Self Care

You need to know what you want to find joy

Liked How to figure out what you want – The Aesthetics of Joy by Ingrid Fetell Lee (The Aesthetics of Joy by Ingrid Fetell Lee)

In a world of endless options, it can be hard to know what you really want. Here’s how to tune out the noise and make choices that truly light you up.

Without desire, joy becomes something we find only by accident. We have difficulty making decisions, because we don’t know what we really want, and so we let others choose. Life starts to feel like it’s just happening to us.

Try to make decisions for something instead of against something else.

[H]iding disappointment sends an unconscious message that our desires aren’t valid. If we can’t be disappointed when we don’t get something, then the desire must not have been real or important. To reclaim desire, we have to get more comfortable with disappointment.

Figuring out what to have for dinner is a daily struggle in our house. I never know what I want. I can tell you if I don’t want something but can’t pinpoint what it is I do. (Part of that is the monotony of vegetarian and pescetarian options at most restaurants.) I finally wrote all the cuisines on index cards and when we can’t decide we’ll draw three to limit the selection.

Making decisions has always been hard for me, and I’m working on listening to myself more, trusting myself, and being willing to say what it is I want even when I doubt my husband will want it.

By Tracy Durnell

Writer and designer in the Seattle area. Freelance sustainability consultant. Reach me at She/her.

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