A Reason To Wake Up.

Ikigai.

This, my friends, is a Japanese word meaning “the reason for being” or “the reason to wake up in the morning” – or so I’ve been told. Google says so, I’ve read a book that says so (The Blue Zones), and I absolutely adore this word.

I have no relation to the Japanese language, culture, or people, but I truly and deeply appreciate this word.

b7f19abebc75325a0cfa1746faa48874It can mean so much or so little.

Why do YOU wake up in the morning?

Do you wake up every day excited about what lies ahead in your workplace?

Do you wake up beside the person that you love?

Are you excited for a vacation that is planned, coffee that you can hear brewing, breakfast that is made by loved ones.

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I think ikigai can mean something different every day and on some days it can mean more than others, but overall I think we all should deserve to find our “reason for being.”

Now days I find a lot of people associate their worth with literally “how much they’re worth” – how much money they have in their bank account. Yes, it is nice to have money and be financially stable because, lets face it, we need a job that provides enough for us to live comfortably but if that is all you are waking up to every day.. is that happiness?

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If you truly love your job I think that is wonderful. Nothing more satisfying and almost rare because again, I feel like a lot of people spend their whole life working and doing something that they don’t love. Which I also understand because no job = no money, and well, that sucks too.

So if you don’t love your job, I hope you have something else that keeps you happy. If I don’t love my job – which has happened in the past – I find happiness elsewhere. I think it’s hard to really figure this out sometimes.

You can find it on a Starbucks coffee. This barista was definitely drunk (hahaha, just kidding) but I really had a good laugh when I got this cup. My new Starbucks drink name will now be Emma, no one can screw that up.

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Anywho getting side-tracked…

Lately, I have been in on this weird path of reflection, figuring out what my goals are and how I can achieve them, what makes me happy, and who I want to share my happiness with. Which is why I am so in love with the word ikigai.

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There are a lot of things that play into my happiness but I have narrowed it down to one word. Sharing.

There is a reason why they say happiness is multiplied when shared. I want to share my happiness with people because they are my happiness. That’s why I love food so much – not the food itself but the meaning behind it – the memories. It brings people together, it creates memories, moments in time that you can never replace by being alone.

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I’ve realized that’s why I share so many photos on Instagram and my blog. I want to share my life with you because even if you aren’t with me eating that delicious pizza at Prima Strada or with me at the market on Sunday’s, or curled up on the couch with me on a Friday night, I want you to know that I wish you were. And in this day and age… it makes me feel less alone.

And don’t worry, I don’t go home and cry at night because I’m “alone” but I just mean that social connection with people is so far gone these days. It all comes down to texting and whatever else. We look for that connection but we don’t actually ever pick up the phone and call someone or follow through on plans because its easier to snapchat and text.

For example this week I received a phone call from a friend “just because” and it was so nice. People don’t do that these days. At least not for me and I was so happy and grateful that he called. So when I thought about that, I started laughing because I was so happy to get a PHONE CALL from someone. It’s pathetic and wonderful at the same time. Our social media driven life in a nutshell: A phone call has become a rarity.

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Social media has made it so incredibly easy to share our life, but it’s also made us so incredibly anti-social. I read THIS ARTICLE in the Globe and Mail yesterday and man, does it ever it home.

“It is the great irony of our age that we have never been better connected, or more adrift.” 

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Anywho, lately my ikigai is just to share my life – yes through Instagram and this blog (a little less of course) but more importantly I want to make a conscious effort to be present in those moments.

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Be integral with what I say and be accountable for my actions. If I make plans with you I want to follow through. To really share moments with people, friends, and family. I want to create space in my life for you.

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I don’t want to go to the market alone, I want you to come. I don’t want to grab a coffee by myself, I want to sip it with you. I don’t want to watch a movie by myself, but I want to watch it with you. I want to do absolutely nothing with you. It’s the little things that are worth sharing.

What’s your ikigai? 

About Britta

I'm a 24 year runner & believer of living a simple life, willing to share a little bit of my life with the world. Born in Germany, raised in the interior of British Columbia, and now living in Vancouver, BC. Welcome to my everyday!
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10 Responses to A Reason To Wake Up.

  1. This is so beautiful, Britta (or should I say Berta?!).
    I love that word, too, now, and I love your description of what it means to you. I think this is such perfect timing with the busy holiday season. It’s important to find happiness and reason for being instead of just rushing around doing one thing and then the next, etc.
    I don’t love my job, but my husband, pup, family, friends, travels, and activities sure do make me happy.

    • Britta says:

      Berta just kills me! Too funny. Exactly – you have soooo MANY wonderful things in your life that a job doesn’t make much of a difference. I have been LOVING all of your wintery pictures on instagram.. please keep them coming – I am missing snow already!

  2. Brittany says:

    GAH I just love this..LOVE LOVE LOVE! Once again, we are so very similar. Lots of self reflection going on in my world..and then a balance of shutting my mind off and going on auto pilot at work. HA! I have been working a TON and going to the gym a lot, which has made me busy..but happy. I don’t LOVE my job, but I like it..and I LOVE how I feel when I workout, so that’s my reason to wake up. Along with random adventures with friends, and of course sharing my crazy world with my blog readers!! MMMMM Caramel Apple Spice in that nom nom cup! I really don’t get how everyone messes up names, we don’t write on cups at my store..but still…it’s not hard to clarify a name if you’re not sure. HA!

    • Britta says:

      We are TWINSIES. I have been working a bunch too and workout out… not so much running but other ways to sweat and that’s whats making me happy as well! I think its so funny when the barista messes up my name, it’s like a little surprise waiting for me – I can’t wait to see what I get next although I think Berta takes the cake!

  3. sincerelylily says:

    looooove this post… and all the pictures. never a dissappointment. i love your take on food and memories and how it brings ppl together…. so true…. I believe that one of the main reasons i wake up and go out into the world is to learn. i love learning. i love studying. i love exploring other ideas and things and people.

    im in the same boat with job… don’t love it but pretty much everything else in my life is outpouring with looooove.

    i looooove how i feel after i run. i love how i feel when mr speedy and i are bonding – i dont necessarily mean that in a sexy-sweaty-rated-R way, but more so of just two humans interacting and having a moment that is so strong and insynce and sincere, no force can divide it. it is probably the best moment ever. and it happens over the simpliest thing- over breakfast, a conversation, a look.

    um i would like to go to the market with you. paleeeeze.

    • Britta says:

      Oooooo learning is SUCH a good reason. I love that as well. Happiness is the simplest thing sometimes I think. I honestly adore you and Mr. Speedy.. such a wonderful and beautiful relationship that you guys have and I cannot wait for you guys to walk down the aisle! <3 OMG come VISIT..Market happiness x100000 and then we can roadie and see Britt in Seattle – BAM!

  4. Amy says:

    HAHAHAHHAHA BERTA!!! That made me laugh so hard when you got that cup! I think this is such a wonderful post and I agree with all of it! Also…going to call you “just because” this week :) xoxo

  5. I love love love loveeee this post! Ikigai is now one of my new favorite words. :D And Berta….baha. :P

    • Britta says:

      It’s a good one isn’t it?! I am in love also!! hahahaha Berta is probably one of the worst names ever, I don’t know WHO would name their kid that and I am positive that barista thinks my parents hate me because they “named” me that.

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