The Happiness Project: Pride

Anyone who knows me knows that I tend to jump in with both feet. When I first learned how to sew, I started by making a ball gown. When I first learned how to crochet, I opened an Etsy store to sell my products. When I first learned how to knit, I decided to knit a sweater. So, it should be no surprise that I would jump into this happiness project with a challenging month first. 

My theme for August was pride, which has a lot of meanings to me. First of all, Vancouver Pride is the first weekend of August. Even though I’ve lived in Vancouver for five years and am openly bisexual, I’ve still never been to a pride parade. This was going to be the year that changed. My girlfriend has been begging me to go for months but I was hesitant. I don’t really like parades, I hate the heat, and I’m terrified of crowds. Therefore, it really doesn’t sound like my thing. The purpose of this happiness project is to challenge myself to be happier though, so, despite my fears, I was going to go to pride this year with my girlfriend and her roommate, but you know what they say about good intentions…

In my defence, it’s not that I decided I didn’t want to go anymore, we all just decided to celebrate pride in a different way. My girlfriend was going through a bit of a rough time and her roommate didn’t have a good time at Pride last year so they asked me how I would feel about a beach day instead and I jumped at that. All the people would be hanging out downtown at English Bay, so we decided to go to Ambleside in West Van instead and it was pretty quiet which was great. So no, I didn’t go to the parade, but I thought three bisexuals having a great day at the beach was a lovely way to celebrate pride. 

I’m usually pretty hard on myself so this month I decided to try to take as much pride in my accomplishments as I could. I challenged myself to post about something I’ve proud of every day on social media. I’ll admit that I didn’t actually complete this challenge. I got about three weeks into it and then I got so busy and overwhelmed that I stopped posting the last week. That doesn’t mean I’m not proud of myself though. It was hard to come up with something every day and yet I still did. Now they weren’t always the deepest thing, because the stuff I was really proud of could be hard to post. I’m proud of the days I got out of bed even when I didn’t want to. I’m proud of every time I chose to eat healthily or work out. I’m proud of so much more than I can even say here. So even though I didn’t manage to post a picture every day, I did reach my goal because it got me to think about all the things I’m proud of myself for. 

Another thing I wanted to make sure I did this month was frame a couple of my certificates and hang them on my wall. I have a certificate saying I completed Nanowrimo last year (a challenge where I had to write 50k words in a month) as well as a certificate for completing a cognitive behavioural therapy practitioner course. I didn’t think they meant much, but then I hung them on my wall and realized what big accomplishments they were. 

The biggest thing I did this month was to allow myself to take pride in myself and my cosplays. I’m not a big birthday party person, I tend to ignore my birthday, but this year I was turning 25 on the 25th and I figured if there was any birthday I should celebrate, it was that one. So not only did I plan a birthday party, I planned a masquerade cosplay ball. Cosplay is something I love but I tend to shrug it off as if my costumes I make are no big deal. I made Emma Swan’s red ball gown from the season three finale of Once Upon a Time in a week by myself and I wanted to finally show it off and be allowed to brag about it. So I did, and I am so proud of it. 

This challenge may have been hard but I think it was necessary to start with it. Being proud of myself gave me the confidence to throw myself into the next eleven months of this project. Join me next month when I explore my September theme: adventure. 

If you want to see any of the “pride” pictures I posted this month you can follow me on Instagram at @alicenricard