Letter From the Editor: Being Happy Where You Are

I walk by a restaurant, catch a whiff of the freshly baked bread, and sigh as I think of the leftovers that await me at home. A friend never wears the same outfit twice and have to resist the urge to go shopping myself: I'm on a strict budget, but that's because I live in New York City aka My Dream City. I watch a beauty blogger strut about (CLEANING HER HOUSE, NO LESS) with perfectly coiled braids, and look at my straight hair and pile of dirty dishes with disdain. See where I'm going here?

Photo by Nisha Kashyap.

Photo by Nisha Kashyap.

Comparison is the ultimate thief of joy. As much as we strive to rise above it, like craving pizza on a diet, it's hard to avoid.
Social media makes it nearly impossible not to notice everyone is getting engaged without you. Our consumer culture demands we are constantly on to the next one, whether it's a phone, partner, or pair of boots. And yes, we get it: everyone puts their best self on social media. That doesn't make it any easier to watch when you feel the rest of the world is moving forward and you are very much stalled.

My recent experience moving to NYC sounds like a Lifetime movie. The remote apartment search proved nearly every negative stereotype about New York housing to be true - a broker refused to return a refundable deposit, apartments were gone by the time we called to inquire about them, and the nearly perfect place we finally did apply to demanded I board a plane immediately to sign the lease in person. Add starting a new job, packing up my old apartment, and getting sick to the equation, and at the end of most days, there was very little I found to be happy about. I let the trying aspects of the experience negate the exciting heart of my move (Incredible job! New York City! Lifelong dream come true!). When I stopped lamenting why broker fees are so high and my savings account is so low, I realized that there was a lot I had to look forward to. It was by no means an ideal move, but perfectly imperfect I can work with.

This week, we're talking about being happy where you are. I truly believe it's a conscious decision that you have to make. There's no such thing as a perfect life; as much as we might want to project that to the world, we each have our daily struggles, anxieties, and fears to contend with. We hope that this week's content inspires you to wake up happier more often and give yourself a pat on the back - sometimes getting dressed and making it to work on time really is an accomplishment worth celebrating.

- LM