like an extra Christmas or birthday present. Admittedly, a lot of the photos didn’t turn out great because I was a kid and hadn’t developed the skill yet to master a perfectly composed shot, but even those oddly formatted, sometimes blurry photos could always resurrect the moment in time when they were taken.

Photography today is easy. That’s not to say that professional photography is easy – it definitely isn’t – but amateur photography is completely mind numbing now. You’re dressing up and going out with friends? Take at least a dozen shots of you and your friends (from at least as many mobile phone cameras as there are friends) and then winnow them down later. Perhaps jump on Instagram and add a filter and crop it in a specific way to make it look artsy. Boom! Instant memories! But are they really?

We shouldn’t be recording every moment of every day to store in some digital archive to likely be ignored for the rest of our lives. We should be focusing on the moments as we’re going through them, and the memories will stay in our minds. I’d say 90% of the photos I see online are perfectly posed, and I’m guessing that there are dozens, if not hundreds, of “failed” photos before the “perfect” photo gets posted. We’re not perfect people. At least, I’m not. I recently looked back through the wedding pictures of my friends Ashley and JV from December 30, 2012 and out of all the photographs from that night, the ones that make me smile the most and bring back the happiest memories are the goofy, unplanned shots where we’re having fun instead of trying to look wonderful. Most of the time, I wasn’t even aware that there was a camera on me while I was basking in the happiness of two incredible people celebrating their love for one another. (And for the record, Ashley couldn’t look bad in a photo if she tried)

When I was younger and actually went to live concerts, I was there to listen to and support the musicians that were playing, whether it was a huge stadium concert or a jam session in a dive bar. If you go on YouTube, there are thousands of videos of people attending concerts with their mobiles held high in the air, recording the event for posterity. I can’t say that I’ve ever taken a single photograph at a concert, but I can remember every detail of every single concert I went to, because I was immersed in the moment.

The “must record everything” mindset crosses over to the most basic experiences during a day. If a sudden fight breaks out, or someone falls and hurts themselves, the new reaction is to whip out the mobile and get a recording to upload, hoping that you’ve just caught the next viral video. I won’t say all, but many people would rather film a crime or impending disaster rather than stepping up to try to assist or avert.

Sorry, this is kind of turning into a rant about photography, and that’s not what I was really meaning to do. I want my son to have happy memories with me, because I don’t get to see him nearly enough. Yes, I could splurge and buy him whatever the newest trendy whatever out there, but that’s just a thing, and he’s going to lose interest in it and it will eventually get sold, or lost, or hidden away in a corner someplace where it won’t be thought of again. Instead of buying my son things this past Christmas, I took him places, and maybe taught him a few things. I got him up close and personal with a Ferrari 458 Especial, and then went into great detail with him about what makes it so especial. I took him up to the hills near Los Angeles and we went whipping crazily through some fantastic windy roads at roller coaster speeds while I explained controlling the car using minimal pedal work and a lot of gear shifting. I took him to the Hotel del Coronado and explained the history of it and why it’s important to recognize good architecture. I like to think that those memories will stay with him much more vividly than something I could have purchased from a store.

I’m also hoping that I taught him that photographs last forever. Especially now in the digital age. Once a photograph is posted online, it can never really disappear again. Someone could grab a screenshot of that embarrassing photo and it can come back to haunt you later in life. Do you really want a future boss seeing that photo of you dancing in your underwear on a pool table while completely hammered? That might be a memory you’d rather forget, but once it’s out there, it can come back to bite you on your mostly naked butt.

There are few things sadder to me than going on a date or meeting up with friends and everyone is immersed in their own little world on their mobiles. Mobiles have their place in society, and social media can be a good thing when used for the right purpose: staying in touch with loved ones. The problem is that we’re losing touch with the loved ones who are right here with us. Next time you meet a friend for coffee or a drink, put the mobile away and actually interact with that someone you’re with instead of taking a picture of your drink and posting it online. Six months later, if you were to look at that lovely picture of a latte with a heart drawn in the foam on top, are you going to remember what you talked about? Probably not (unless your memory is quite a bit better than mine, which is entirely possible).

The world is a beautiful and amazing place, and yes, there are times when you see something so breathtaking that you want to capture that memory in a photograph. Just don’t forget to remember where you were, who you were with, and why that something was so spectacular. Enjoy each of the moments for what they are, while you’re going through them. Live your life instead of just collecting photos of it. You don’t get a do-over. Keep the bad pictures along with the good, because they can be great to cheer you up later when things aren’t going so great. Would that first kiss be better or worse if you were trying to make sure you had the perfect camera angle to capture the shot? I’m glad there were no cameras around when I had my first kiss, but I can still recall the night perfectly.

Alzheimer’s runs in my family, so I may lose my memories some day, if I live that long. That’s okay though. Chances are, I wouldn’t remember from looking at photos anyway. Until then, I’ll continue spending time doing things with or without other people, focusing on the important things, not just the composition of the shot.


Cars, music, and broken abandoned things

I was in a discussion recently with a great friend (whom I’ve yet to meet in person) who lives in Detroit. She’s an amazing artist and photographer, and through her, I’ve come to appreciate the forgotten city. When people think of Detroit, it’s often in relation to the breakdown of the automotive industry and the horrible recession/depression that destroyed so many livelihoods so quickly. I jokingly commented that I relate to Detroit, because the three things the city is known best for is cars, music, and broken abandoned things. I have a deep and abiding love of cars, music runs through my soul, and anyone who has read any of my past posts knows that I am a broken abandoned thing.

Ernest Hemingway once wrote “The world breaks everyone, and afterwards, some are strong at the broken places.” I’ve not had the easiest life, but I know others who have had it much worse than me. I grew up with the knowledge that I would only ever be second best, behind my sister. It didn’t matter how well I did, how smart I was, how much I tried. I would never be the golden child. That was the first crack. I started dating and discovered that I am drawn to abusive men, either physically or mentally. More cracks. I’ve never been good enough, and because of this, I get cast to the wayside. I am a broken abandoned thing. I’m still waiting to find out if I’m stronger at the broken parts.

Here’s the irony: broken abandoned things can be beautiful. Looking at photographs of abandoned factories in Detroit, I see all the years of history and feel the pulsating energy that once filled those buildings. I don’t see rubble, I see memories. I try to look objectively at my life and see the beauty, and that’s a lot harder. Some breaks can’t be fixed. How do you get over hearing “you’re worthless” and “you’ll never be good enough” continuously without it slowly eating away at your soul?

My answer is a little 10 pound charcoal tabby and white cat affectionately known as Tiggy. He’s also a broken and abandoned thing. He was handed to me through a car window, and the woman (girl, really) who handed him to me promptly drove off, leaving a very scared cat in my arms. I took him home because I was still devastated by the loss of my previous cat Moo. Three days after bringing him home, he started peeing outside the litter box. That’s a common sign of a urinary tract infection, so I rushed him to the vet and it was confirmed. She also told me that during her scans, she discovered that he had a history of untreated urinary tract infections and that his bladder, kidneys, and urethra were terribly scarred and that he would be an expensive cat to keep because of these medical problems. She also told me that he had fractured ribs (and I recently discovered that he also had broken vertebrae in his back which have since fused and cause him to hunch over when he sits). At that point, he was literally a broken and abandoned thing.

I had a gaping wound in my heart from the loss of my Moo, so I told the vet that he was my cat, he needs me, and I would do whatever it takes to make things right for him. Thankfully, a proper diet has solved his UTI problems, his ribs healed on their own, and he loves me unconditionally. He’s no longer broken, and he’s definitely not abandoned, but that’s because the universe set out to put him in my path at the time I needed him most, and he needed me most.

I don’t think I’ll ever get past the feeling of being broken and abandoned. Too many harsh words, too many physical wounds, too many people walking out on me when I needed them most. Until then, I listen to a playlist of musicians who make me happy and I seek out cars that lift my soul. I try to remember that breaks can be repaired, but those repairs will always be imperfect. I try to accept that I am me, and to shut out those people who don’t like me or want to change me.

I look forward to finding happiness again someday. Lately, that’s been difficult. I disappeared from writing for a long while because my life had become so painful that metaphorically slashing my wrists to let the poison run out was too much to bear. The past month has been a roller coaster of emotions. The ascent so high I felt like I was flying, only to be followed by the let down that reminded me that I am a broken and abandoned thing who doesn’t deserve happiness. My depression is lying to me again. I do deserve happiness, I just need to remember that it comes from myself, not from anyone else. I’m sorting through a lot of emotions and dilemmas right now, and flowing words are how I function best. There will probably be many posts over the coming days, weeks, months, even possibly years. Many of those posts will conflict with each other as I argue with myself, and many will probably be repetitive. I apologize in advance if you’ve gotten this far.

Thing(s) that I am grateful for today: Driving around in a light drizzle with the top down and Matt Nathanson blasting on the radio. The soft, extra fluffy white belly that my cat loves to have rubbed. Dark chocolate M&Ms.

100 days of happiness, and a week of sad

It’s sometimes hard to separate reality from make-believe, and maybe that’s why I’m having such a hard time dealing with the passing of Robin Williams. I did not know him, except as his characters in movies, but I feel so empathetic towards him because I know how it feels to always project a happy facade when you feel like your world is crumbling from the inside and there’s nothing you can do about it. I know my grief is disproportionate to my lack of relationship, but it feels personal to me because I know how it feels to hurt so badly. I know the wounds that bleed endlessly, and the smiles and laughs that I use to cover the pain. I’ve had a hard time finding my happy place this week. I feel lost and abandoned, even though nothing in my life has really changed. Well, except for one thing. The one I call my other half is out of town somewhere and that’s a physical pain not knowing where he is, and that I can call on him when things get truly dark for me. I feel like I’m drowning in sorrow and I don’t know when that will go away. I know I’m strong enough to beat it, but that it will exhaust me and emotionally drain me before I reach that point. To that end, I’m finally posting my entire list of 100 things that made me happy. Today, I’ll name one more. My mom praised me on how she knows she can depend on me for all things computer/technology related. Tomorrow, I’ll try to find number 102. Maybe I need to start searching out my happiness in the little things again, so that the big picture isn’t so overwhelming.

Day 1 — April 20 = Brunch!
Day 2 — April 21 = Goofing off.
Day 3 — April 22 = Cat adoption.
Day 4 — April 23 = Friends.
Day 5 — April 24 = Tiggy.
Day 6 — April 25 = Rain!
Day 7 — April 26 = Clean car.
Day 8 – Sunday 4/27 = Family.
Day 8 Bonus = My other half washed and shined up my car for me.
Day 9 – Monday 4/28 = Je parle français! (Really badly)
Day 10- Tuesday 4/29 = Fetching kitten.
Day 11 – Wednesday 4/30 = The windstorm.
Day 12 – Thursday 5/1 = Chocolate cake.
Day 13 – Friday 5/2 = Easter flowers.
Day 14 – Saturday 5/3 = Helpful salesmen.
Day 15 – Sunday 5/4 – Baby Milo
Day 16 – Monday 5/5 – cooler weather
Day 17 – Tuesday 5/6 – long nap
Day 18 – Wednesday 5/7 – May Gray
Day 19 – Thursday 5/8 – draft day
Day 20 – Friday 5/9 – worker’s comp leave
Day 21 – Saturday 5/10 – Lions, tigers, & bears (oh my!)
Day 22 – Sunday 5/11 = Mimosas & mother’s day
Day 23 – Monday 5/12 = free coffee
Day 24 – Tuesday 5/13 = great conversation with my neighbor
Day 25 – Wednesday 5/14 = surgery is done
Day 26 – Thursday 5/15 = mint chip ice cream
Day 27 – Friday 5/16 = catching up on sleep
Day 28 – Saturday 5/17 = playing with kittens
Day 29 – Sunday 5/18 = drove to the store by myself
Day 30 – Monday 5/19 = lunch/bay with Isaac
Day 31 – Tuesday 5/20 = massage
Day 32 – Wednesday 5/21 = new purse
Day 33 – Thursday 5/22 = stitches removed
Day 34 – Friday 5/23 = started crocheting a scarf
Day 35 – Saturday 5/24 = meeting with friends
Day 36 – Sunday 5/25 = scarf is nearly complete
Day 37 – Monday 5/26 = homemade chili & fresh French bread
Day 38 – Tuesday 5/27 = had fun watching Tiggy & Mandy playing together
Day 39 – Wednesday 5/28 = disability payments started
Day 40- Thursday 5/29 = new haircut and colour
Day 41 – Friday 5/30 = cleaned my room
Day 42 – Saturday 5/31 = drove around with the top down
Day 43 – Sunday 6/1 = dinner & movies with someone special
Day 44 – Monday 6/2 = did lunges & squats without much pain
Day 45 – Tuesday 6/3 = Yuengling
Day 46 – Wednesday 6/4 = homemade pasta primavera
Day 47- Thursday 6/5 = baking brownies for my fundraiser committee
Day 48 – Friday 6/6 = completed setup on the fundraiser
Day 49 – Saturday 6/7 = successful fundraiser
Day 50 – Sunday 6/8 = sleep
Day 51 – Monday 6/9 = ginger cookies
Day 52 – Tuesday 6/10 = sweet tea
Day 53 – Wednesday 6/11 = sunshine & fresh air
Day 54- Thursday 6/12 = playing with Tiggy
Day 55 – Friday 6/13 = beer & taquitos
Day 56 – Saturday 6/14 = Tiggy kisses
Day 57 – Sunday 6/15 = dad said “I love you too”
Day 58 – Monday 6/16 = finally back in PT (big hug from Guns)
Day 59 – Tuesday 6/17 = homemade peach cobbler
Day 60 – Wednesday 6/18 = #Yuengling
Day 61- Thursday 6/19 = clean car
Day 62 – Friday 6/20 = saw a drone flying around
Day 63 – Saturday 6/21 = watched a hummingbird
Day 64 – Sunday 6/22 = night driving with the top down
Day 65 – Monday 6/23 = lizard sunning itself on the hood of my car
Day 66 – Tuesday 6/24 = soaking in the hot tub
Day 67 – Wednesday 6/25 = goofing around at PT
Day 68- Thursday 6/26 = massage
Day 69 – Friday 6/27 = nighttime zoo
Day 70 – Saturday 6/28 = lunch with the family for mom’s birthday
Day 71 – Sunday 6/29 = good coffee
Day 72 – Monday 6/30 = homemade birthday cake & ice cream
Day 73 – Tuesday 7/1 = cleaned my room preparatory to my son visiting
Day 74 – Wednesday 7/2 = Mike called me Kitten all morning
Day 75 – Thursday 7/3 = helped a lost gentleman find where he needed to go
Day 76 – Friday 7/4 = a hot racing lap
Day 77 – Saturday 7/5 = new stereo in my car
Day 78 – Sunday 7/6 = napping with Tiggy
Day 79 – Monday 7/7 = enjoying the a/c
Day 80 – Tuesday 7/8 = received my Petoskey stone amulet
Day 81 – Wednesday 7/9 = heard a frog croaking (it made me really miss living on a lakefront)
Day 82 – Thursday 7/10 = saw a monarch butterfly
Day 83 – Friday 7/11 = Portillos Italian beef sub
Day 84 – Saturday 7/12 = Cracker Barrel
Day 85 – Sunday 7/13 = saw lots of wildlife
Day 86 – Monday 7/14 = back in San Diego
Day 87 – Tuesday 7/15 = zoo with mom & Eric
Day 88 – Wednesday 7/16 = harbour cruise
Day 89 – Thursday 7/17 = extra sleep, and pizza
Day 90 – Friday 7/18 = spent some quality time with my sister
Day 91 – Saturday 7/19 = quiet time by myself
Day 92 – Sunday 7/20 = orange blossom beer
Day 93 – Monday 7/21 = met a parrot that meows
Day 94 – Tuesday 7/22 = dad sending me photos
Day 95 – Wednesday 7/23 = homemade pasta salad
Day 96 – Thursday 7/24 = cute new neighbors
Day 97 – Friday 7/25 = 1500 thread count bed sheets
Day 98 – Saturday 7/26 = massage
Day 99 – Sunday 7/27 = rain
Day 100 – Monday 7/28 = organized & filed

“100 days of happiness” project, part 1

I’m not sure where I heard about this, but it was probably somewhere on the internet. The basic premise is that you write down one item each day that makes you happy. It doesn’t have to be anything big, it can be something small that just makes you happy. The one rule is that you can’t repeat any of your “happiness” items. At a minimum, list a one (or two or three) word response stating what made you happy, and then you can expound on the item. I’d like to see other people participate, because I’d like to see what makes other people happy. My expanded list will be here on my blog, but I’ll write a summary on my Facebook for those who don’t read my blog. If you are participating, use the hashtag #100DaysofHappiness so that other people can see your lists. I won’t be posting once a day, but gathering notes for each week so I can add them in batches.

Day 1 — April 20 = Brunch! My sweet and wonderful friend made me mimosas and French toast for brunch, just because

Day 2 — April 21 = Goofing off. I spent a good hour just playing with them down on the floor and having fun while they jumped and chased after each other

Day 3 — April 22 = Cat adoption. It was my first ever chance to listen in on an Adoption Counselor call (a position I’m training for) and it was wonderful to hear how happy the applicant was when she was approved for her chosen kitty.

Day 4 — April 23 = Friends. I went and visited a friend after work, and had a lively discussion about costume design, cats, politics, and other random items (she’s quickly becoming a very close friend, which is surprising for a woman), and then I stopped by the PetCo that I semi-volunteer at and spent time with the center lead whom I hadn’t seen in a couple months because our schedules were so different.

Day 5 — April 24 = Tiggy. He is my unofficial therapy cat (although I’m working on getting him certified). He always knows when there is something wrong with me, and he cuddles with me and curls up on top of me to let me know he’s there for me.

Day 6 — April 25 = Rain! I love the rain; I always have. It started pouring down in buckets and I loved getting to listen to the sound of it as it freshened the air outside and washed away all the excess dirt and pollution.

Day 7 — April 26 = Clean car. After the heavy rain last night, my car has a layer of water all over it, which I can then dry off and I don’t have to waste water while still making my car look extra pretty and shiny.

I am perfectly imperfect

As a single woman, I have a deep loathing for St Valentine’s Day. I prefer to think of it as my late Uncle Ronnie’s birthday and then treat it as any other normal day.

Remember back in elementary school, when we had to give a Valentine’s Day card to every other kid in the class, whether you liked them (as a person) or not? I’m pretty sure that 6th grade was the last time I received a Valentine’s Day card. It shouldn’t matter, since it’s a Hallmark holiday and not really celebrating anything except to divide those who have someone in their life with the rest of us.

I’ve been told that I’m pretty, I’ve been told that I’m smart, I’ve been told that I’m kind and thoughtful and fun to be around, and then I get stuffed into what is so commonly known as “the friendzone.” I’m not dating material. I have more medical problems than some nursing homes. I prefer the company of my cat to that of most people. My ideal “night out” is being at home with a good book these days, since I can’t actually go out and do anything right now.

The strange thing is, I’m okay with that. Relationships tend to end badly for me, in either one of two ways: violence or apathy. Thankfully, it’s usually apathy. I’m an easy girlfriend to lose interest in, because I am  who I say I am. I don’t try to impress people with pretending to be interested in things that I’m not, and I’m not afraid to call bullshit on someone who is trying to impress me when they don’t know what they’re talking about. I know I’m generalizing here, but men aren’t interested in finding a woman who is exactly what they’re looking for. No matter what they say or think, they always want to fix whatever they think is broken about you, or change you to better fit whatever “ideal” mold they have designed in their mind.

I’ve discovered it’s easier to just not get involved with anyone. I like who I am, most of the time. I’m weird, I’m eclectic, I enjoy having crazy colored hair, I think a good book is better company than most people (especially those who watch any sort of “reality” TV), I get a stupid grin on my face every time I see my car because it reminds me that I can be me instead of who I’m expected to be. I’m not perfect, but I’m perfectly me. I like me.

My birthday has come and gone

Considering that I “did nothing” special this year, it was still one of the best birthdays because my family & friends all chipped in & made sure that I felt special.

I’ve reached the point in my life that dependable friends & family are way more important than presents (although the surprise gift card capped a great day).

I’m still trying to figure out my direction in life, and a lot of that has to do with waiting endlessly for updates on my knee. At this rate, it will be September again before it all gets sorted. I’m not in a hurry anymore. I’m not anxious to escape San Diego at first opportunity as I had been. Instead, I’ve applied my adoption cat philosophy, with a twist. Instead of “the right cat will find you at the right time” I’m thinking that “the right opportunity will present itself at the right time” and until it does, I’ll just keep on being the best me I can be in a city I’m not fond of, but where I happen to be.

Happiness is what you make of it, and I’m determined to be happy, despite all my recent problems & setbacks. Shikata ga nai. If you can’t change it, don’t worry over it.

39 will be a good year for me.

Chaos Theory, aka The Butterfly Effect

Over the past several months, I have had a slow progressive spiral down towards serious depression. I know that I am prone to depression, so I do whatever I can to avoid it. It’s not a fun place to be. Sometimes, sheer will is the only thing that gets me through the day. The past two weeks have been especially hard on me. I have known for 26 years that my left knee is bum. A combination of patella-femoral syndrome and arthritis, so I’ve spent roughly 68% of my life favoring that leg because of the pain and stiffness. Finally, things came to a head and on Saturday, the 7th, my right knee decided that it’s had enough and it collapsed beneath me. The bright spot in this event is that it happened when I was walking up the stairs on my way into work, so I do have worker’s comp helping me out, but it’s a slow, bureaucratic filled process, and my knee is not getting better on its own, as far as I can tell. I’m waiting for approval to get physical therapy, which hopefully would make everything all better again. Unfortunately, it appears that it is either a severely sprained or torn lateral meniscus, so PT probably won’t do a whole lot, but I can’t do anything else until I get past this next step. That’s not really what this post is about. That was just a mini-vent, because I’m in pain, and being in pain for long periods of time is a known contributor to depression.

On to the real statement of this post.

I have made a lot of mistakes in my life. I’m sure I’m not alone. I accept that they are my mistakes, and I have to deal with the fallout from the choices I make in life, including mistakes. I’ve come to the conclusion that every single bad choice I have made in my life is because I have chosen to put the needs and/or desires of someone else before my own wants/needs. There is a reason why flight attendants always tell you to put on your own oxygen mask first, before helping other people. If you are helping other people before helping yourself, they are going to benefit – which is a good thing – but you are going to suffer for it – which is a bad thing. Being the type of person who tries to please others whenever possible, I forget that sometimes I need to make decisions based on what is going to be best for me, first. I know that sounds a bit selfish, but I still think it’s true. The only major decision I’ve ever made in my life where I put my own needs first was when I packed up my life and moved from California to North Carolina. I knew I was unhappy, and that I needed to do something drastic before I became one of those people you see on TLC or MTV reality shows. Living in the Carolinas – both North and South – are some of the happiest years in my life, barring a few bad events. Again, those bad events happened because I put someone else’s needs before my own.

I’m alive, but I’m not living my life. Everything I do is because I’m trying to make someone else happy. Somewhere, along the line, I subconsciously decided that my own happiness was not as important. That’s just plain stupid. I deserve to be happy, but I know that in order to get that back, I need to start evaluating every aspect of my life and deciding which things I’m doing because they are beneficial to my well-being, or if I’m doing it because I think that it’s the expected thing to do to make someone else happier or to make their life easier.

I’m 38 years old, and I’m having a mid-life crisis. Unfortunately, unless we’re using a very, very loose interpretation of “mid-life” (as in, it’s happening at some point between being born and dying), I’m well past the mid-point in my life expectancy. The worst part of always trying to make other people happy is when it doesn’t work, and then both you and that other person are unhappy. I have said ad nauseum that I want to get out of California, because this state is sucking away at whatever happiness I have left. So, it’s time to play with some butterflies, and set some changes in motion that are going to make me a happier person. I’m tired of hiding my unhappiness, and the fact that I’m always in pain, and that I feel like no one cares about me. I know that last part is the depression talking to me, but it’s a very convincing whisper repeated in my brain endlessly. I want to be happy. I’m scared of doing anything that is going to make someone else unhappy, but I can’t keep living that way. From now on,  I promise myself that every choice I make will consider whether I am doing it to make myself happy or to make someone else happy. If the answer is that it only makes the other person happy, it’s just too bad for that person. I need to start focusing on myself. It’s time to write down my list of goals, and get back on track to finding my way back to happiness.