On Happiness


The other day while commuting, I sat next to a man and his daughter. The man was ordinary, a construction worker perhaps, and he was carrying his daughter's bag. His daughter was probably around 6 or 7 years old and was really skinny. She kept looking at me. At one stop, there was no more room left but someone wanted to ride so the dad told his daughter to sit on his lap. The passenger that entered was a very negative entitled woman and she sat next to me. She was huffy cause she had lots of things and there wasn't any much room in the aisle for her to pass. She was obnoxiously ranting out loud (obviously wanting the father to hear it) that there wasn't room anymore and the father should've just moved to sit next to me. Do you know how it feels when you're enjoying a sunny day and someone just blocks in on your sun? That's how I felt the minute the woman entered and sat next to me.

Before that day, I didn't realize that you could actually feel negative energy radiating off a person. There I was, on an endorphin high, having just come from the gym, and then all I felt then was her anger, which then made me think negative thoughts. In fact, the tension was so palpable. Every now and then she'd look to the father and daughter in scorn and when the jeep had a bit more room, she moved away from them to the seat on the opposite aisle. Then across me, I could still see her muttering. The dad, meanwhile, pretended not to notice (patay-mali) and I have to commend him for not falling prey and getting into a fight with her. I was just thisclose to doing so myself. I wanted to go on a Twitter or Facebook rampage about it because I wanted to get my feelings out but I thought, what good would that do? It would be better to have confronted her about it but I didn't anyway. So I took a cue from the father and I let it go.

I thought I'd forget about that incident. However, something happened last night that made me remember. I remember that night, I realized that I could easily be that nasty woman to someone else. Someone could be having a good day and once I come around, it'd turn sour. I didn't want my presence to be one that brings in the rain; I want to be the sun to someone's day.

 Since the year started, I've been reading the Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. Mostly, at the start of the month, I just take cues from the little monthly resolutions she makes and modify them to tailor my own needs. I don't have a comprehensive resolution chart like hers, however, where she checks off her resolutions everyday to see if she's following them. I mean, I can barely even update my planner and food diary! Some of her resolution and tips are really simple, but here are some of mine. These are things that I've noticed have brought me a bit more happiness, especially these past few weeks:

1) Learn to accept compliments (and learn to offer one back). 
What is with us and shrugging off compliments? People nowadays are so used to fanning off compliments because they don't want people to think they are full of themselves. Just say "thank you" and smile. Part of The Secret to getting what you want is affirmation and gratitude. Doesn't it feel especially good when someone notices something you've worked hard on (eg: weight loss)? Just think of it this way: why is it that we can stand up for ourselves when someone talks negative us but get afraid or shy away when someone has something positive to say about us? Why turn away good words? 

2) Accept yourself.
This is probably the vaguest one that's so cliche but true. Accepting yourself is a little more complicated than you could imagine taking in at face value, and it's a different journey for everyone. I can't tell you exactly how to do that for yourself since it's taken (taking?) me years to grasp that. Basically, accepting yourself is being comfortable with yourself and how you look. It's knowing who you are and not trying to change that to impress anybody. Let's be realistic here though, you won't always love yourself--you'll have bad days too, cause you're human after all--but being at peace with who you are and realizing that brings a certain kind of quiet happiness (and confidence!) you won't be able to explain.

3) Forgive.
Okay, so I'll let you in on a little stepping stone to start the journey to accepting yourself: FORGIVE. Forgive yourself, first and foremost. You're not perfect and that's okay. Don't beat yourself up over things you did and didn't do. For the things you did, especially if they're wrong, say sorry. For the things you didn't do, especially if you can still change them, do it. For the things you didn't do, learn from them. I would know this lesson by heart because I'm a perfectionist myself. I would overthink, overanalyze then beat myself up over what I did and didn't do, which led me to self-loathing, a little further into the path opposite acceptance. We are our worst critics so it's actually harder for us to forgive ourselves than forgive someone else. Remember, forgiveness is the first step to moving forward.

oversized plaid polo: thrifted || skirt and studded loafers: Cotton On || black top: Forever 21

BTW, just to get a little into the outfit: This is the Farrah way of wearing a grunge piece. I'm not very indie, boho or rock. I've got a pretty timeless/polished style so I went with more glamorous pieces like the studded top to glam up the oversized plaid polo. I also chose more fitted pieces to pair with the polo (the polo lends a comfy/casual daytime vibe) so the outfit could be worn from day to night.

Hope I got to help! :)

  PS. Happy 24th wedding anniversary to my parents! :)

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