Heather Havrilesky on improvement

“The irony is that when you work too hard to improve yourself every day, you slowly start to feel stuck and anxious and angry at yourself. I don’t write well from that spot. Believing that a good life is a constant upward trajectory, like a rocket ship to the stars, isn’t good for you. It’s unrealistic. It leeches the joy out of your life to think that way.

Because that’s not how life works. Life is full of stops and starts. You’re young some years, then old, then young again. You learn and you’re brilliant and then you slow down and feel dumb sometimes. You’re tough and resilient! And just when you’re about to declare victory… you fall apart and cry and wonder how you landed there.

The goal is not to be better and better. The goal, every day, is to simply feel where you are and accept it. What is happiness, after all? Happiness is enjoying yourself as you are right now and connecting to other people as they are. That’s it. You don’t have to change anything. You don’t have to win anyone over. You just have to savor this day.”

— Heather Havrilesky (via)