Happiness is a choice

So I got a text this morning from my sister who lives in Italy.

“We haven’t spoken in a while, how are you?”

I summed up in 3-4 brief messages the major changes that have happened recently in my life.

“I exist more now than I did six months ago,” I said. “See, after such negative times I’ve found a glimmer of joy in the little things. You always get to a stage when you feel you don’t care about anything or anyone but yourself. I don’t care if that guy won’t call me tomorrow and I happen to easily brush people’s opinions off. I can’t even listen to my friends’ problems anymore. I have postponed appointments to go to my dance class instead. I switch my phone off. I spend hours writing, reading and singing in the shower. I don’t feel guilty if I say no.  I know, I know – I still haven’t replied to dad’s e-mail, is he still upset? Oh God Ely, am I becoming selfish?”

“It seems like you’re happy,” She replies.

“Happy? It sounds like a big word to me. I could also give you a list of the things that are going wrong right now.”

“(…) I meant you’re happy at least to look within yourself what you need to feel good and to feel strong. Have anybody ever told you that happiness is a choice?”

Suddenly I got to think of what American author Elizabeth Gilbert once said in one of her books: when you sense a faint potentiality for happiness after dark times you must grab onto the ankles of that happiness and not let go until it drags you face-first out of the dirt.

This is not selfishness, but obligation.


16 thoughts on “Happiness is a choice

  1. Giustissimo Mely. You can’t interact with others in any meaningful way until you yourself are happy or at least content. Sometimes we need to take time out for ourselves; an hour here to write or an hour there to read. Ogni tanti ci fa bene.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s amazing that this very truth is one of the hardest things to fathom. The insurmountable distraction upon us often clouds my ability to grasp this idea. The idea that if I want to be happy, then well, what’s the point of wanting it, when I could be it instead. It’s such a powerful notion. Thank’s for sharing.


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