Joie de Vivre

As it may have been apparent in my previous post, 2016 saw me lose a lot of joie de vivre (French for ‘joy of living’ / ‘cheerful enjoyment of life’). I was utterly busy yet numbed, bored, and occasionally hopeless. The exhaustion left me very little to enjoy anything else. People tell me I work too much, or that I take my work too seriously. For the first time in my life, I admit it may be true.

I am not fond of having New Year’s Resolutions, but I think for this year I’ll make an exception.

This 2017, I’m going to live more fully and revive my joie de vivre (I mean, I’m not sure I know how to pronounce it properly, but I’m reviving it anyhow).

Generally, I’ve never been a very cheerful person (at least not in the way many would define ‘cheerful’), so my idea of ‘cheerful enjoyment of life’ might differ from the norm. When I was a child, I had to spend a lot of playtime by myself, and so my idea of having a good time really is just passing the time by myself doing random things. I would go to the garden and create things out of pretty leaves, flowers and twigs. I would take a piece of paper and a couple of colored pens, and maybe glitter, and make a card or a drawing of some sort, which I’d then proudly think as a worthy piece of art. I would take my favorite old tattered books, and while intoxicated by their dusty smell, I would reread my favorite stories and imagine myself living in the world the characters were in. I think many of us lived life with more joie de vivre when we were children than we now do as adults. Ironically, life does do a pretty good job of extinguishing the fire we have for living.

But I want to take that childlike sense of enjoying life again, and on my own terms, too. Now that I’m an adult, I’m guessing ‘cheerful enjoyment of life’ for me might mean doing the adult counterpart of the things that fascinated me as a child. Maybe I’d go off somewhere and find pretty things I could be creative with. Maybe I’d spend some more time with actual pen and paper instead of just scribbling digitally. Maybe I’d finally read all those books I’ve wanted to read for a long time now (I’m looking at you, HP7).

A few years ago, when I first started this journey of heeding my calling and searching for my niche in the world, I said to myself I should not forget to enjoy the process too, even though it was hard. But day after day of wanting to prove myself, added to my stubborn, perfectionistic nature, has all but killed that idea of ‘enjoying the process.’ All of a sudden, I find that I am living with the same deadened spirit I had so struggled to break free from in my previous path, the same one which triggered my transition to find my purpose in the first place.

Now, I cannot let this go on any further. Some sort of change has to be done in the way I’ve been living my life, and I know it.

I hope you trust the process.
I hope you believe in yourself.
I hope you don’t give up on love.
And I hope you never forget,
it’s a great time to be alive.

To end, here are pictures of me as a child, to remind me to live life more like a child would—

with heart,

…….. a daring to create,

…………….unafraid of making mistakes, and

………………………always with a sense of

……………………………………………………………w

………………………………………………………….o

…………………………………………………………..n

……………………………………………………………..d

……………………………………………………………e

………………………………………………………………r.

 

flowerchild

I wish you the best this new year has to offer. ♦

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