A View Ahead: 2012

Happiness is a choice. Anyone can become, among a circle of friends, the “joy lightbulb,” as my friend calls people who seem to emote positivity. You may shine brighter than your peers, your boss, even your parents. I somehow resisted writing a 2011 wrap-up, but I have been thinking a lot about what’s going to unfold in my life in 2012.

No resolutions here, predictions about how many times I will use my passport, pounds I’m going to lose. I’m not vowing to stay dedicated to my job, or to leave it, or act a certain way or to stop a bad habit.

I have only one declaration: Once and for all, after three years of playing with the idea like a young cat pawing at a toy mouse, I am going to throw out all preconceived notions about what my life is or isn’t supposed to be like.

I am going to dig down deep and work on finding out what makes ME happy. There’s no need to keep up with the proverbial Joneses, whoever they may be. In my life, I could easily fall into a deep rabbit hole comparing myself to all my married friends, or ones who make a lot of money. I could say I don’t travel enough for my online travel world I care so passionately about, or write meaty enough stories for some of my writer and journalist friends who may think I’ve sold out by editing a luxury title, a job I love with all my heart.

My independent streak combined with my Piscean creativity side has made following my dreams something of a guiding star, as I zig-zag the world on adventures. But I am still a goal-oriented person who IS affected by what others think I should be doing.

That comes to an end right now.

I am following my own heart, where-ever it might lead in 2012.

My friends… 2012 is going to rock the house down. For me, that’s because I’m going to be pure in my intentions and figure out what makes ME happy. And if that means doing things that scare me or go against what I’ve been raised to do, so be it.

No matter what I find out, I will follow that lead. Because this year, over everything else…

I choose happiness.

If you toss aside your resolutions, what is YOUR goal for this year?

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I'm a life-long travel junkie journalist who works hard to find adventure in everyday life after two years of travel and expat living.

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Comments

  1. This made me cry. I am so HAPPY just reading your words. Here’s to an overflowing HAPPY in 2012. Love you heaps.

  2. One of my best blogger/real life friends (@ashleegadd at http://www.wheremyheartresides) wrote about choosing joy at the beginning of last year. This year, I want to keep choosing joy and focus on creating a healthy balance in my life. Wishing you much happiness this year and always!

  3. Oh! I could hug you so tight for what you’ve written today. šŸ™‚ This is EXACTLY what my goal for this year is, but I just haven’t put it into words. Thank you for doing it for me, and for giving me courage to embrace it. šŸ™‚ xo

  4. I love this… because this is my goal, too!

  5. Hell yeah! What a powerful post!!! I can’t see where 2012 takes you gorgeous. You know you can ALWAYS count on me for support.

  6. Silly? Hardly… thou rockest live wire and I am so glad to know you šŸ™‚

  7. Love it Abby! Get busy living!!

  8. Thank you, everyone!! Wow — that’s so encouragement to go ahead and get going!!

  9. Love it! This is the best “non-resolution” ever, and the most profound!

  10. Abby, I have been following your blog since I stumbled upon it when I first moved to Costa Rica 6 months ago. I moved here on my hunt for happiness and a more free life. A great blog/website to check out is http://www.ordinarycourage.com by Brene Brown

  11. Thank you, Laura! That means a lot. šŸ™‚

  12. Throwing out preconceived notions to life. Love it. Go get ’em friend!

  13. Thanks, Spencer! I’ve been trying to for a few years now, but 2012 is when it all comes together. I just know it!

  14. What others think you should be doing is often a huge stumbling block for a lot of people, including me. Half of me says “What would would I do if all outside influences disappeared”, and the other half says “How in the world would I pay for all the lifestyle I’ve grown so use to, without my regular gig”?

    Good luck finding the right path.

  15. Yay Abby! This is awesome. So proud of you for not only deciding it, but proclaiming it. Be happy! And also, meet up with me in 2012. Just do it.

  16. Here! Here! Be who you are and blaze your own trail. I am doing things that are different than everybody else. I can’t be the same or compare myself to anyone else. Sometimes this whole travel thing can be cuthroat and competitive. In the end we need to be ourselves and have fun.

    Looking ahead is the only way to go! Good for you Abby!

  17. Awesome declaration! May you swim in complete happiness all year long.

  18. I love this! And have no doubt you’re going to smash your big declaration out of the park. Cheers to you and an amazing 2012!

  19. It’s been a longer trail than I often admit trying to toss those preconceived notions… But I am determined that this is the year!!

  20. Abby, What a powerful, honest and inspiring post!! Here’s to an incredible 2012!!

  21. So good Abby! Fantastic, fantastic post! Can’t wait to see what happiness you find in 2012.

  22. I love (and that’s an understatement) your take on 2012.

    We write a lot about happiness on our site because we’re both experts at pursuing templated versions of success (better job, more money, etc.) and others’ versions of what it means to be happy. It was a rough transition, but that’s no longer the case.

    We always say that letting go and leaning into uncertainty was the best thing we ever did. It saved us as individuals AND bolstered the strength of our relationship.

    Glad that you wrote “Iā€™M GOING TO BE PURE IN MY INTENTIONS AND FIGURE OUT WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY.” We’ll help hold you to it šŸ™‚

    Here’s to 2012!

  23. YOU GO GIRL!!!!!!!! I know you can, and will, fulfill this. You’re stronger than most of the women I know Abby. This is a great goal and I can’t wait to see how it all falls into place for you and how 2012 shapes up.

    My goal is roughly the same. It’s like this, travel makes me happy so I’m going to keep traveling. I’m not going to settle down and get a full time office or day job yet. I’m not going to stay in one place. I might do that later. But ,I’m not ready to do it yet. So I won’t. Even though lots of people are telling me I should (my mother most loudly). I can only do right now what makes me happy because when I do I can then help other people in large and small ways which is another thing that really makes me happy.

    Hope our paths cross again in 2012 face-to-face. HUGS!!!

  24. Good for you. Have talked to you long enough to hope you follow through with this. You know the one obsession of yours that I am thinking you need to give up!

  25. Yay!

    And…agreed. The things that went right for me in 2011 were a mixture of following my heart, and luck. And I’m pretty sure luck is attracted to people that follow their hearts. In contrast, the things that went wrong were generally where I didn’t listen to myself hard enough.

    Good on you.

    I approve of this message.

  26. Your comments are so inspiring. šŸ™‚ šŸ™‚ šŸ™‚

  27. LOVE it! Cheers to an amazing 2012!

  28. Agreed! Cheers, Abbs!!

  29. I can raise a glass to that. Best of luck in 2012, Abby!

  30. Cheers, JoAnna!! We are going to have an awesome 2012 in Vegas!!

  31. My resolution is nothing in particular, but more of a general attitude: I want to start acting on things, rather than think or talk about it. Action, reaction!

    Can’t wait to see what 2012 has in store for us šŸ™‚

  32. You are SOOOO right that happiness is a CHOICE! Good for you for making such a solid declaration!

    2012 is the Year of Abby. You heard it here first, folks. šŸ™‚

  33. Truly wonderful post Abby! Love you!

  34. I LOVE THIS! To be honest, I did write some resolutions- I thought that would make me happy, I was so determined to have this awesome resolutions list. But now after reading this, I realize that I need to do what makes me happy, not what everyone else wants/expects me to do.. This motivates me to live this year for me, and to work on achieving my goals. Thanks for writing this Abby and knowing you, I know you will achieve this, you deserve it girl!! Hope to see you in 2012!

  35. Yes, action!! Choices! This is it, for sure. Yay 2012!!!

  36. Melissa W. says:

    LOVE THE POST!! and LOVE YOU!!! šŸ™‚

  37. LOVE it!! I’ve been having the same attitude adjustment recently except I wasn’t thinking of it as eloquently as you did. My version was more like “f*ck it!” or “them,” whoever they are. They need to stop telling me what to do. My recent break up, going to the states on vacay to hear 100 people all begging me to come “home.” UGH enough! Holla if you need some positive support in going your own way! šŸ™‚

  38. Erin!! Yes, that’s it!

  39. I thought you were a “joy lightbulb” already when I met you. I think being happy sounds like an easy resolution, but is really a thousand little steps. I’ve decided to start writing a book this year, that will make me happy.

  40. Love this — I’ve been reading all of these 2012 resolutions and feeling like I don’t have any but then I read this and I feel like this is a goal that I could have too. But I have another important resolution for you — don’t sell yourself short! You have so many amazing accomplishments — I think many people are comparing themselves to you and trying to measure up (and not even coming close).

  41. I so agree with your post that you should follow your heart. I did the same when i launched my blog 4 months back and followed my heart in Wildlife Conservation and using Travel as a tool to join these diminishing wilderness dots.

    Have a great 2012 and great to connect. BTW my B’day is the 17th šŸ™‚

  42. WOWZA! What a fantastic post. Your words truly resonate and brighten my thinking today. While I have much to be grateful for – for a while in 2011 I found myself trapped in what I call “rear view mirror” thinking and a handful of would’ves and should’ves. For me, 2012 is going to be what I make it. One happy moment at a time! Thanks, Abby!

  43. Laurel, that is the nicest comment. Thank you so much!!

    Ruth! So happy to hear from you. You are definitely one out of all of Vegas who I think has chosen happiness!!

  44. You must feel so liberated!

  45. I love this post, Abby. Good for you! Do it! I think one of the things that sidetracks so many of us in our pursuit of happiness is the expectations of others or our own comparisons of our lives with the lives of others. We need to just let go of that crap. Yes, figure out what makes YOU happy and embrace it. And you might not figure it out overnight, but I know you will figure it out.

  46. I never make resoltions; simply because when I don’t acheive them, they become reminders of my failures. Though, every year, I do try to do things I haven’t done in previous years. It keeps life interesting.

    I strongly admire your goal to find what truly makes you happy. As Americans, I think we are often better at looking for happiness than finding it. If what you said in this post is any indication of path to happiness, then I have no doubt you will find it this year. Here’s to your happiness in 2012!

  47. Hell yeah! Who needs resolutions?! Take each day as it comes. šŸ™‚

  48. I love love love this post. It’s so beautiful and so perfect. I’m sure you’ll find the greatness happiness this year, now that your not focusing on the predictions or resolutions aimed towards the way things should be. Happy 2012!

  49. It will be a long battle — heck, it already has been. But worth it!!

  50. Here’s to finding what you’re looking for this year, Abby!

  51. I love this. I’ve never been one to make silly resolutions. No expectations and make yourself happy. I like it!

  52. Well said, happiness is personal and all we need. Wish you a *happy* and peaceful 2012 šŸ™‚

  53. I am THRILLED for you and can’t wait to see what 2012 brings!

  54. Damn skippy Abby! We’re here to support you the entire way. I can’t wait to see what you’ll come up with this year. This year is seems to be a transformative year for so many of us!

  55. Mike Snedegar says:

    AMAZING! Love you!

  56. I felt a sense of relief when I read your post. It’s like a “Waiting to Exhale” empowerment moment. Your last line was the clincher. I, too, choose happiness.

  57. I just can’t get over what inspiring comments this post received!!

  58. This year is going to be big, can’t wait to see where it leads you.

  59. I hope so. Thanks, Ayngelina. šŸ™‚

  60. I choose happiness too, although you seem to be a little further ahead of me in terms of jumping right in and seeing where life takes you. I predict a great year for both of us šŸ™‚

  61. Happy 2012 Abby! This year is full of uncertainty and surprises šŸ™‚ just like you, no resolutions for this year too šŸ™‚ Wishing you more adventures and more awesome life experiences šŸ™‚

  62. You love your job, it doesn’t matter what others think. I like that you recognize that. Regardless of how much you travel, your blog is still an interesting place to catch up on you. Whether you write about Vegas, Napa or Costa Rica, it is also nice to share in someone’s joy and adventure.
    With your focus and your joie de vie, I would imagine that any potential suitor would be a lucky man indeed.
    Since you asked, my only resolution is to continue to grow and be a better man. No matter what age I am, I never want to settle and think that there isn’t room for growth or change.
    All I ask of you in 2012 is to keep flashing that beautiful smile like the one in the picture you posted here.

  63. absolutely…happiness IS a choice!!! I hope you find your happiness…every day! šŸ™‚

  64. Thank you šŸ™‚ šŸ™‚

  65. Trvl8dintern says:

    This is an excellent “resolution”! Let’s be happy!

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