If I had worn mood rings in middle school (assuming they actually worked), the ring would basically stay the same color. If I wore mood rings now, my finger would be a glowing rainbow disco ball. Essentially, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve either become more aware of my mood swings with increasing emotional intelligence and the self-care movement or my hormones are seriously crazier now than they were when I was an “antsy” pre-teen. My roommate in college would comment on the fact that I would wake up every day in a good mood and I remember vividly thinking at that time that yes most days started at a 7 out of 10 on the happiness scale. However, these days, the phrase “waking up on the wrong side of the bed” truly resonates. Some mornings can be a 4/10, while others are 8/10. A routine with a healthy, active lifestyle definitely help make the morning happiness levels a bit more predictable but it still feels like a free for all. A friend of mine recently wrote a beautiful email outlining the last couple years of his life and detailing some major vulnerabilities and it made me wonder if a lot of people actually do hit a “quarter-life crisis” or “existential crisis” point. He asked himself if “[he is] just another millennial with inflated expectations, another fungible knowledge worker without the luck (or the diligence) to break apart from the pack…?” Are these thoughts what catapult the emotional rollercoaster or are our bodies freaking out because we haven’t outputted babies into the world (shoutout to Darwin)?
Whenever I felt sad for seemingly no reason in the years past, I’d always blame some external factor. “These feelings are because I’m not genuinely happy in my [insert job, relationship, friendship, etc. here].” Now, I’m realizing these ups and downs are normal as I talk to more and more friends and as the self-care movement says, maybe we should just embrace it. Blaming an external factor is easy and every time I think I have found the “source”, I want to jump on a one-way flight to a new, exotic land. My plan this year (and hopefully for all the years to come) is to stop chasing this ephemeral “happiness” that comes with bouncing from one exciting project to another and instead stick to a few things and give them my full attention. I’m going to stop allowing my internal chemicals to shove me off of this path and you, my lovely readers, will keep me accountable for this goal. Thank you for reading my vent post.