Ok, ok. Before you get all, “Oh em gee she is going to tell us joy is the reason for everything and we just need to find joy in our lives and all will be hunky dorey blaaaaaah.” You are not wrong. But here is what else I will say: this joy is no one else’s business or concern. Or responsibility.
My friend Victoria, who I talk about often because she is so damn awesome, told me the advice she got from a mentor early on in her illustrious career: “no one cares about your career as much as you do.” That was wise, and I will take it a step further: no one cares about your life as much as you do (except maybe your mom and dad, and even they likely have their own agenda for you). Why? Because being self-centered by nature, we lookout for ourselves first. That includes your mom and dad! It is essential to being human, and to creating a life worth living. Furthermore, contrary to popular opinion, our own happiness is necessary for us to be fully present in our service to others. And if you were programmed to put other people's happiness first, you have probably experienced some burnout, exhaustion, or despair. But that is another blog post.
In other words, it is your responsibility to find out what brings you joy and cultivate that with all your might. Do you love flowers? Surround yourself with fresh-cut bouquets weekly or create a garden. Is music in your heart? Make time to play or sing - it is your schedule, after all! Is cooking your thing? Slice and dice to your heart's content.
This is your life we are talking about, and it is your responsibility to find your joy and love it and nurture it like your soul depends on it. Because it does. Humans are made to enjoy life and experience love, connection, and the miracles around us. If you do not agree, I am betting you do not own up to what makes you joyful.
“But Merritt! I've put myself last for so long, I do not even know where to begin!” I gotcha, my friend. Call me and we will get you on the path to joy.