In the human race, it is in our nature to thrive off of human interaction and to form relationships with others. We are a social species who thrive off of good relationships. Any relationship you have with a person, no matter romantic or friendly, is like a garden. To make it thrive, you must take care of it. Every garden is different; both in what is in the garden and how to care for the garden. When the garden flourishes and looks beautiful and lively, it makes you feel proud and happy. You want to keep looking at the garden, showing it off, working on it because it makes you so happy. You put your everything into the garden to make sure it always stays so beautiful which in turn will keep you happy.

But what happens when the garden starts to wilt away? What happens when all of your efforts, all of your love, and all of the hard work you put into it no longer makes it grow and look beautiful? What if instead, the garden is dying despite anything you try to do and save it? You'll feel like it's all your fault and, because this garden made you so happy, you'll feel sad, you'll feel lost, as if you were not doing enough to make sure the garden stayed beautiful even if you were doing the most you possibly could. It'll leave you scarred, hurt, maybe even confused, and definitely left with a ton of questions. Did you use the right water? Were you supposed to do something else? Was it the wrong time to start this garden? Can you revive this garden? All of these questions consume you, and you don't feel whole.

Now, maybe the latter part of the last paragraph with all of the questions is a little bit dramatic, but overall this is how it is when a relationship or person you depend on your happiness for doesn't work out. You put so much happiness in them, that you didn't think to invest a happiness within yourself and now without this bond you had, you're sad because you are not used to happiness without them. You get consumed in the what ifs and the could've beens and it destroys you. I have felt this pain and sadness all too many times, but I have learned from my own mistakes to start investing a happiness in myself.

If you are still struggling with not putting your happiness on the lifeline of others, the first step is to have a relationship and a common ground with yourself. This is something I myself still struggle with, but it's a key part in being happy no matter who comes in and out of your life. If you are content with yourself, you won't feel as empty when someone leaves. That's not to say you won't be sad and get upset, what it does mean is that you won't let yourself get destroyed over it. You will realize nothing is wrong with you and you did all that you could, it just wasn't the right time or place with this person.

Another step in not putting your happiness in the hands of another is to make sure you get time away from them. Yes, a key part of a relationship is definitely with time spent together and you should always want to be together, but when it comes down to it you also need to be comfortable with being apart. You need to be okay with not seeing your friend or significant other for a while and not feel an emptiness or sadness. If you're always gardening trying to make your garden look beautiful, of course you're going to be upset if it doesn't turn out beautiful. But that's not to say you can not miss them. You can miss them for sure, but there's a big difference in missing them and feeling like a piece of you is missing with them.

Although there are numerous steps to ensure that you don't hold your happiness solely in the hands of someone else, one final one I would like to mention is to make sure you do not isolate yourself from other people. Whether it be a friendship or a romantic relationship, you should always make sure they are not your sole source of any type of relationship. Having others prominent in your life is important so that, if anything should happen with a friend or a significant other, you have others to fall back on and you do not just focus all of your energy onto one person. It's like if you have a few little gardens that you tend to and keep healthy that look beautiful, you won't be as upset if one just doesn't work.

Overall, happiness in life is something that comes and goes with people. No matter how hard we try not to let others affect us, it happens. Because we as humans are social and depend on interactions and the use of others to make ourselves feel good, and it sucks. But through time and practice, you can truly be able to not fully depend on others for your own happiness. I'm still learning, and I'll probably still be learning for the rest of my life. But, with every piece of myself I earn back, I gain a part of myself and it's a beautiful, blossoming feeling, just like a garden.