Happiness. Easily achieved and easily taken away. Society teaches us that the happiness we desire is tangible, it is brought on through circumstance. The problem with that happiness is that it has become something that only lasts for a short period of time. We believe that in order to achieve life long happiness we must have more, more, more.

For most women, happiness is the fairytale. If only we have the perfect husband, house, job, children, car, Michael Kors bag… we will be happy. We are confused. We dream big in an effort to obtain overall happiness yet we don’t want to put in the work within ourselves to achieve it.

You know this feeling, this life is full of emotional ups and downs feeling. If only… then I would be happy. You fill in the blank. You search for happiness through everything else; relationships, work, kids, friends, family, material items. You have convinced yourself that if only you had these things, then you would be happy.

You’ve made it. You have the perfect husband who marks off on all of the boxes, your house is lined with a white picket fence, you have a gorgeous rock on your finger, you drive a car that brings you immediate status, and a family is in the near future. Your friends are jealous, your coworkers wish they could be you, and your parents are beyond pleased. You have it all. Right?

The reality is that when your head hits the pillow at night and your chest pulls in tightly with each breath as you try to fall asleep. You feel a rush of disappointment and for the first time in the day you are honest with yourself that life isn’t everything you thought it was going to be.

Do you want to know a secret? Happiness is a choice. Not when you wake up and say, “I choose to be happy today,” but a conscious effort in every day to better yourself, to fall in love with yourself, and to accept that you are the only person accountable to you. Life happens, things change, and when you depend on circumstances and people to fulfill your happiness you are guaranteed to end up disappointed. You already know this though, so why do you continue to tell yourself “If only… then I will be happy.” Well, because it’s easy.

Repeating the cycle is something we as women do best. It is just easier.

S is all too familiar with this behavior. The fear of the unknown tends to heavily outweigh the sacrifice of happiness. So many times life gives us the opportunity to let go of our comfort blanket and move forward into personal development, yet most of us, including S, just keep going back.

Not anymore. S was tired of looking at the same false reflection every morning followed throughout the day by a game face and an award winning show. She’s been here too many times, 2 steps forward, 3 steps back.

Every woman will reach this point in her life. The moment in the morning when your alarm sends a piercing “BEEP” through your ears. The sun refuses to rise, and you head into the bathroom prepared for the usual, gloomy, “How awful do I look this morning?” As you catch your reflection in the mirror you know you are stuck. You see the pain buried deep behind your eyes, wrinkles begin to line your face in a shape you are far too young for, the infamous dark bags scream for the sorrow that had made it’s bed in your soul. In this very moment you realize you have a choice: the show must go on or close the damn stage curtains.

S & S promise to continue to share our stories and struggles that have brought us to this place but we feel it is only fair to bring you into the present every so often so you can see the real results and beauty of living an honest, transparent life.

Recently S had found herself in the same place, again. A cycle in her most recent relationship that she continued to repeat, each time hoping for a new outcome. This time she had given her all, no one else was involved, and the result did not turn out any different. One morning S caught her reflection and she looked different. She saw the pain, she saw the sorrow, she saw all of the excuses. For the first time she made a conscious decision to take control back of her life. After many years of try and try again S has finally realized the issue is her.

The chains from so many years of brushing issues under the rug and putting on a show for others had shackled S in so tightly she believed there was no way out, and for the first time in her life, the chains are breaking free…