What’s not to Smile About?

I find myself commonly being asked by people, “How are you always so happy?”

I’ve always been a pretty happy-go-lucky type of girl, but not always was I asked that question. The answer is very simple and it is always the response I give, “I just find things to be happy about.”

I went through a pretty dark period in my life where I faced a daily struggle to find happiness. I often wondered when I would be happy and if I ever could find happiness. It is not an uncommon feeling to face and I’m sure that most of you can relate. At the time I felt that nothing in my life was going right. A series of unfortunate events had forced my life to take a turn for the worse and down a path that I never would have dreamed of walking. While I accepted the responsibility of my actions and faced the consequences, a lot of what was happening to me was out of my control. I felt completely helpless and lost. Frankly, I had nothing to be happy about.

As time went on and I continued to struggle with a lack of bliss in my life, I came to a realization about something. The only way I was going to be happy was if I created my own happiness. At the time I felt like I didn’t have a whole lot to be happy about. Eventually though, I came to understand that even in the darkest of days, there were still beautiful things in this world that I could smile about. It’s really the simple things in life that can bring forth joy, therefore, I turned my focus towards that. If I saw a cupcake in the window of a bakery that I thought was just simply adorable, I would let myself feel happy about it. If I saw a little girl wearing her princess Halloween costume in the grocery store in the middle of March, I would smile at her innocence and feed off of that energy. I soon found that there were a million things that could reverse the frown I wore on my face, and soon enough, my conscience effort to find things to be jolly about became unconscious.

Before I knew it, I was smiling about everything. Not much in my life had changed, and I still found myself struggling with my circumstances. Regardless of my feelings, letting the little things uplift me brought me to a happy state in my life, even when I was truly unhappy with the person I was.

As time went on, things came to a resolution, and the struggles I faced lessened with each passing day. I found myself slowly becoming happy with the way my life was going and the person that I was developing into. Finally I could say that I was generally happy with my life. My new found ability to find beauty in all I could only increased my levels of joy. Of course I still had the daily stresses that just come with life, but having been through a lot already and seeing that the end result was positive, I realized that everything I faced, no matter how unsettling, was only temporary. There would always be a light at the end of the tunnel, and as long as I kept a positive attitude, I would allow a glow from within to guide me through any tunnel I would walk.

I would be lying if I said that I never let anything get me down or upset me. I’m only human so of course I have my days. However, even on my worst day, I still live it out with a smile. When I feel that I have nothing to be all that happy about, I look around and find something to make me happy. When everything in my life is perfect, I’m just that much more vibrant. . When life gives you lemons, make lemonade, and when life hands you a gift wrapped basket of sweets, wash them down with the lemonade you made. Allow the happiness you find during times of tribulations to enhance the glee you feel during times of abundance.

So, when asked the question, ‘How are you always so happy?” For me to reply with, “I just find things to be happy about.” Is as simple as the jovial occurrences that make me smile.

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Does it Still Count?

Why is it that as human beings we often feel that unless we came up with an idea by ourselves, it is not good enough to use? It has nothing to do with stealing credit, for even when the proper credit is acknowledged, it still just doesn’t feel right.

When creating my account I was struggling with ideas for the name of my blog. I knew that I wanted it to be something to the effect of “Every day Thoughts” but with more of a flare; something creative and new. My dad gave me the idea for “Daily Musings” which I loved. It fit perfect for the type of blogging that I intended to do, but for some reason I felt like I couldn’t use it because I wasn’t the one who came up with it. That got me thinking…

I know that for myself I don’t want to steal an idea from someone and play it off as my own. I don’t understand how anybody can feel any sense of pride from that. However, even when the credit is appropriately known, I find myself still struggling with the fact that it’s not completely my own.

I think a huge part of this for me is, when I like something that someone came up with, I feel inspired to do the same. If I read a book with an impeccable ending, it inspires me to reevaluate the ending that I have been contemplating for my own novel. I think that sometimes seeing someone do something better than us motivates us to improve. Therefore, when I was brainstorming a title for my blog and my dad came up with an excellent idea just like that, I felt motivated to find something great too.I wasn’t trying to compete with him, but with myself. I needed the satisfaction of knowing that I too am capable.

I have noticed the same thing with friends. A peer will be in the middle of problem solving or trying to come up with a fresh idea, and when I give them one that they find to be perfect, they feel that they can’t use it. The suggestion is just what they need, but it is not acceptable simply because the idea didn’t manifest from within them.

It all comes down to self satisfaction.You feel like a failure when someone else holds the key to a door that you fail to unlock. It has taken me a long time, but I am realizing now that there is nothing wrong with looking to other people for help, in fact, that will make me more self sufficient in the future. When you allow yourself to open up to constructive criticisms and ideas, you grow as a person, artist or whatever it is you strive to be. You allow multiple influences which in turn broadens your horizon.

So, when I felt like I had to come up with my own idea for the title of my blog, I realized that swallowing my pride and accepting a suggestion from someone else didn’t make me any less than I am. In fact, it’s more power to me. By accepting a great idea and building on it to make something of my own is much better than coming up with a mediocre idea by myself and it failing.

In a perfect world we would always be able to come up with the best thoughts and theories. So, figuring that we don’t, nobody is capable of being absolutely outstanding all the time. Anyone that you look up to or admire has asked for help and taken advice at one time or another. How can you expect yourself to succeed when you don’t allow yourself to listen to outside perspectives? As long as you always acknowledge those who help you, and never own what isn’t yours to own, let yourself be okay with guidance. An idea is an idea, it’s how you make it your own that counts.

What a Blow to the Ego that Would Be

If you woke up one morning to discover that you had a long lost twin, what would your first thoughts be? Probably something to the effect of,

“How did I not know I had a twin?” or “When do I get to meet them?”

The finding of your clone would be shock enough, but what if they turned out to be more attractive than you? Yes, I know, how is that possible? If you look exactly the same, it’s not a reasonable scenario. However, over the years I have had my fun with hair dye, extensions, fashion risks (not all of them were that bad) and weight fluctuation. I have found that some looks suit me better than others, which I’m sure most people have found for themselves as well. So, who’s to say that my ”long lost twin” hasn’t found the ideal hairstyle and wardrobe along with a rocking body that even Shakira would be jealous of? As vain as this all may sound, no one can deny what a huge blow to the ego that would be.

When I brought up this point to my dad, he looked at me like I was crazy and laughed saying that I put way too much of an emphasis on my looks. While I know that I’m not the most vain person to ever walk this earth, there is some truth to that statement. I can get a little too hung up on my appearance at times (what girl doesn’t?). With that said, I decided to test my theory on someone else.

My older brother definitely knows how to take care of himself, but by no stretch of the imagination would I consider him vain. When asked the question though, he smiled and laughed stating very matter of fact,

“Wow, that would suck!”

That in itself was enough to validate my point and reassure me that I’m not completely crazy.

The reality is, very few people ever encounter a situation like this one. I’m sure when they do, competing in looks is the least of their worries. I don’t know about you, but the discovery of a ”long lost twin” takes priority over insecurities like that in my book. However, in hypothetical terms where this occurrence is much more common, and the concern isn’t all that petty, all I can say is, I hope I turn out to be the twin giving fashion advice and dieting tips.