I have this empty frame that hangs in my kitchen. It has no back or glass pane, just a shell with a wire that stretches from one side to the other. A tiny clothes pin clings to the wire in the middle. Here I hang a variety of cards penned by a sweet woman with incredible penmanship. Some of the cards hold several of my favorite scriptures. Some have quotes. And I’ve found that the card that hangs on that clothes pin the most bears the well known words of Theodore Roosevelt,

“Comparison is the thief of joy.”

Sometimes I need reminding that I’m not her. That I don’t have to be who she is or have what she has. I don’t have to do that thing she does well, because I do my own thing well.

…yet I forget.

You see, once I left the workforce I found that the closing door in my life stirred up the comparison in my heart something fierce. “But what if others go on to be successful and I lose my identity at home?” – that was a common theme inside my worrisome head.

I laugh about it now. Chuckle, even, over the thought of losing something that God has been displaying to me in full force for months and months now. Peeling back the layers and showing me who I truly am and exactly what He’s made me to be. This, ladies, is a blessing I could not fathom at the time.

And you know what? It makes me happy!

In the months leading up to that decision I was filled with incredible unhappiness. I didn’t think I could embrace a change so far displaced from the life I’d been living for 16 years prior. But happiness has flooded over me time and again as I learn who I am. Learn what makes me tick.

Believe me when I say that there are still days when I forget. I stop and compare my life to the next woman and feel unsure all over again.

But I dig out that quote and replace whatever card is held within that frame with the reminder to be who I am. To embrace the woman He’s called me to be. Career or not. Paycheck or not. Short hair or long, thin or full figured, emotional or unmoved…I can now find happiness in the intricately designed ME!

Jennifer Dukes Lee says it best in her soon-to-be released book, The Happiness Dare, “You don’t find happiness by being the best version of someone else. You find happiness by being the best version of you.”

The best version of me: Jennifer 1.0…

I’m an original. There is no one like me. What a simple, yet profound realization that makes me want to dance across the tile in my fuzzy socks. (And those make me happy, too!)

So what about you? What’s one thing that makes you happy about who you are? I’d love for you to share with me in the comments.