Some people are born inherently happy. Positivity radiates through them like bright lights, an everlasting sun that will never burn out, that refuses to set. I’ve always wanted to be one of those people. The person that never stops smiling, their eyes vibrant and glimmering with constant happiness as if they never experienced one bad thing in their life. I know this is untrue—happy people are no different from the sad ones, but they only alter what they want the world to see. They change their frown to a smile in hopes that it may alter their reality. Everyone loves positive people. It’s their vibe that is so energizing, like something of a natural high that can be so rejuvenating and contagious. They foster the feeling of endless nights and warmth. Similar to the feeling of home, their radiation of positivity will always make you feel at ease.
Some people are born inherently unhappy. Regardless of constant resistance, the darkness will always find them ready to drown them in thoughts of inevitable demise and regret. I am one of those people. The person that doesn’t smile and never renders a glimpse of jubilation regardless of the occasion. The person who appears as if they have never experienced one good thing happen to them in their life. Although I know this is untrue, sad people are no different from the happy ones, although they do not disintegrate true emotion. They do not hide the hideous and hurtful parts of their lives; they do not alter their frown, maybe because they do not see a change in their future. Sometimes maybe it’s because if they smile, they are scared the darkness will come to make them frown once more. No one likes negative people. There’s nothing beautiful about melancholy and feeling miserable. People prefer pictures of rainbows, not rain clouds. Unhappy people resemble something like a hurricane, a full force of agony, a disheartened soul that will do nothing but decimate the light. The radiation of negativity will always make people flee.
Happiness is a choice. I say this of course excluding the occurrence of mental illness—studying psychology, I understand one with depression does not reside with dismay due to a choice or because it feels comfortable. I’m talking about those like myself that haven’t been exposed to much light out in the world. Sometimes I feel like I’m trapped in a snow globe, a globe where it constantly pours down wretched winter flakes. Where it’s cold and isolated, but the glass is slightly transparent to see the joys of the outside world, a world that does not belong to you. A happy person may have translated that differently. If the glass was half full, it would be winter white flakes flowing down in harmony on a chilly but content Christmas night. The frosted glass wouldn’t matter because everything outside is irrelevant, but within the globe, the joyous jingle of laughter and cheer would remain. I feel trapped in the cyclical nature of my environment and the persistent pain that seeks to perpetuate my life. I know a lot of us feel this way. That you can’t change the trajectory of hurt, its inevitability. Some of us are comfortable in our little cocoons, although we know it’s lonely.
I know I’m not the only one who struggles, who consistently falls, who lets go of hope and feels like I will never be happy. So I’m not scared to admit I’m tired of the negativity. It’s draining, and it’s not me. Those who drown themselves in wallowing waters, I ask you: Aren’t you tired? I want to be the person who dances in the rain, the person that finds the good in disappointment and grief. It’s not about hiding emotion, to rid the feeling of sadness or purge it from my presence; it’s about not letting it consume you. We have to learn how to let go. Our past is not our future, and it cannot define us unless we carry it on our shoulders and bring it along.
It’s easy to say that you’re going to try to purge negativity from your life. As the minutes tick by, it may seem easy—your frown disappears, and for the first time, you smile at yourself in the mirror and think positive thoughts. But if you’ve ever tried that before, you know it doesn’t last long. We go back to the methods we know best, and we shun ourselves from those who are happy, those who laugh. We’re afraid of its contagiousness. I don’t know exactly what it takes to be happy. What I do know is that I’m ready to try positivity.
I want to know what it’s like to start loving people again, most importantly loving myself. Maybe you stop looking down when you walk; maybe today you decide to look up into the eyes of the people, ready to share a piece of yourself with the world. Maybe today you get off your phone and do something that makes you happy, whether that’s reading, running, or bungy jumping—it doesn’t matter. It’s time to make yourself content. Let light into your life—along with happy people, I also mean the physical nature of light as well. Dwelling in darkness only perpetuates the nature of negativity, so open the curtains and let light in. Search for new avenues of social interaction. Find someone who’s happy, but also find someone who is sad. Never neglect your emotion and your despair; I only say do not let it consume you. Take some time to let go and forgive those who have wronged you. One of the reasons why people fall to defeat is due to deceit and loss. Losing someone that you love or care for is one of the most heart-wrenching experiences that life has to offer, but letting go of the hurt and the memories will always be much worse. It’s time to forgive; I believe that’s the key to happiness. I also believe distance is too. The balance is to love without fear of pain, but to know when to distance yourself in its constant recurrence. We deserve to be happy and not let anyone take that away from us.
To those of you that are happy, do not ignore the depressed and the lonely. Do not fear that they will encroach on your happiness or bring destruction to your vibes. Like I said in the beginning, we’re just like you. We all feel the same emotions, and deep inside we succumb to the feeling of loss and despair. We all go through heartbreak and we all feel defeat; whether that’s losing a job or bombing an exam, all of these emotions came from a place of pain. Running from these feelings will only make them stay below the surface for a short period. Do not let it fester, because it’s okay to feel. I know no one runs directly into hurricanes, but what if we stopped running away from the sad ones and started running to them? Maybe they would know just an ounce of what it was like to laugh and to thrive, to be happy.
Remind yourself every inch of the way will be difficult, and there will be days where our inner light will seek to dim out, but storms don’t last forever and the sun will always rise again.