Choose Happy :)

You ALWAYS have a choice…

We only have one chance at life, why not spend it happily?

All too often I have found myself in situations that I’ve wanted to change. Whether it be being stuck in dead end jobs, stuck in bad relationships or stuck with bad habits, we have all found ourselves in these situations at some time in our lives. Fighting ourselves and our emotions. Some may still be stuck in these kinds of situations. My question is WHY? why when we always have a choice do we choose to keep doing things that we know aren’t working and are making us miserable?  Is it through fear of change? Fear of the unknown? Maybe lack of self confidence or options? Whatever it is we have to find a way around it or we will waste our lives stuck in these ‘ruts’.

If you could choose to be happy then wouldn’t you? Of course you would. Well the good news is that you can choose to be happy! Every second of every day is a chance to turn it all around, a chance to make a decision, to make that change that your head has been nagging you to make forever!

Change doesn’t happen over night, it would be foolish to expect that. But I guarantee you this; Taking that first step, making that first decision, accepting the need for change and essentially taking control of your situation will, undoubtedly make you feel happier and more positive. Instantly.

Regardless of the situation you find yourself in, there is always a choice

I have made some bad if not terrible choices in life. Being a young mother, naive and clearly not valuing myself too much; I chose to stay in a dreadful relationship for 7 years. It annoys me to think of how much of my life I wasted being unhappy.At the time I felt I had no option. I was scared of being alone, scared I couldn’t cope with bringing 4 young children up alone. Mix that in with being told that ‘No one else will ever want me and my kids’ and you have one morbidly unhappy woman. I felt hopeless. For a long while I knew what I had to do, I just didn’t know how, neither did I have the courage. I tried a few times to end it and break free but for some reason I allowed myself to be talked down, to be emotionally manipulated and guilt tripped back into the same unhappiness. Sometimes I even wanted to go back myself, it was easier to go back into a routine than facing the fear of being alone I guess. I felt beat down, anxious, paranoid, and just generally miserable. I felt worthless. I was no longer me, although I was so young I don’t think I even knew me! I started taking classes, looking back this improved my situation greatly. Feeling I had something to look forward to, something to aim for, somewhere to escape to for a few hours a week really helped me see just how utterly shit my home life had become. Before this point I (and my doctor) thought I was depressed, turns out it was just the situation that was depressing! The sad thing is that even after this realization, it still took years for me to finally break free.

Eventually, thankfully, it was taken out of my hands. He had to go away for a while. At first I felt lost, scared and just nervous, although it didn’t take long for me to find my feet! I had time on my own, I got to know myself and my capabilities. I learned how happy I could be. My confidence grew, I became a better parent, my children were happier. I started to see my worth, without going too far into it, I finally made the choice, this time I made it for good. It took determination, it took me facing abuse from people, it took sheer strength at some times to ‘stick to my guns’ but I did it… and it was one of the best choices I ever made. 

From that point on I didn’t really look back. I fell off track a few times, probably feeling overwhelmed with my newly found freedom! Once I found my focus again I made sure there would be no more being held back. Not by anyone!

For a while I worked two jobs,as well as having 4 children to look after. I had very few qualifications. I  wanted something better for me and the kids. We deserved better. I saved and saved until I could afford to buy a camera and some studio kit. I began to teach myself photography. I did photo-shoots for free whilst I was learning, to build portfolio and build my business. I attended business classes and finally quit both jobs to take on photography full time. A firm example of the power of determination.

It has recently come to light that I have been feeling sorry for myself, stuck in another rut. Luckily this time its a rut that is easily escaped, well sort of.

After baby number 5, home-schooling 4 children and experiencing debilitating back pain, I’m not as able to exercise as I was a few years ago. Therefore I’m carrying a good few extra pounds, maybe stone. No I’m not massively over weight neither am I fat, but this is not what I am used to. My clothes don’t look the same, I don’t feel the same. I felt sorry for myself for a while, then I realised and now I have made the choice to address the problem. Yes I am on a diet. Yes I will drop this weight, despite my undying love for junk food! I can do this! No point feeling sorry for myself while I shove another slice of pizza in my face is there!

Many years on I can whole heartedly say I am happy, I am happily married to a wonderful man, we have 5 beautiful healthy children, we have moved from Britain to America and life is good- all the struggling and difficult decision making was worth it.

Basically, the point I am trying to make is that regardless of the situation if you want to change it, I mean really want to change it you have to find a way, no-one will do it for you. By accepting that change is required, you understand the end goal. It will take time but take one step at a time, set and achieve your goals month by month. Will power is everything (or is it stubbornness) How badly do you want the proposed change? What will it mean if you give up? Going back to square one is not fun, STICK AT IT, YOU WILL ADAPT AND YOU WILL FEEL BETTER THAN EVER!

Never underestimate yourself, once you start feeling and seeing a difference it makes you stronger, it makes you more determined every day.

Stop making excuses, start making changes, CHOOSE HAPPY 🙂12522916_499612323533927_5696520989774733858_n

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Author: Leigh

Mum of 5 beautiful children, photographer by trade, trying to figure out 'life'

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