Why following your bliss is overrated

If I hear someone say “follow your bliss” one more time, I’m going to lose it.

Coming from someone who is a self-admitted happiness chaser, this is a pretty big thing to say. Don’t get me wrong, I fully believe in persuing your passion and making conscious decisions that add to your happiness- after all, if you don’t, who will? I guess what I’m saying is-

you can follow your bliss, but when you finally catch it, you’re still you.

So let’s all chill out, take a step back and re-evaluate. Before you pin that photo of Corsica on your inspiration board, ask yourself this: is that serving you? Is that REALLY going to make you happy?

Of course, I’m not saying that everything we do needs to “serve” us. (Heck, the half bottle of wine I drank last weekend did NOT serve me very well the next morning.) I’d just like to suggest entertaining the idea that our idea of “bliss” is misconstrued. Happiness isn’t a quick-fix. It’s not a goal to achieve or a handbag to buy. With that said, I’d like to reiterate- it’s not a goal to achieve. We’ve all heard time and time again that “money can’t buy happiness”- which means empty your online shopping cart because you aren’t going to find any smiles in there. I’d like to add that happiness also doesn’t lie at the end of the earth after you’ve travelled to twenty countries nor does it lie at the foot of your honeymoon bed.

First, let’s talk about the proverbial “gap year” trip. It seems these days you aren’t initiated into your 20s until you’ve gone abroad. I was once told by my high school teacher that

“No matter where you go, there you are.”

I thought he was an old fogie who couldn’t remember his quotes correctly, but now I see clearly that he was actually a pretty wise old fogie.

Whether we’re riding a tuk tuk in Thailand or the elevator up the Eiffel Tower, we are still us. We may experience a few changes in perspective but no experiences can change us as powerfully as when we look inward. (#truth. If you think your grand adventure was a whirlwind, wait til you unpack yourself with meditation. Mind. Blown.) 

Moving on to relationships. By this point, you may be wondering what credentials I have to provide such advice. To be honest? None- except my own experiences. After multiple back to back relationships, about exactly a year and a half ago, I was eyeballs-deep in a serious relationship mess. I won’t go into detail now (story for another time) but it was totally a result of  me being unhappy with myself, and looking for a partner to take those feelings of unhappiness away. Talk about unfair to the poor guy, am’right?

So if bliss doesn’t lie in the arms of another person, nor at the end of your year long trip abroad, nor does it live in the corner office… then where?

You know it by now,- it lives within you. You could collect enough handbags to fill an apartment or take enough photos to use up your iCoud storage- but following this idealized version of “bliss” won’t do you any good. You can follow it all you want but until you find it within yourself, it doesn’t matter where you go, there you are.