Back in August (yikes) my friend Jasmine from Love, Life, Laugh, Motherhood nominated me for the “10 Things That Make Me Happy” challenge. Unfortunately at the time I found myself in a professional environment where I was just downright unhappy. This past month has been full of amazing changes and although scary, I must say were necessary. Now less than a week before I turn 30 I can honestly say I am happy in every aspect of my life. Compared to last year, I no longer want to look back. Today I share with you the 10 things that are currently making me happy and some things I have learned in my thirty long years of life.
I should preface this by saying that this list is not in order by any means, except for this one. My son is my number one source of happiness. Growing up I never saw myself as a mother. Then in my late 20’s I got the baby fever and here we are about three years later with a toddler. My son gives me happiness, hope, peace, and strength day after day. Sitting with my son on my lap while I hug him is my happy place. I love everything about him.
Seeing how happy he gets when I get home early or when we play together makes me happy, its an indescribable feeling that I had never felt before. Knowing that I have the power to make him that happy is an immense feeling and one that I thank God everyday for allowing me to experience.
I grew up an only child and because of that I value quietness and alone time. Sometimes my home can feel a bit claustrophobic with my husband, son, and mom around. Sometimes I get frustrated … whether its because my husband just throws the decor pillows off the bed towards my side, my mom is using “outside voice” inside, or my son is running around like crazy, but at the end of they day I am thankful for them. Including my dad who does not live with us, all four of them are my source of support. I know that no matter how crazy my ideas may be, they will be standing behind me. If I feel down, they are there to lift me up. This is what life is about, family.
This one is sort of an extension from the previous one. When I was younger I had many “friends.” As the years have gone by I have successfully taken out the bad apples and am left with a few. I have about seven friends who I consider my best friends. I’m serious. These seven people were there when I gave birth, they are there to hear me complain, to laugh at inappropriate jokes, to hear me cry, to help me cheer on my child. We really don’t see each other as much as we would like to but we are present in each other’s lives on a daily and I consider them family.
Previously I had friends who made the friendship exhausting. Meaning, I felt like I had to constantly pay attention to them, I was judged by my lifestyle preferences and the friendship felt more like a job. Suddenly it hit me, I did not have to continue doing that. Part of being a friend is being accepting of the other. It means being there for the other person when they need it, no questions asked. Looking back now, I realize I wasted a lot of time trying to “work” on these friendships that it actually took me away from the ones that truly mattered.
Knowing that I now have a solid group of amazing friends, although small, makes me happy. I know they are the people my child will grow up knowing as his aunts and uncles. I know they will honestly share in my family’s triumphs and be there for our sorrows.
Friends, if you’re reading this you know who you are. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I love every single one of you.
For those of you who may not know, I am an immigration and criminal defense attorney. I love what I do. I help families stay together. Being a first generation immigrant myself, many of my client’s stories hit close to home. Many times I see my son in their children’s eyes. I see my mother in their stories when they reunite with their families after twenty plus years. Going through law school and passing the bar were not easy tasks. At the end of the day I am glad that after all of that hard work I am able to make a difference in the world. My career is fulfilling and it makes me happy.
At first I started blogging as a hobby. I found myself in maternity leave bored out of my mind. I use blogging as a platform to support other moms who, like me, believe they are in over their heads with motherhood. My breastfeeding story was one that I wanted to share with the world because it was one of the worst experiences of my life. I have since added fashion posts to the blog and continue to share my journey as a mom. Immigration law is emotionally draining, blogging offers a creative outlet for me to de-stress and share other parts of myself with you.
I love true crime and my life became complete when I found true crime podcasts. My friends first recommended My Favorite Murder, which I have to say is my favorite up to this day. But don’t judge the podcast by the name, its a definite must listen to. I also enjoy Sword and Scale, Serial (season 1), Up and Vanished, Unsolved Murders, and Criminal. I also enjoy Gilmore Guys and the Gen Why Lawyer Podcast. As a working parent I get very little time to watch TV and podcasts fill that void and make traffic bearable.
I have never been very religious. I was raised catholic but do not practice. An old co-worker has been sharing daily bible verses with me via e-mail and I love it. I read them at my own leisure and interpret to my life and how I feel. Maybe sometime soon I will be able to seek out something more but right now, I believe this has brought a lot of peace within me and I love it. I don’t feel pressured and I think that’s extremely important.
What can I say? Having a pretty house makes me happy. I often share our home on my instagram stories so make sure to follow me there. I love candles, seasonal decor, wreaths, and the list goes on.
This may be the weirdest one but I don’t know how I lived without it. One of my friends and I can literally have conversations with just GIFs and it makes me very happy. It brings our messaging to a whole new level and we can share our feelings in a better way haha.
I don’t know where I thought I would be at thirty. The reality is that I am a mother, wife, attorney, daughter, friend, home-owner, entrepreneur, and the list goes on. As the years have passed I realize that this is where I was meant to be at thirty. I feel at peace. Are there things I wish would have happened differently? Of course. We all have those what ifs, could haves, etc. But my life as it stands right now makes me happy. I am thankful for everything that I have and every person whose life I have touched. I am excited to turn thirty because the best is yet to come and this will be the best decade yet.
As the years have passed I realize that this is where I was meant to be at thirty. I feel at peace.
Once again, thanks to Jasmine for nominating me. There’s something about sitting down and counting your blessings that brings an inner peace to you. I now nominate all of you to take this challenge. Even if its not on a full blog post, do it mentally or write down your list on a notepad. Take the time to remember your reasons to smile. Sometimes it may seem like you don’t have any but trust that there is always at least ten.
XOXO – Elle.
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