Choosing Happiness

It’s here again. With only four days left of this year, I don’t think I’m alone in saying that 2016 can fuck right off, and that I’ll be glad to see the end of it. I’ve had kind of a crap year. Or at least, that’s what I’ve been telling myself. See, it gets to this point in the year, every year, and I – like many others, I’m sure – can’t help but reflect on the past twelve months. And every year, without fail, I find myself focusing on the shitty times, and subsequently writing the year off as a bad one. In the case of 2016, it’s not really the year that has been bad for me personally. Just the last few months have been more difficult than most.

Now, I could tell you about all the bands I saw this year, and talk about the move to the city and my sadness over the loss of an ever growing list of celebrity idols and any number of other things. But that’t not what this post is really about. Yes, it’s about the year just gone, but not about the way I’ve experienced it. I’m certain nobody really cares all that much what I’ve spent the last twelve months doing. But just bear with me for a couple of minutes. I may ramble as I try to collect my thoughts coherently, but I’ve gotta get this out, so be patient with me, and forgive me my scattered mind.

People have a tendency to get to this stage in the year and start with the “New Year, new me”stuff. And if that’s what works for you, all power to you, my friend. But I’ve said it before, and I’m going to say it again; New Year is just another tomorrow, just another today. So why is it that we wait until January 1st to start making changes? I think it’s because we don’t actively realise that change happens all the time, and we believe that we are only allowed to change when the last digit in the calendar year changes.

“You know the great thing, though, is that change can be so constant you don’t even feel the difference until there is one. It can be so slow that you don’t even notice that your life is better or worse, until it is. Or it can just blow you away, make you something different in an instant.” – George Munroe (Life as a House)

I’ve been doing a bit of self reflection of late. Life events and an increasingly negative headspace have me contemplating a whole lot of things that I was ignoring, either because it was too hard, or because I was too set in my ways. And I’ve come to a simple, yet profound conclusion. I deserve to be happy.

I am by no means the first person to come to this realisation. It’s not a new idea, the notion of happiness. Products will claim to be able to sell you that very thing every time you walk past a store front. I’m not talking about the idea of materialistic happiness. I am talking simply about allowing myself to live my life in a way that is fulfilling, and about trying not to see everything through rage coloured glasses. See, I think for a long time I’ve been holding myself back. I’ve been so set in the notion that the outside world is too unappealing, that I’ve somehow managed to lock myself away, at least emotionally. Easier to just avoid everything and confine myself to a state of slowly simmering hate and apathy. But lately I can’t help but wonder what I might be missing out on as a result.

I’m not saying I’m suddenly going to hop aboard the people-loving train. Simply saying I want to experience more of the things life has to offer doesn’t mean that I’m surgically removing my personality. I’m still an introvert, and I still don’t know how to express my feelings in a nice way, and I still think people are shit. What I’m saying is that I’m going to stop telling myself that I can’t. Because, whatever it is that I convince myself I can’t do, I totally can. I can let people in. I can break down the walls. I can run a business, and write a novel, and travel the globe, and talk to girls, and get a dog. The only person stopping me from experiencing life, is me. Which I guess makes me kind of a jerk. Fuck you, Me.

Anyway, that’s where I’m at. World, I’m coming for you, and not in four days. I am coming for you right now, so you better be ready, because we have a lot of adventures ahead.


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