In the spring of 2012, I flew to Maui for the first time.
I was so excited to take my much needed vacation—and promptly got a head cold just days before having to take my six hour flight across the Pacific Ocean. The pain I endured on the flight seemed to subside once I arrived; the air was moist and the palm trees were swaying.
My friend picked me up and we went to Whole Foods to get some supplies for the week. I was staying with her and her boyfriend in a small surf shack that was a few yards from the ocean.
I was single during this trip and not very happy about it, so it was slightly annoying to be staying with a couple. But, I made the best of it by waking up and doing yoga on the beach each morning. Then one morning, in a total fit of frustration, I had one of the greatest insights into my life.
Here I was in paradise and I still managed to be grumpy and upset that “I didn’t have what I wanted.” The age old saying then took life inside of me; wherever you go there you are.
I can’t even count how many times I’ve been told to just love myself. What is even worse than being told this platitude is being threatened that if I don’t love myself first no one will love me. But, just as that age old phrase settled in my bones there on the beach so has the concept of self-love taken root in my life.
This means that the best thing anyone can do to have a healthy relationship is to be the person they want to be with.
Fall in love with life. Cultivate joy. Create and play.
After my most recent separation from the man I love, I discovered that I wasn’t so happy with my life—not because of the separation, but because I had esteemed his life as so much more interesting than mine.
It has taken a little time for me to arrive at the conclusion that no one has their shit together. He doesn’t. I don’t. My parents didn’t. So the best thing anyone can do is have fun. Do things that make life fun, interesting, vibrant and sexy.
Most of us have to pay the bills; we are the oil in the well oiled machine that is capitalism. Some of us are rats in the rat race—but even rats know how to play. So, if your boss is getting you down: quit.
If you don’t like the industry you are in get educated in one you can enjoy—or don’t let your job be the source of your identity. Let it be the thing that fuels other things like a stable family life. Let it provide funding for your hobbies.
If you don’t have hobbies get some. (Watching TV is not a hobby; neither is drinking.)
Nothing is more attractive than a person who shows up for their life.
Write your own ticket. Prescribe yourself your own script. Write on it, “Be you.”
It is the healthiest thing we can do.
Bonus! Before we have a healthy relationship, we need a healthy first date:
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Bryonie Wise
Photo: elephant archives