The Circular Chase for Happiness

Moving back to Snowshoe was a last-minute decision fueled by a pressing urge to move out of my parent’s house to seek solace elsewhere. A spontaneous weekend trip turned into moving back for good and falling back in love with the lifestyle I had too easily forgotten. Since moving to Snowshoe I have acquired an abundance of free time which I have spent journaling and taking notes on a book called A Return to Love. Through stillness and inner reflection of this book I have come face to face with the circular nature of my life that has controlled me for the past couple years.

With a chase for happiness that I’ve been engrossed in since I graduated college, I have ended up time and time again in the same circle. The patterns went like this: I would strive toward a dream, get fed up or bored with the current situation, and instead of working through it, I would try to escape it by jumping into a new life. I went from living in Virginia, to moving to Snowshoe for the winter, to Mammoth Lakes for the spring and summer, back to Virginia, and now again back to Snowshoe. Anytime things got tough I would go into escape mode, successfully leaving everything behind for a new start.

Everything that was exciting at first, turned to hell once the thrill was gone. It would only take a couple months for me to trick myself into thinking my awesome life was anything but that. Once the newness wore off I felt like there always had to be someplace better I could be. My happiness depended on the excitement I felt in a location, and I was always quick to blame external circumstances when I got bored. I let myself be dragged around by my mind patterns of “you should be doing something better”, or “you’re too good for this place.” Every chase for happiness ended in despair as I watched my dreams of being in a place crumble in front of my eyes. I began to think that life was just circular, and it was just a big mean game that put me back to where I started as a cruel joke.

I started to analyze my past to try and find the reasoning behind why my happiness wouldn’t last. I led myself into the darkness trying to learn from my mistakes. I thought I was getting better, but I started injecting past situations into my present. Every new person and place was carefully and anxiously analyzed. I started to place the blame on others. This later turned into owning up to my mistakes and placing the blame on myself. I let myself slowly die inside as I took the blame for every mistake no matter how big or small. I was angry with myself for messing up so many times. Crushing disappointment followed. How was I supposed to move forward with all the mistakes I had made haunting me?

It wasn’t until I was painting vortexes and working a job that watches chairlifts go in circles all day, that everything was too blatant to ignore. The circular evil life view I created wasn’t created by the universe, it was created by my mind. Everything I blamed on others, and then myself, didn’t matter anymore because I could choose a miracle of forgiveness. I was free from my past and all the pain it caused me. With this newfound acceptance I was now able to move forward with the humbling knowledge that I overcame one of the most destructive patterns in my life.

Last week after an emotional debacle, I decided I wanted to escape Snowshoe. I was feeling disappointed in myself for moving back to the same place I had already spent three years at, and I felt like I was looping myself again. But after finishing A Return to Love my perspective changed.

This time I won’t run back home. Not yet. It isn’t time. Now it’s time to let the universe guide me to my next adventure. I am finally at peace with myself, and there is no better place to heal than a mountain far away from society. I am learning to accept my surroundings instead of fighting them, and letting go of the constant need to find the next best thing.

When I’m up here in the island in the sky, looking down at the valleys filled with clouds, I can’t help but wonder how this place even exists. I am overwhelmed with gratitude that I get to be back in this beautiful place.