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Avoid the Norm: Find Your Own Inner Joy

I placed my tortilla chips, mozzarella cheese, and two PBRs (Tall Boys. Obviously) on the counter. I’m sure I was quite the sight.

It was 12:48am.

I placed my tortilla chips, mozzarella cheese, and two PBRs (Tall Boys. Obviously) on the counter. I’m sure I was quite the sight.

Living a healthy lifestyle is something I take pride in. But I like a break from routine every now and then. Earlier that night, I also treated myself to a low key evening with friends. It involved draft beer and bar pizza. These were the perfect ingredients for a “Tony night off” - good company, good food, and a break from the usual.

As midnight rolled around, I was surprised to find myself more excited than I had been all night as I ventured toward the twenty-four hour Jewel Osco.

...right?

Why was this happening?
Was there something wrong with me?
Am I just not a normal social person like the rest of my friends?  

Our ego can be a bit loud sometimes. It enjoys asking questions in order to justify why things are the way they are. Our ego also can be a dick and make us believe things that aren’t true. And it was happening that night...until I caught myself. The idea that I was “wrong” for the way I was enjoying myself couldn’t be further from the truth. The truth was there are particular things that make me happy, and particular things that don’t. The truth was I didn’t have fun at the bar. The conversations were negative. The bar was dull. And the pizza was….actually that part was okay. But the “fun night out” wasn’t fun. I needed something more.

I’m not involved in research. But I have a hunch that if you polled a bunch of twenty-something-year-old Chicagoans about whether or not that night at the bar would be considered “fun,” it would receive an overwhelming, “Of course!” Yet recently I’ve discovered that many things deemed fun by other millennials aren’t fun for me anymore. While it’s a bit isolating at times, I’m grateful for the awareness. Because sometimes we forget to check and ask if the things that are supposed to us happy are actually working.

I like writing. I like journaling. I like getting an aha-moment and writing it down furiously. I like beer and cheese. I like consuming it while watching Netflix with quality acting and a killer script.

So that night...I did all of those things.

It. Was. Awesome.

If you find yourself, dare I say, bored when you’re doing something that once seemed fun (or still seems fun for others), that’s okay. Recognize it. Acknowledge it. The feedback you’re receiving from your ego can actually bring you closer to the things that bring you joy. And when you have more joy - you feel more alive.

So. What makes you feel most alive?

Let’s do that instead. Let’s go get ‘em.

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