Success vs Happiness II: What happens when you find both?

Over a year ago I wrote this. It got an incredible response and remains the most viewed and shared blog post I’ve ever written. I like to look back and read my blog posts from time to time, reading that particular one reminds me how far I have come in a single year. When I wrote this post in September 2013 I was really struggling with life. Okay I didn’t have horrendous misfortunes but for me, being unemployed for over 3 months was the hardest and most personally challenging time of my life.

Looking back I can remember how angry I was, how un-happy I was, and how prominent my lack of self worth was. Although I had an incredible boyfriend, a loving family and a handful of supportive friends I was trailing back and forth to endless interviews and receving rejection after rejection letter. I’d uprooted my life and moved down South, but couldn’t afford rent so I was living with my boyfriend’s family, no matter how much I loved them and how welcome they made me feel I still felt like a burden and it just wasn’t home. I was also suffering with crippling anxiety which caused a huge surge in my psoriasis, I shed skin every where I went and I lost lots of hair. On top of everything, Christmas was just around the corner, my favourite time of the year, and I was very very miserble. I declined every party invite because I was so embarrassed by my employment status and I was incredibly self-conscious of the way I looked.

I guess the only silver lining and a real outlet for me was my blog. Aside from applying for jobs all day I didn’t really have anything to do so I started to write content for my blog again. I wasn’t doing anything fun, I had no ‘Outfits of the Day’ to talk about and I had no highs in my week to brag about. Therefore I wrote a lot of content about my anger at the world, my jealousy and at times resentment towards my friends and I often just used sacrastic humour to describe my life. Humour has always been a real coping mechanism for me. I posted to my blog, not expecting anything really, and for every post I wrote I got wonderful feedback from friends and strangers who were going through the same thing, people could relate to me and probably feel better about their own lives from reading mine.

I constantly wrote about my quest for happiness and my search for such for success back then, but now, one year everything is so different. I remember another post where I focused on what I called the four Ps: Property, Pay, Partner, Profession. For the first time in my life I am content with all four, and if you asked me to rate my life out of ten, I’d give you a 9, okay perhaps an 8 on a Monday morning, but right now I am really really happy.

I don’t want or need to focus on every single that is making me happy right now, I’m sure you get the jist if you follow me on Instagram, instead I feel obliged to speak about something I’ve noticed since my life has, to me, become so wonderful.

Can I just say quickly that my life is not perfect. I still have really crappy days, but compared to last year I can’t really complain. I also made a decision a few months ago, when my blog got a huge surge in readership, to no longer focus on really personal things. I guess it’s a bit strange that I now avoid topics that made my blog a success in the first place, but I guess I’ve just realised that for me, some issues particuarly those that cause me anxiety are better discussed over a cup of tea with my boyfriend, mum, sister and close friends. Blogging and vlogging is a real thing at the moment and I’ve just now realised how much of me I have given away on here.

For those who do talk about personal issues such as mental health, eating disorders and the deep and dark secrets of their relationship, I salute you, I really do. But for me, and I always think/worry about the future, and I guess I always think that if my future child were to ever Google me (I hope this never happens) and discovers that I once really hated the way I looked, or suffered from horrendous anxiety before I could even have that conversation with them I’d be mortified. If you Google my name I come up before anyone or anything and like with the To vlog or not to vlog debate I’m still un-decided about how much I should give away, so for now I’m easing back on those really personal things.

But where does that leave the focus of maryoliviahickey.com? Well it all just seems so darn happy doesn’t it? And of course my social media outlets are a reflection of this. I’m really proud of my freelance work for the Metro, my job, my figure (fyi it took me years to loose my uni weight, and now I’m a size 10 I want to shout it from the roof), I’m also really proud of the flat I live in and the interior I have so painstakingly tried to perfect over the last few months, I’m proud of my paycheck which allows me, for the first time since I graduated, the freedom to buy clothes and beauty products galore, and I am most proud of my incredible boyfriend who works on the biggest show in television, The X Factor, and guess what? I want to talk about it.

Now I know for every selfie with an X-Factor contestant I upload some of my social media followers are rolling their eyes, I read the slightly snide remarks from ‘friends’ and realise that now I have what I see as success and happiness that people think I’m a real dick for talking or apparently bragging about it on my blog and social media.

It’s a weird one, but I guess it’s the same in the real world, how often do we giggle at strangers who miss the train, trip in public or face some other public misfortunate and at the same time how often do we grimace at happy couples kissing in the street and that girl from school who’s married with kids, a beautiful house and an amazing job? People just struggle to be happy for other people. And I get it I was one of those, I used to be mega jealous of those with success and happiness just read more of my blogs from last year, but whilst a part of me may been thinking ‘ooh she’s annoying she’s too pretty’ the overiding thought was always ‘how beautiful is she? Go girl!’ and more importantly I was never personally vocal in my dismay for those who have succeeded.

It was my best friend Jordan who inspired me to write this blog. On the outside she has got it all, she’s beautiful (she’d never agree with me but she is) she’s got an incredible career, shes BOUGHT a house and has an amazing boyfriend of 10 years. And whilst she should have people telling her she’s amazing, she’s probably one of those girls that other girls from our school year bitch about because she’s sooo annoying. Why? Because apparently she’s got everything.

I reckon it’s time for another Facebook cull, I can count on my hands my real friends and funnily enough I’ve not realised who they are from my time of despair or when I most needed them, instead it’s been since I’ve been my happiest – my real friends share my blog, they tell me how proud they are, they keep me grounded, and ultimately they are so happy that I’m happy. I hope you know who you are, I don’t need to name you. Thank you for your endless support, here’s to another happy year. And those people I like to call happy bashers, take a hike, or even better un-follow me.

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