Castle on the Hill
I first heard this song because one of my fabulously talented friends did a duet with Ed Sheeran and it got stuck in my head for the next 3 weeks. Check out Andy Costello and Ed Sheeran singing "Castle on the Hill".
This line just resonated so much with me: “And I'm on my way, I still remember. This old country lanes. When we did not know the answers. And I miss the way you make me feel, it's real...we watched the sunset over the castle on the hill”.
Doesn't it make you so wistful for how things used to be? I feel like I’m always pondering something and lately it’s been my own happiness. When in my life was I happiest? What was happening at that point around me? Was I in love? Was I on an upswing professionally? Was I at a smaller weight? Was I active? Happiness is so funny - sometimes you don’t truly appreciate how wonderful a time in your life was until it’s passed. The whole "only know you've been high when you're feeling low" is incredibly accurate!
I have a friend who has moved quite a bit with her job. Recently she had settled down in her hometown in the Midwest and bought a house….not a month later I got a text saying “I miss Seattle, I’m selling the house and moving back”. I wasn’t shocked but I was curious why. Why Seattle? We chatted about it and she realized the happiest she’s been in her 39 yrs was the few months she spent on a contract project in Seattle a decade ago. I walked away from our exchange and wondering if that happiness is really something that can be recreated. In her case - you’re in a new city, on a temporary gig working with people you’ve known for years on a project you’re finally bringing to fruition. The stars aligned in those 3 months and you were on a high....but were you truly the happiest you've ever been? Was Seattle really as great as it’s been ingrained in your memory? I’m not so sure (but stay tuned, I’ll keep you guys posted! Ha).
Reflection is a fickle mistress - you tend to highlight the parts of something that were exciting or fun or brought you joy in your mind and you tone down the things you struggled with. For instance I can pinpoint a time in my life within the last few years where I thought I was at the pinnacle of happiness…..I loved my job, I found my workout happy place, I was losing weight consistently and I was crushing on someone I was certain I was meant to be with. He got me, he was easy to be around, he encouraged me to be a better version of myself. If I look back quickly I think of that time fondly. However the reality was that job hinged on working for someone I respected and admired and once he left the organization the cracks of reality shone through brightly and the situation wasn’t very rosy at all. That guy? Yeah he wasn’t meant to be mine and isn’t part of my life in a significant way anymore. The only thing that stuck was my love of working out and my happy place - where I’ve continued taking classes and losing more weight. My point? Sometimes the happiness is contingent on factors you can’t control. I can’t go back to being that person - just like my friend can’t recreate being 29 in Seattle.
That said if there are things that made you happy in the past and you’ve strayed from them could they be reincorporated into your life? If you lived in LA and long for sunshine and fresh citrus fruit and don’t mind the 405 (which I assure you is as bad as people say, but you work it out) could you go back? If you spent time with a group of people who brought out the best in you but then life got in the way and it’s been a while could you reconnect? If you had a running routine and felt amazing after each run no matter how long it was could you bring that or another physical activity back into your life to give you that same high? Sure you could - because those are factors you have the ability to control.
My mom always instilled in me to enjoy the age I was because I could never be that age again. Now at 35 I have made friends through SP that are younger and I have days where I wish I could recapture the happiness I had at their age (23, 25, 27) - but then I remember the struggle that comes with that happiness - desperately trying to figure out what you want to "be", learning to pay your own bills, living (or not!) within your means for the first time....UGH no thanks. I'm glad those days are behind me. :) The past, great place to visit (especially if the memories are fond) but not someplace you should be living.