Every single one of us is on a continuous search for happiness–what that happiness may be comprised of, though, is different to each individual. I think that for me, I find joy and happiness in pushing myself to experience new places and things especially if it’s with great people (and of course, food!). I have this natural tendency to want to try or be a part of every opportunity I am offered, and honestly, it gets tiring! But the guilt of not participating in something and missing out on that particular experience is something I am starting to allow myself to accept. Lately, instead if trying to do it all, I have been trying to do what’s best. What’s best for me, that is. And I know that sounds a little selfish, but that’s not my intention.
Throughout my life, I have taken into consideration every single person’s feelings around me and in fact, prided myself on that very characteristic of mine. But I have slowly started to realize that in exchange for the welcoming environment I always tried to create, I sometimes ended up compromising my own, personal experience. I am not saying that it was a bad choice–on the contrary, I believe that every person should consider the feelings of those around them–but sometimes we just have to take a step back and remember that we have needs, too. We have dreams, desires, goals and achievements, and it’s ok to give ourselves the necessary time and space to reach them. Recently, this thought has been pressing on my mind, and I haven’t been able to let it settle. I realized that I have been trying so hard to make everyone happy that I forgot about myself. So, I finally stopped trying to attend all of the events I was invited to, stopped offering my spare time to the professional opportunities that had just the slightest possibility of advancement for me, and let go of the idea of trying to make everything fit into a finely packed schedule. Simply put, I tossed out the bad (and unnecessary) apples and started to de-clutter and rearrange my priorities. And what was left? Everything that makes me happy. My blog, cooking, sharing food, my friends, family, going to the movies, taking trips to visit other places, and simply enjoying a day with nothing to do but relax–all the things that I am going to focus more on because they make me happy. And although I’m still working on this new journey and making sure I haven’t missed anything, it already feels like I’ve taken all of my favorite ingredients and mixed them into one giant bowl that has all the essentials I’ll ever need. It’s so refreshing!
And I’d like to share with you a recipe that, well, physically does do this: stuffed bell peppers!
This dish can be comprised of anything you want and love! For me, I added cous cous, shrimp, onions, jalapenos, zucchini, tomatoes, red pepper flakes, mushrooms, mozzarella and feta cheese. So choose what you love, combine everything in a bowl, cut some (cleaned) bell peppers in half, and stuff those bell peppers to the brim with “happiness”. Then pop them into the oven at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes, and they’re ready to eat!
Remember, pick out the things (even if they are little) that make you unhappy, and replace those empty slots with people and events that make you feel the most alive and truly satisfied. We all deserve to be completely happy.
Hope everyone had a great weekend!
Note: The picture above is not the final product. I added the cheeses on them afterward, and then baked them but forgot to take pictures before I ate them (silly me!).