On being happy // plus, INSTAGRAM


I used to think that people who told me to "adjust my expectations" about life were amazingly dense, trying to make me compromise on all of life's dreams. I never wanted to listen. I wanted to do it all, and I wanted to believe that I could do anything, no matter what. I never wanted to compromise.

In many ways, I am still that person. I don't like to compromise when it comes to my dreams and passions. But age seems to be softening my black & white stance on what those well-meaning people have told me about expectations. Adjusting your expectations doesn't necessarily mean that you're giving up on your dreams. Sometimes you may not have the opportunity to get or take what you want in just the way you want it; sometimes "good enough," really can be good enough. For a period of time, anyway. Does that make sense?

At this point in my life, I am still highly ambitious, but I don't expect the moon. I'm never going to be rich, famous or perfect at something (like, the best at something, an award-winner whose name everyone knows and respects) — and that's fine. I guess I'll leave that to Mark Zuckerburg or something, though I don't think everyone respects him. ;)  The point is that as I get older, I've had to learn to be happy with what I have, while still always yearning and trying for more. The journey & process of life has begun to settle in my soul. I don't have to have everything right now, because guess what? It's become very clear to me by now that you can't ever have everything right now. Patience is required. Time is required. Hard work is required. And if you aren't happy with what you have now, then how can you ever be happy, since now is all you really have?

I've adjusted my expectations about a lot of things in my life during the last year or so, and I must say, I'm a lot happier for it. I might not be in the perfect job right now, and there may be a lot of early twentysomethings jumping me in my career(s) every single day, but my path is my path, and the next step may only be the next stepping stone, but that's not bad.

I'm going through some interesting changes at my day job right now. A lateral move, one that will bring me back more where I want to be, but will take me further away in other ways (and introduce some new stuff). I knew I had to take the offer because treading water in the position I've held for nearly 2.5 years definitely was not an option for me anymore. There comes a time when you need to take action. I took action, finally. I know I am supported but that I'm going to have to work hard, and there's a risk it will all blow up in my face. In the end, it wasn't a tough decision, though—because inaction was simply not a choice I was willing to make anymore.

I'm not going to talk about my day job in any more detail than that, but I am excited and nervous for the next few months (and more than a little overwhelmed). I'm good enough, I'm smart enough ... right? You know where this is going. It's not what I originally thought I'd wanted, but I know it's exactly what I'm supposed to do.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 

In other news, Instagram for Android was released today, and that means I am basically the happiest, most patient person on the planet. I've been waiting for this for literally years.

Here was my first photo. I look terrible & was squinting into the sky's glare while wearing my glasses, but I couldn't bring myself to delete my first Instagram photo:
Hardworking Amber Is Hardworking

And here is another. Happy Tuesday! May Wednesday bring even more Instagram obsession. I thought I'd feel much more like a loser who is late to the game than I do. The truth is, I don't care one bit.

UC Berkeley; some of the only spring flowers left, boo hoo

Now that I think about it, I think there's a decent chance that what I said above (the large part) probably didn't make much sense, but hey, I had to be vague because I don't talk about my day job on this blog (or anywhere; I remember when dooce lost her job, and I never want to be another example of a careless internet user). I'm feeling cautiously optimistic about the specific situation right now, and as for my general mindset, I really am happier not putting so much pressure on myself to achieve everything in the universe right now, or yesterday, or ten years ago already. 


  1. I am so happy Instagram is available on Android, too! We may be a little late to the party, maybe fashionably late? Is that still a thing?

    1. Scott says it's the proper way to arrive to ANY party. And he would know because he knows every etiquette-related thing there is to know. ;)

      I realized last night that our version has NO TILT SHIFT. I feel betrayed! DAMN YOU IPHONES

  2. I'm so happy for you and the job change! Sometimes life's best decisions happen when we jump head first, ask questions later.

    1. thank you <3 I am really scared but also excited. Sometimes you have to gamble and this was one of those times!


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