The pursuit of happiness and being a ‘yes’ person

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A friend and I were discussing credit cards and their uses for gaining air miles the other day and I told him that I didn’t want to get a credit card until I got a real job. He commented “so to you a credit card symbolizes that you’ve ‘made it’?

My response? No. No it definitely doesn’t. Really I just want to be able to pay the bill off every month. To do that and still pay my other bills, I need to get a real full-time job or at least enough part time jobs to pay it off.

Don’t worry, I have a point with all of this. You should know this by now! I’m not really here just to discuss my credit card musings and financial life. Though if I did, it might make an interesting story.

As I mentioned before, I lost my job. It hasn’t technically ended yet, but I get the vibe that soon I’ll be leaving and that a majority of the office doesn’t know what to do with me. I’m on the prowl for another new adventure. To me, having a credit card and a well-paid job doesn’t spell happiness or success.

I’ve struggled a lot in the last few years both while in school trying to work enough to pay for living while still going to school full time and being involved in everything I wanted to. I hit the non-profit world unlike most of my friends because I knew that having a job that payed ridiculously well that had  me in that type of environment (you know, one where some weeks you don’t even speak with a human being) for 10-14 hours  a day and sometimes over night and weekends wouldn’t make me happy. It would push me into that existence where I never met anyone new, never did anything that I wanted to do, never pursued my creative interests and gazed angrily at a computer doing math all day.

Math and I have a love hate relationship. It loves me, I hate it.

Here in San Francisco, I’ve hit quite a few road blocks, but for the most party save one or two months, I’ve been insanely happy. I’ve met some amazing people that remind me that humanity still exists. I’ve done more, seen more, created more than I have in the last 5 years. With the guidance and support of my mentor and my family (for the most part), I haven’t let go of my vision or idea that I can create a life for myself that is full of happiness without turning my back on doing what I believe in and entering the corporate world of the earth-rapers that are Chevron or Exxon Mobile. That there was a run-on.

I’ve kept my head held high through losing my job and entering the unknown that is unemployment. Me being unemployed is like Michael Jordan playing baseball. I haven’t been unemployed since I was 14. Thankfully I have at least a very very part time job which I love immensely at the Conservatory of Flowers here in SF. This past weekend has been no exception to the last 8 months.

I learned how precious and short life can be. How you never know when yours will come to an end. Morbid, I know, but trust me, I’ll get to a brighter ending. This past weekend I’ve lost not one but two amazing people from my life. My dad lost his best friend from growing up and our family lost a very dear friend. From the moment I was born, he was in my life. We spent countless hours eating s’mores by the fire at his camp; biking along the dirt roads, exploring the woods, and having a laugh at his  boisterous attitude and antics. I remember one time, I was changing out of shorts and into jeans and I didn’t take my shoes off. I wrestled for over an hour with the jeans, trying to get them on. I was quite stuck. There were tears. I was embarrassed. Every Fourth of July was spent with him, his family and others playing games of Red Rover and watching the fireworks over Canadohta Lake. His presence will be deeply missed by everyone he knew.

My cousin lost her dear aunt who I also knew and spent time with. She was a sister, a mother, and an amazing women who was taken from the world too soon.

My mom texted me between her shifts at the hospital. She told me about everything that happened and followed her last message letting me know she had to get back to work with the following words:

Be happy. Live life to its fullest every day and enjoy every minute.

And she is right. Its been said over and over again. Famous quotes about living life to its fullest and being happy and enjoying every minute is key to success for me. If I’m not happy with where my life is, I’m not successful.

I’m very successful at the moment. I may be out of a job and suffered many dear losses recently, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t listen to my mom’s words. I will be like J and live my life full of laughter and fun.

This is where I get to being a ‘Yes’ person and the happy ending I promised earlier. To me, being a yes person is not saying no – rocket science, I know. Though there are instances where I will say no such as when illegal substances are involved or where I could hurt myself badly (I will always say yes to awesome stunts and experiences life cliff jumping, but if someone says stab yourself with this knife, of course I’ll say no) or hurt someone else, I will say yes to opportunities.

I realized that I’ve been too much of a no person and not enough of a yes person. I don’t need to get 8 hours of sleep a night (I usually get 7 anyway). I don’t need to sit around before working on the weekends. I need to say yes to seeing a new band, experiencing a new thing, or dancing until 2am. I get into slumps where I say no to everything. I think the proper term is depression. I realized though, that no matter how terrible things are, the more I say yes, the happier I am and the more new opportunities arise.

This week, I started saying yes way more than saying not. Where did I find myself? Yesterday I found myself buying delicious honey from a local, meeting amazing people at a Couch Surfing event in Alamo Square, hanging out on a random roof with other amazing people, and getting free Sake from a great bartender who appreciated a free slice of pizza.

I think the key is knowing when to say no. I said no to a job offer. It was the shadiest interview/job posting I have ever had or seen and every ounce of me was screaming to run away. It left me open for amazing opportunities that will arise. I say this because I can feel it. I might have a major breakthrough soon with an amazing opportunity starting in January. I’ll keep you all posted.

San Francisco is turning me into such a hippy.


6 thoughts on “The pursuit of happiness and being a ‘yes’ person

    happykidshappymom said:
    June 14, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    Thank you for your e-mail. You have a wonderful blog, too! And it sounds like your mother is one amazing woman. What terrific advice she gave you.

    This line is one I think everyone should live by, and one I hope you’ll remember when times get tough, “I’ve hit quite a few road blocks, but for the most part save one or two months, I’ve been insanely happy.”

    What a great way to look at things! 🙂

    Best wishes,

      paperballpotluck responded:
      June 14, 2012 at 4:16 pm

      Thanks!! yes my mom is one of the strongest women I know and she always gives me amazing advice and sticks by my decisions – even if it is moving 3000 miles away!

    Kayi and Zara said:
    June 16, 2012 at 3:46 am

    Brilliant!! I think saying yes takes courage though because it could take us into the ‘unknown’ (dark spooky Jaws music) and sometimes it feels so much safer to say ‘oh no,not this time thanks… maybe another day…’ and then we find we’ve missed out on a whole lot of amazing opportunities. Good on you for being a yes person in the best possible way. Enjoy. Phillipa

    Javi&Palace said:
    June 23, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    Hi, mmm… paperballl ( sorry don’t know your name or I am too blind as to seeing it if you wrote it on your blog lol)

    The catchy title you gave to this post, made me feel like reading it, and it did not let me down!! What’s more, as I was reading , I found it more and more interesting.

    I will take that sentence from one of your paragraphs: If I’m not happy with where my life is, I’m not successful.

    I really liked that..and I think you are right. We are not machines, we do have feelings and thoughts, and those are what should lead us in the way to find happiness and success in our lives.

    It was nice to find your blog,


      paperballpotluck responded:
      June 25, 2012 at 4:07 pm

      Thank you so much!! Your words really made my day 🙂

    […] San Francisco community had a pot luck in Alamo Square. I discussed this in my post about being a yes person and met some really great people – one of which I see […]

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