Today, I Choose Happiness

“If you want to be happy, be”
Leo Tolstoy


I was reminded earlier this week, that happiness can be found, even in the smallest of measurements, always. We can choose to embrace the dark world that we live in, hide from it, or give it the finger and hold onto the brightest of moments with every bit of strength we have. Wednesday of this week, we saw the first snowfall here on campus. I was sitting in my room, trying to finish up a particularly difficult assignment. My frustration was high, my temper short and my anxiety pounding against my ribcage, begging to be released. I know for me personally, moments like these are when I need to walk away from my stressor for a few minutes. Else, I sit there in a puddle of teary-eyed defeat. The assignment was due in a few hours and I wasn’t doing what my mind needed me to do, give it a break. I don’t know what made me look up and to the right, towards the window. Something wasn’t right. I tried focusing my eyes, not sure what I was looking for. Suddenly, my eyes realized it was snowing before my brain could comprehend it. I shot up out of my chair and ran towards the balcony. A few of my friends were already out there. Their hands stretched out over the balcony trying to catch the heavy snowflakes. Not in control of my actions, there I stood, on the balcony of Hoff with my hands on the cold barrier, my tongue stretched out to catch the snow.

In that moment, amidst the frustration and stress of midterm week, (typically the beginning of the burn out of students) I felt nothing but joy. The tears that had fallen only minutes previously, dried up. The frown that weighed heavily upon my mouth was replaced with a smile that was so wide I think I may have cracked my face. Running back into my room I grabbed my coat, hat and scarf and decided what I needed, in that moment was to be free. With some of my resident mates looking at me and laughing, I, without shame, ran outside and began twirling in the snow. Normally more reserved and shy, those were thrown by the wayside and instead, replaced with happiness and carelessness.

I know that there were some people who were laughing at me, but you were laughing with me because in that moment, I didn’t care. I was happy. Genuinely, absolutely happy and I wasn’t going to let anyone or anything stand in the way of that. I am a very realistic person. I know even the most optimistic of people cannot be happy all of the time.

What I want you to take from this though, is that as the cliché goes, it isn’t about counting the moments, but making them count. You are in charge of your happiness. I know you’re tired darling, you’re tired of fighting and feeling down, but I will sit in the car with you. Looking at the gear-shift, those are your options to making the vehicle go; very similar to your life. Put your hands on the knob, choose happiness and pursue it!

 

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