Stuck. That is the word that best describes my difficulty for the last year or so. And it was the appreciation that if I was to get out of it, the unsticking would have to come from within. Hoping for a something to come along that would pull me out was never going to happen. It never does.
Don’t get me wrong, there have been plenty of people around prepared to support and that is essential for any happiness venture, but I’ve learnt that support doesn’t show up unless I step out and be vulnerable about who I am and what I need. I began my own re-stepping out about 2 months ago.
Since then things have begun to shift. Things that are not only on course to making me happier but will one day bring happiness to others too. . .
A job . . .
The first bit of news is that I now have a job. It’s hard to describe how that feels having not had secure employment for nearly four years. There is the relief that my savings won’t have to dwindle any further and that I can treat myself to the odd tea in a café without guilt. However, the happiness from having a job is rarely about money. There is the joy that despite my unique happiness journeying over the last few years (more about sharing that journey in my third bit of news) I have found a job in which I can contribute beyond myself – supporting community mental health through a peer connection service. With one of my worries being that I’d strayed too far from regular life, I feel like I’ve been allowed back in to contribute.
Some research . . .
The next bit of news is that I’ve donned my academic hat and started talking to academics again. Some of them very high profile ones who, to my surprise given my history, think I’ve still got a lot to say as an academic. We’ve developed a research proposal and submitted it to a leading UK funding agency. It’s a wild idea – system change as a route to more happiness. It’s unlikely we’ll get it, as that is how things go in the academic world, but you never know. I certainly believe in the project.
Publishing the book . . .
And then there is my favourite bit of stepping out into the world news. That book, I’ve been writing, the one about happiness based on that cycle journey I made to Bhutan after quitting my unhappy life as a happiness researcher. Publication is on the horizon. And not because a publisher is knocking at the door to publish it, but because it’ll be self-published. I’m hoping that you and many people like you will be part of that journey. It’ll be us-published. In October there will be a crowdfunding campaign to raise the funds for that venture. By March you could have a copy of the book in your hands. . .
***A Journey for Happiness: Cycling from Scotland to Bhutan and Everything You Need to Know About Happiness Along the Way by Dr Christopher Boyce
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