Tag Archives: happiness

It Gets Better

Avid Tay Talks readers, do you recall the beginning of this year? I gave insight to my personal fears and struggles and I was losing myself in my problems. It was a rough few months filled with anxiety and fear. But I stuck it out and promised myself that I would show you guys that if I could do it, so can you. Do what, you ask? Simply put: improve yourselves. Maybe you’re already at the top of your foodchain or you’re a millionaire or successful in your own rights. Great! But I’m not. I’m not even close to my fantasy life I built in my head. (that’s another thing I’d like to talk about if I remember.)

But I’m closer than I was in January. This year is my year, I kept repeating. I quit my retail jobs and now I’m employed elsewhere. I’m not going to say where I am exactly, but I will tell you about my day at work.

I arrived promptly at 2pm, ready to fill out paperwork and meet some people. I go into the building and ride the elevator to the top floor. (It’s only 3 stories, but it’s the tallest building on the block.) Inside, I meet the friendly Sir Receptionist Man (yes, I forgot his name and I’m sorry) and he alerts the manager of my presence. One of the three managers who interviewed me appears. He was clean shaven and had a haircut since I last saw him. He was also way taller than me, dressed in black (manager color-coded shirt), with a white lanyard that was peppered with Disneyland pins. I think “Yes. This is going to be a fun place to work.”

He leads me down a hall that is decorated entirely with basketball and football sports flags from all over the country. Collegiate and NFL, so you know that sports are big here. As we enter the main office, there are no cubicles; just rows of glass desks, large double monitors, and people in white (training) and blue (proctor) polos. Everyone is wearing a lanyard with one of four colors (which I will explain the significance of soon). There are bobble heads on the dividers. I see Chewbacca, Deadpool, Han Solo, and a delicious cast of characters from various pop and cult films and shows. That made me want to giggle like a schoolgirl. Then I turn and see it: A STORM TROOPER! That’s right. A Star Wars Storm Trooper, towering over all of us, a red company lanyard around its neck. It’s just sitting in the corner, busy being awesome and all that.

At the end of the office, where I was going to work on the official employee documents, was a wall that was just one big window. It looked out over the parking lot below and– Oh. What’s that? Is that… the shopping center I used to work at?! Holy crap! Across the street! Right there! Oh my gosh! It’s really….! Yup. That’s right. I was now ABOVE my old place of work. That’s a really horrible thing to say, so allow me to explain why this moment was so important for me.

While working retail, I was unhappy. Okay, I was miserable. I hated it. I loathed it. Nothing made me feel more useless than standing there, taking the crap from ungrateful people who were infuriated by my inability to take their used underwear that they had no proof of purchasing from us. I was truly unhappy. I felt low. Really low.

At this new job, I felt welcomed, excited, passionate, driven, challenged, and encouraged. And one of the best parts? My desk looked out over the previous job. I actually teared up. The eyes lodged in my sockets were quite wet! WET, I SAY! I had done it. I had not only mentally and financially moved up in the world, but I was there, physically, above it. I had risen out of the depths of my despair, risen above the struggles and the crap that I was trudging through, and moved on. I knew that if I listened to my heart, truly listened, that I would be happier. It took a bit longer than I would have liked, but I’m glad it did. Had it gone too fast, I don’t think I’d have the same drive, let alone the same reaction I had today.

So anyway, I filled out the paperwork and then I sign in for something that I think is the coolest thing:

My new company has a personality quiz that all new employees must take. They evaluate your personalities and organize us into groups. To be honest, it felt like I was being sorted into a House at Hogwarts. I was excited. (Disclaimer: we are not put into castes that are above or below each other. This system is installed so that we would know how to approach one another, how to work with each other, how to respond to each other. It was designed to allow us to communicate efficiently. I loved it.) So here are the “Houses” of this company:

Yellow: Fun, Energetic, Happy.

Red: Passion, Demanding, Driven.

Blue: Intimate, Caring, Emotionally Available.

White: Peace, Mediator, Independent.

There were a lot of blues. Two of the Three managers I met were blues. I saw a lot of blues on the floor. It made me nervous. Would I be a blue? I mean, I imagined myself as being the kind of person who would respond the way a blue would to clients and coworkers. So… why wouldn’t I be? My immediate thought was “PLEASE DON’T BE BLUE!”

“Not Slytherine, not Slytherine!”

The idea that I would wind up having to eventually wear a blue shirt and lanyard to work terrified me. These were my uniform colors back at my retail job. I understand and respect all colors, but at work, blue is totally inappropriate. Blue is passive, soft, gentle, and (often associated with) slothulness. I really didn’t want it. I wanted yellow. I wanted to be fun and charismatic and energetic and happy. So as I’m taking this test, I see a Yellow (name unknown) start talking to my manager. He’s totally confident, funny, nerdy, and awesome. I go, “yeah, I could be a yellow. It’d be a lot to live up to, but I could be a yellow.”

The test was a long series of “what were you like as a kid” questions followed by a lot of “how does this make you feel” questions. It was pretty straightforward, but I couldn’t figure out what answers went with corresponding colors, so I couldn’t cheat my way into yellow if I tried. In the end, I figured the way I had answered, I’d be blue. I almost cried in sorrow. Please…. Please not blue…

Then my results came in.

White.

What? White? Really? I watched the video explanation of why they thought white was my color. I represent peace. My goal in the workplace is to keep people happy and to make sure nothing gets in the way of that happiness. I was actually humbled by my result. I answered every question as honestly as possible and they viewed me as a “White”. I was elated. “NOT BLUE!” I said aloud. “I’m WHITE!” I don’t think my coworkers knew I wasn’t talking about my race until my manager laughed.

This job is awesome. The training will be a bit tough, but I’m a fantastic customer service rep. I got this made. And a White? Peace? PEACE?! That’s the coolest thing ever! I love it. I absolutely love it. I am Peace, my soul mate is a Yellow, for sure. And I can’t wait to get things rolling. I want to grow. I want to rise up in the ranks here. Not because I want power, but because I want to be able to work here and support myself and others until my own personal company rises to fruition. This company is “the one”. I am excited. And I can’t wait to share everything with you.

You guys are awesome. You guys can do anything. Switch careers, switch majors, whatever. You don’t have to be trapped where you are now. If you’re unhappy, get out! It’s scary, it’s intimidating, and it’s rough. It is not easy at all. But you can do it. You can do it! If I can do it, if I can find a job that isn’t retail (the only thing I’m trained for) and change my life and career path, so can you! You got this, guys and gals. You got this. I love you all so very much. I’m proud of you and all you’ve done. I can’t wait to see what you do next.

Love,

Tay

Filming in Flagstaff

I hate “jobs.” I hate all jobs. I’ve yet to work a job that I can earnestly say “I really like this and can see myself doing this for the rest of my life/for many years to come!” Nope. Not once. Every job I’ve ever had I go “Yup. This is what I know how to do and I do it well.” They’re boring, but that’s not the only reason I hate them.

Jobs are jobs. They give me no sense of accomplishment. I really really thought about it, but I cannot find a single thing it does that makes me feel like I’m doing something worthwhile. Paying bills, being responsible, that’s all wonderful. SO wonderful. But it’s not fulfilling. It’s surviving.

I’m not a survivor. I’m a dreamer.

Do not go gently into that good night! Don’t sit around! Do! DO!

Last weekend, I went up to Flagstaff to film some things for movie that I’m interning on. It was such an amazing experience. I learned more in one day than I did in my 4 months of shooting my own film. I helped take stills, dress the set, talk about shots with my director. What’s amazing was that he actually appreciated what I did, because I just realized as I was typing this that me suggesting things might have been totally been inappropriate for an intern. Urgh. Anxiety.

Regardless, I learned something about myself that day. I will get up at 4:30 with only two hours of sleep and will work my hardest, be professional, and be generally all sorts of awesome AND happy on a film set. Why? How?

It’s something I love. I truly, deeply love filmmaking. I’ve decided that I will find a way to make money doing this. I don’t care what I do, so long as it’s creating movies in some way, shape, or form. It’s what I was born to do.

If you guys have a dream, follow it. You will find happiness beyond your dreams.

How to Feel Grateful, Even When You’re Not.

Over the first few months of the year, I’ve been mentally falling apart. That’s what tends to happen when you have no plan, no idea where you’re going, and under 60 days to decide all of that. Stress and anxiety destroyed me and I reverted to a version of myself that I neither like, nor am happy I ever had. But in this last week, I was brought back to joy by techniques I learned a few years ago. It’s funny how going back to the basics is so important. I suppose that’s why they teach you those first.

I’m going to list a few steps I’ve taken to correct my behavior and my attitude. Hopefully, if you find yourself in a spot of bother, these things will work for you.

Step 1: Stop

Stop whatever it is you’re doing. Really stop. If you’re doing homework, put the pencil down. If you’re driving, pull over. If you’re eating, swallow first and then stop. If you’ve been sitting, stand. If you’ve been standing, sit. I want you to literally stop whatever it is you’re doing for 17 seconds. It may help to put on a piece of uplifting music.

Step 2: Examination

Are you stopped for 17 seconds? Good! Now the un-fun part starts. Look at yourself. Look at what you’re doing. Look at your mood, your behavior, your mannerisms. Look at your posture, look at your facial expression, look at breathing. If you are not happy, if you are not in a good state of mind, then these things will be wrong. I guarantee that these things will look and feel the way you do, emotionally. You feel angry, you’ll look (your version of) angry. You feel sad, you’ll look (your version of) sad. I say your version because sometimes people hide their feelings from others. This also hides feelings from themselves, disconnecting the feel-er to their own emotional state. Stop all of this, and close your eyes.

Step 3: Let Go

LET IT GOLET IT GO! CAN’T HOLD IT BACK ANYMORE! There is joy inside of you. It’s there. Don’t think that you’re a joyless creature. Within the human mind, we are capable of all things. With that in mind, let go of all the crap that you are carrying right now. Let go of the anger, the sadness, the stress. This is one of the hardest things to do, but don’t stop.

Step 4: Say Thank You!

You wouldn’t believe how powerful this is. You don’t necessarily have to feel gratitude yet. Just having let go of the crap from the previous step, and choosing to allow yourself to feel gratitude, even if it’s not there, opens you up. Say “Thank you”. Who are you thanking? Well, you can thank God, thank the Universe, Spirit, Fairy Godmother, your parents, your friends, your family, your significant other, or yourself. What are you saying thank you for? It doesn’t matter. Just say thank you and mean it. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Start off by saying this twenty times and you’ll start to feel an energy shift. If you feel nothing, go back to step 3 and try again. Repeat these steps until you feel genuine gratitude.

Step 5: Write everything down

You’re now feeling gratitude, or starting to feel gratitude. Keep chanting Thank You! Grab a pen (not a pencil) and some paper. Get specific with your thanking and write it all down. “I am so grateful that I can write this down.” “Thank you for letting me change my attitude.” “I’m so grateful that I am free from my own self-afflictions.” List EVERYTHING you feel in a positive connotation. Instead of saying “I’m so grateful that I don’t have to deal with a crappy coworker anymore” write “I’m so grateful that my job has a better work environment.” This is critical. Gratitude doesn’t work if you’re snarky or sarcastic about it. You must focus on pure, positive reinforcement. You will be astounded at the difference it makes.

Step 6: Smile

As you do these steps, remember to smile genuinely. Physically adjusting yourself to allow that happiness into your life will make it easier for you to feel gratitude. Fix your posture, smile, breath deeper, be deliberate in your mannerisms. When you breathe, breathe in joy. When you stand or sit up straight, imagine your spirit becoming aligned with the universe as your spine does with your body. When you smile, every ounce of pain is shredded before your eyes. You will begin to feel a powerful shift in your body. Tilt your head towards the sky in awe, or towards the ground in reverence. Feel.

Remember that attitude is a choice. Whether you’re going to have a good day or a bad day is entirely up to you, not the circumstances you’re in. I know you have it in you to be powerful creators of your own lives, of your own destinies. Be strong, be brave. Be unafraid to challenge your old habits and stand up for your happiness. Be grateful. Be wise. And follow your feet. They know where to go. Trust yourself and your inner joy. I have so much more to say, but I want you to go right now and try this out. Try it out and comment on how it made you feel. Comment. Like. Share.

You guys are amazing and I cannot thank you enough for your time and your attention. It’s incredible. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Remember, if you’re going to dream, dream BIG!

What Can You Do?

What can you do?

This question haunts me. My reflection often looks back at me and says “Come on Tay. What can you do?”

First, what does that even mean? “What can you do?” asks what you think you’re capable of. It asks what you think your limits are. It makes you examine yourself. How far are you willing to go to accomplish your dreams? What are you willing to give up to get what you want? You take those hard, but necessary steps in the hopes that you’ll reach your destination in one piece. In a few weeks, months, or years, you make it to the top, your goal is achieved. Congratulations! One down, infinity to go.

What can you do? Let me rephrase that… What do you think you can do? What evidence do you have that you can make these dreams come true? What do you see yourself doing? Can you make it up the mountain? Can you take your time? Can you quit? What options do you have while you are on this journey? Flexibility is always good, but I would caution against being too flexible. Don’t let yourself lose sight of that aspiration that started you on your mighty quest!

Go ahead and think back to the goals you’ve missed for a moment. Yeah, I’m sure that list sucks. I look at New Years Resolutions and slap the palm of my hand right smack-dab in the middle of my face. I look at some of the writing goals I had. I was supposed to have at least 3 novels done already. Don’t even get me started on how long it’s taking to get my first movie done. So yeah. That all sucks.

Now stop. Stop thinking that right now. Do whatever you have to do to stop thinking that. Okay? You had your Debbie Downer moment, and now it’s time to have your Happy Harry moment. Or hour. Or day.

Think about all the things you’ve accomplished in your life. And yes. You’ve accomplished way more than you realize. Me? Well, for starters, I assembled a cast and crew and started shooting my very first short film on a professional level! My friend and I have published not one, but two short stories in the last couple years! My bouts of anxiety are getting shorter! I have recognized what foods make me healthier and happier! I have had a healthy relationship that, even though it didn’t last, gave me so much information about myself as a person, as a boyfriend, and as a Tay! These are only a few. I’m not even close to scratching the surface of the things I’ve done in my life. What? Those are real accomplishments. You should have seen me last year. Or the year before. Or the year before that! I was a disaster. I’m still healing from my years of stupidity, but dang it, I’m better than I was yesterday. So what about you? What have you done? Don’t say nothing because you’re lying and we both know it. You’ve read this far into my blog. That, believe it or not, is an accomplishment.

Don’t stop thinking about your successes, but start adding to them future successes. I will own my own company. I will be financially independent. I will run my own charity. I will be a healthy weight. I will figure out a cure for hyperhydrosis. I will find out how to overcome my serious addiction to goldfish crackers. I’m tellin’ yah, I got some real massive goals here.

So, in relation to my future goals, what can I do? I can stop eating so many freakin’ goldfish. I can further my studies in business and charity organizations. I can start dieting and working out more. I can try a new antiperspirant. I can wake up every morning and run through what I’m grateful for. I can make a short list of at least 10 of my most recent successes while I brush my teeth, and that’s with a groggy “I just woke up” mind. I can envision what I want to happen and feel what I want to happen in the day(s) to come.
What can I do? I can push. I can run. I can work harder, work myself to the bone. I can scrape myself up and put myself back on the path. I can discipline myself. I can educate myself. I can trust myself. I can be a better Tay today than I was yesterday. What can I do? What can you do?

Take a look at everything I’ve listed above. Think about yourself for a minute, about your goals, your dreams, the things you’ve already accomplished. Think about the friends you’ve made, the lives you’ve impacted. Think about all of this and then you’ll start to ask yourself the right question. You’re going to ask yourself:

“What CAN’T I do?”