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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Key to Happiness

Lately I've been focusing on happiness. At times, happiness seems to be an elusive enigma. I've always been relatively happy but my whole disposition has taken a beating the older I've gotten. I'm one of those people that builds ludicrous expectations up in my head then I'm crushed when real life doesn't live up to make believe. I watch too many movies and read too many books. 12 year old Allegra was sure senior prom would be a night of magic. She was sure high school would be just like Pretty in Pink and the likes. And of course, when she was 21 she'd be married and maybe start having kids. As I said before, ludicrous expectations.

It's funny in a Shakesperian-tragic way how life will ruin the hopes you make for yourself as a child. I've been heart-broken, bullied, used. And sometimes I just don't want to be “happy.” I'm most creative when I'm in one of my “I hate the world” moods. Eventually, hating the world loses it's appeal and I have to suck it up and move on with my life.

I genuinely want to be a happier person. Which begs the question where does happiness stem from? Money. Sex. Other people. Fame. If you seek out happiness among those things you'll be sorely disappointed. Money comes and goes. The richest people in the world are in and out of rehab. So obviously, while money and fame would be nice it's not best to expect happiness from those two alone. Then there's people who can't be single. This is a struggle for many people my age. I'm sorry but I don't want to rely on my significant other to quench my thirst for happiness nor do I want him to do that to me. That is a lot of pressure. Sure I want to be happy in his presence but I desire to know how to be happy outside of or in spite of him. People will leave you and break your heart but if you know how to be happy on your own moving on isn't such an impossible feat. Lastly, everyone knows sex is beautiful and amazing. A lot of people think getting laid on regular basis will make them happy. Those feel-good endorphins are only temporary, hate to break to ya. Sex will only make you happy until it doesn't. Until you fall in love and the other person doesn't. Until you wake up in bed with someone you wouldn't have hooked-up with while sober. Until you're super old and you have no game. Or until you love it so much you let it control your life and ruin relationships with people you truly care about. I may be young but I know the key to happiness is somewhere else.

I'm realizing happiness is a plant in the core of my being, it was just under all the rubble and dirt. Some people have the perfect chemical balance in their brains to be cheerful all the time. I am not one of those people. In order for me to become a happier person I have nurture that plant inside me with some TLC, as corny as that sounds. It's not easy and it will take a lot of work on my part. If I felt so inclined I could let my happiness wither and die. But I don't want that. Up until several months ago I was looking for joy in places that I knew it wouldn't be discovered. All along it was inside me. I have talents and I have great people in my life now that I've relinquished a few that were bringing me down. And I've been waking up and thanking God for everything great in my life. I have a feeling that by making gratefulness a habit, surrounding myself with positivity, and cultivating my gifts that flower inside me will blossom. Sooner or later I'll have a colorful garden of bliss that no one can destroy but me. (That last line was so peppy it made me wince. But hey, I'm trying.)

May you find that plant somewhere inside yourself!

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