Finding Happiness Within Myself

Happiness can be defined, used, and expressed in an abundant amount of different ways. Hanging out with my best friend Hannah this weekend? That made me happy. Getting a new internship this month? That made me happy. Buying cookie dough ice cream at Publix yesterday? That made me happy as well! Overall, everyone has their own different definition of happiness. You may become a happier person by helping others, reaching your goals, trying new things, or all of the above! Although all of these examples make me “happy,” gaining transparency within myself has brought me the root of my happiness lately! That being said, gaining this new definition of happiness has made me think differently, and it has allowed me to take on challenges from a new perspective.


“We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections.” – John Lennon

Going vegetarian has given me the drive to not only change the outside of myself but more importantly the things that have stunted me in being the person I want to be. My whole life I have generally thought of myself as a happy, positive person, and at the end of the day, I really have enjoyed every step of my life, even through the hardships! Although I have always carried the happy-go-lucky mentality, I have never found genuine happiness from just within myself. I have always considered myself to be the epitome of an extrovert, so I have found much of my happiness from experiencing things through and with other people. Although I have been living one heck of a happy life this way, the past several months have been the first time I really needed some time with myself to catch up with myself. 


These past several months I have been hearing a lot from my friends and colleagues, “Hannah James, where the heck have you been!?” Although the inner me still wants to be at every social event, this time has been very crucial for me to reflect on myself. Taking time for yourself is not selfish, it is necessary for growing! I was and still consider myself to be a huge people person, but this is the first time I have taken a break from being “the life of the party,” and it really has allowed me to think for myself.


When I decided to go vegetarian I not only wanted to get physically healthy but mentally healthy too. I now realize I used food as a coping mechanism – that was just not in the cards for Hannah James! Acknowledging your underlying issues may be hard, but righting your wrongs is a huge crucial step in the road of self-discovery and happiness! The road can be very hurtful and discouraging, but you have to remember not to lose faith, and that admitting your flaws is healthy and necessary for growth!


Although watching my body progressively change has been the greatest thing ever, considering weight has been one of my number one worries my whole life. It makes me even more happy that I know myself!  I really feel like this has been the journey of putting my “real self” into my body. I value and respect different body types, I have just realized for myself to be completely happy, that my body needs to be physically healthy! My whole life I thought I really knew myself, but now I have a total new grasp on what makes me, me! For me, I have found that it is crucial to gain happiness from within before I can make others happy. I understand that life will not always be easy, but if you believe in yourself and live positively it can really change how you react to problems. Even though I may not have everything figured out, I can confidently say I know who I currently am and that within itself brings me excitement to live this happy life!


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