Monday, 14 December 2015

A Letter To The Unhappy | Never Settle For Anything Less

Never settle for anything less than happiness.

I said those words to a work colleague the other week who said they were just settling with life as it was, with their job, their relationship, with everything, and they, and a few other colleagues were surprised by my words, and yet for the life of me, I can't understand why. Why is it so abnormal to believe we're not entitled to be happy, and not to feel alienated for it too?

There are many things that people claim makes the world go round. Some say money, others say it's people. Some put a weight on love, and some claim it's doing what you love, but me, I say it's happiness. If every single person in the world was happy just for a minute, if they were filled with unrelenting, beautiful, blissful happiness, all at the same time, imagine how that would feel. I imagine it would feel pretty awesome, and if I could bottle up any feeling, it would be happiness.

Thankfully, I don't have to bottle up happiness, because for the first time in my life, I'm genuinely happy. I have a job I enjoyed, and get to work with people that make the job that little bit better. I have a family that, sure, it's a little dysfunctional, but those that matter in it surround me, ground me, offer me support, love and guidance. I have friends, online and in day-to-day life that humour me, amaze me, laugh with me and are proud of me. I have achieved, and still achieve, so much every single day.

I spent years settling for less, but now, it's happiness or nothing.

It' a brave stance to take in life, to be happy or to give up, pack up and move onto something more. Job markets are rife with employees, employers picking people off one by one. Housing markets are tougher, and more expensive than ever, rallying off those with deep pockets against those who want stability and a home. Everything is a little more dangerous to live without, and everything is so much harder to gain, but if you're happy, life is just that little bit more bearable.

As a child I never wanted for anything. My Mum would bend over backwards to get me exactly what I wanted at Christmas, getting herself into debts she's still paying off now, for the sake of my happiness. She made sure I never settled for less than happiness, and although I never got the biggest and best presents in my class, I got what I wanted. I had a Mum who loved me, who cherished me, and would give me the world if she harness the power, all for the sake of her little girls happiness. So why shouldn't I still want the world, just because I have to catch it myself this time?

If you want something, you have to go and get it. Happiness is the same, it's funny that way.

If you wake up every morning, like my work colleague, settling for less, then you'll never truly be happy. It's taken me years, a lot of mistakes, trial and error and plenty of therapy to realise that happiness doesn't come from behind and sweep you off your feet, it's never that easy. You have to get off your backside every single day and go get it, grab it with both hands and ride the rollercoaster it sends you on. You have to go and get it yourself.

Today, I turn 21, and I'm proud to say I'm happy. I still fight my demons every single day, and I battle through the bad days that really knock me down, but I'm still standing, and I'm happy, and I refuse to settle for less. I surround myself with people that make me happy, spending time on hobbies, activities and memories that make me happy, and it's so worth the extra time and effort spent getting it.

There's a famous phrase that says anything worth having is worth fighting for.

I challenge you to fight for your own happiness. I challenge you to change what fails to make you happy. I challenge you to make 2016 your happiest year yet.

I challenge you to never settle for less than happiness, ever again.


  1. First of all: Happy birthday! I hope you have a wonderful and *happy* day!

    Second of all: This is all so true. Never settle for anything less than happiness. Life is hard enough already without settling.

  2. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! :') And omg this post is so special and so true. Good on you for choosing to think and live like this. *nods* Being happy is amazing and I think everyone deserves it and should strive for it. I'm not a very easily happy person, hehe, but I TRY. I think being happy is a really good goal for 2016!!

  3. Fist of all, happy birthday! I think trying to achieve happiness every day is a wonderful goal. I've always been happy, despite some of the downs, but I truly have a feeling that these past few years are the high light of my life so far. 2016 is definitely going to be amazing, with a new job I can't WAIT to start, a good possibility of a house and the idea I finally might get a kitten :) Plus, I get to share it all with the love of my life, my wonderful family and best friends.

  4. Thank you so much for this!!! I think that we all need this reminder sometimes!

    PS. Happy Birthday!

  5. First, Happy Birthday!! I hope your day was amazing :)

    Second, your post brought me to tears. I am a lot like your lady at work. I have spent my whole life settling, whether it is out of fear, or perceived obligation, or because I never knew what I even wanted. But you are so, so right- why settle? We have ONE life. There's no do over. And here I am, spending mine in a cloud of sadness. That isn't the point of life- it can't be! My parents are the kind of people who don't think that happiness should be a priority- that there's just a path you follow (school -> job -> house -> kids -> more work, no play -> death) and that it doesn't matter if you're happy as long as you're doing what you're "supposed to". But frankly, I never bought into that, and I think that's why I am so UNhappy. Because I am living their stupid life rules, instead of doing something that would make ME happy. I settled for a college I didn't like, a guy I didn't love, a town I hate, a house that's awful, jobs that I loathed, and now am stuck in a little bubble of raising kids and having nothing for me, except blogging.

    I shared all of this because I want you to know how much this affected me. It's one thing to hear a therapist say it, and know it's true in your head, but it means a LOT more when it's coming from someone you know who is a real person living these situations. It means a lot to see it written down so eloquently. I want- no, need- to make a change in 2016. Maybe typing this here will help hold me accountable.

    I think you are amazing for saying what you said to your colleague. I am glad she knows that there are people rooting for her, knowing she can be happy. Anyway, sorry for the monologue, I just wanted you to know how much this hit home for me. You are wise beyond your 21 years, my dear <3

  6. Firstly, happy birthday - I hope you had an amazing day! And secondly - wow, what a beautiful post! This brought tears to my eyes as it's so true, we do so many things in life to make other people happy or do something because it's expected of us and we so rarely, truly think of our own health and happiness and what we want. I'll definitely carry the words of this post with me into 2016. <3