Happiness Project


Another month come and gone means another month of trying to be the happiest I can be. July was the 4th month of my Happiness Project, inspired by Gretchen Rubin's self-help memoir. I challenged myself to focus on friendships and I think I succeeded. With anything it's always possible to try harder, but a couple of my friends were thrown some tough situations this month and I don't think I could have been more supportive.

"One of the best ways to make yourself happy is to make other people happy. One of the best ways to make other people happy is to be happy yourself."

This month I remembered people's birthdays. I cut people slack. I did my best not to gossip, I made new friends, and I smiled more at strangers. I asked questions about people's lives, I created a positive mood, and I tried to ignore all social anxieties.

Crossing things off on this "be a better friend checklist" was all fine and dandy, but this month being a good friend went far beyond that. Many of my close friends live far away. Because I started college in a different state, I have a lot of great people in my life spread around the country. One of my dearest friends is on an opposite coast from me. She went through a difficult time the past couple weeks and I felt awful that I couldn't be there for her. Then I realized, being a good friend is not about me physically spending time with her. It's about the phone calls, the texts, the how are yous, and the check ins. It's knowing that if need be, you would drop everything to fly across the country for that person, but knowing that a simple phone call is enough. Being a friend is not a checklist of things to do. Being a friend is just about being there mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. It's about giving all you can to someone else when they need it and when they don't.

In the coming weeks, I encourage you all to look at your friendships and question--are these people I'm just killing time with or are these people I would give all the time in the world for?
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Caitlin Dimmitt
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