Choose Happiness

When I was 17 my mother thought I had the most rebellious heart around. Like every decision I made was purely to go against her wishes.

At times my choices would backfire on me in the worst way, and other times they would be what I’d call some of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

I’m sure we can all look back on moments and wish they had never happened, but personally I can live with the regret of past failures.

I cannot, however, live with the regret of not choosing my happiness.

That was, after all, why I made the choices I made. It was never to spite my mom (though, as a 17 year old it was an added bonus). I did it because at the time it was what made me happy.

This doesn’t just apply in big life decisions. You have hundreds of opportunities every day to choose happiness. Life gives you these choices, and you decide which route to take.

Today for some reason my father popped into my head. He is someone I really don’t like to talk about anymore. He’s currently in prison for sexual assault on a minor. And while what he has done to many women is a disgusting and unforgivable crime, today I can only see him as my dad.

To the world he is a monster, which is completely understandable.

To me he is kind of an enigma. I grew up watching him till about 8 years old and though it’s hard to admit, I don’t really know him at all. We always pretended to be close when he would come visit us, and I always craved his love and acceptance as any daughter would, but at the end of the day we were strangers.

He’s my dad. And today I miss him.

I’m not even sure what I miss.

I can’t really miss the good times, because there weren’t many.

I can’t miss being around him, because being around him hurt.

I think if I had to put the reasons for my feelings in words (which really, you don’t have to do, because no matter what they are valid. However, for this blog’s sake…) I would say I miss the tiny chance of having a real father daughter relationship.

He’s just about to finish his first 6 months, but he’s still got 12 years to go. In 12 years I’ll be 34 years old. By then I will have most likely gotten married, and I can only hope to be a mother already.

There won’t be any room in this world for that relationship to work.

At least not in my world.

Anyway, the reason I bring this up is that these thoughts are coming up on a very busy weekend for me. A happy weekend. My best friend Ray is currently visiting me from Chicago and so far it has been great! He met Andy and they really hit it off. He helped me sharpen up my pool skills, and we spent my two off days relaxing and exploring Austin. Not too shabby!

Today as soon as I get off (which is in approximately 28 minutes) He’s meeting me at my job and I’m taking him to the top floor to see the view. Then Andy and Lucas are meeting us so we can head off to the boat we rented for 3 hours!

WHAT?!

I know, I’m super excited! We ordered pizzas and pasta and we have the whole 15 person boat to ourselves for three hours. To be honest though, I’m mostly excited to be able to spend some time with Lucas. He’s going to look adorable in his little life vest!

Today is an amazing day. Today has been handed to me already amazing. Today my thoughts aren’t on my side. Today, however, I have two choices. Those choices will determine the course of the rest of my day.

I can spend my day thinking about my Dad and being upset over something I don’t have – and have never had – control over. These thoughts will eventually lead to me thinking irrationally the rest of the day, having to deal with either a low depression kind of mood or an overly anxious overly painful state of mind.

I could also decide that I am allowed to think different thoughts and enjoy this once in a lifetime moment (aren’t they all, really?) before it slips through my fingers.

I choose happiness.

I encourage you to do the same.

Now this isn’t to say that depression is a choice. You and I and everyone else who struggles with depression know this. However, when given two choices in a regular state of mind you may have enough strength to choose the alternative route.

Today, I do.

I wish the same for you.

-Jess

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