This awesome quote from a very clever French fella (Voltaire, for those who know him) pretty much sums up my Happy Camper Project.
I’m a very positive person in general, but like any other human being I’ve had my ups and downs. The good times far outweigh the bad times, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t had my moments when I feel like the world is playing a cruel joke on me; like that ball on the end of string that you’re supposed to beat around a pole (I had to Google this, of course, and it’s called Tetherball. You’ll recognize it when you see it). The world goes, “Go this way! No, that way! HAHA, you have no idea where you’re going, do ya? Well, let me PUNCH some sense into you until you figure it out! I win.” And the ball eventually gets stuck around the pole, in the most contracted space ever, until it finally gives in and swirls slowly down and hits the ground with a light thud. Poor little bugger.
This year has been a bit of a transition for me, and I’ve taken a break from my nomadic tendencies. It’s been a really great year full of much needed quality time with my family and oldest friends, and time to take a step back and reflect on what I should do next.
Once I figured it out and knew what I was going to do, I’m not gonna lie: for a couple of weeks it was excruciating to have to show up for work and actually still be in my current situation. I wanted to leave NOW, to hop on that plane tomorrow, and not have to actually finish up what I started here in Oslo. I felt like I was crawling out of my skin for a minute there, and couldn’t understand how I would make it until the departure date.
And then a little voice turned up inside my head: “Are you seriously going to choose to be miserable for 3 months until you leave? Are you gonna sit there and be negative and unhappy for 8 hours straight at work and then come home and expect to have energy to spend the remaining few hours of the day doing things you enjoy doing? Nuh-uh. Doesn’t work like that. Being bummed out is exhausting. And being slightly bummed out for 3 months is just not an option.”
So I’ve been trying to teach myself this thing with being happy internally no matter what my external situation is. To not postpone happiness until my vacation; until the money comes in; until I get those ducks in a row; whatever it is I’m waiting for.
That’s what the Happy Camper Project is all about! Chasing happiness through listening to your gut when it tells you what you love doing, and then doing more of those things regardless of what else you “should” be doing.
The root of all this is basically my core belief that the world would be a better place if everyone just did more of what makes them happy. There is no way we are doing the world a disservice by making our individual happiness a top priority – rather, it’s what we’re all here to do. It is not selfish. It is not in vain. It is absolutely necessary, and quite frankly – the whole goddamn point of being here.
Here’s to all you happy campers out there who are with me on this!