Being a lifelong pessimist, it’s my default to view life negatively. The feeling of happiness was always determined by my circumstances. I felt happy when I bought a new pair of shoes. And that happiness only lasted until I decided I wanted something else. I was happy when I got a good grade. I was happy when someone I liked paid attention to me. I was happy when I ate some form of junk food (only to regret it later). I only felt happiness when it was dependent on someone or something else.
But then there was the opposite end of that spectrum. My unhappiness was also determined by my circumstances. At one point, I loathed my job so much that I was diagnosed with depression and put on medication. So then my happiness was dependent on a tiny pill.
It wasn’t until very recently that I understood that happiness is a choice. You choose to be happy. Oh, over the years I’ve read many books and have had many people tell me that you can choose to be happy. I just never really wanted to listen or really comprehend what that meant. It was easier to just buy something, take a little pill or do something that caused temporary euphoria.
Today, I am going to be happy. No, not everything is going my way. Some things in my life really suck right now, but I’m doing just fine. There are days I have to remind myself, sometimes every moment, that I choose my happiness, no one and no thing chooses it for me. I’m not letting someone else dictate my happiness anymore.
“If you want to be happy, be.” Leo Tolstoy
(I’m super thankful for my friends. They love me and that makes choosing happiness a little easier).