I think I finally discovered why I’ve been so much happier in the last year. It’s not my independence or financial situation. I’m of a better mindset because I’ve let go of the past and learned from it. To dwell on the negativity of the past is a death sentence to your own future success. In a lot of ways, I believe that the mono actually helped me to slow down and reassess what I needed and found important in life. First, it isn’t money that makes me happy. I am grossing less with my “new” job than I did with my first, but the working enviornment is extremely supportive and I feel my opinions are valued. Somehow in the midst of my $$$ being a few grand less a year, my credit card balances and school loans diminish quicker than when I had the extra money. Second, I’ve come to value the time that I get to spend with my family and friends. Most of the moments are short, but they mean more to me than if I had days on end. Overall I think communication plays a key role in all of this. The weekly calls to my parents, emails with friends who are 1100 miles away, and seeing my local friends keep balance in my life. Third, I now have the time to look at what I’m doing and how it effects the people around me. There are days to go outside and just look at nature and what’s in my local area. To think about the future and where I see myself headed. To look at the past, take its lessons and file them away on which to base future decisions. To think about nothing except what a wonderful world I live in and how I can contribute to the happiness. I don’t need or want all the material items. I just want acceptance of who I am and to make a positive contribution to the lives of the people I touch.