…because of chalk

one of my closest friends from wyoming came to visit me this weekend in new york city.  i was not only thrilled to show her around the amazing city, but i was also excited just to be able to spend time with the kind of friend that always has time for you, no matter how busy or far away she is.

as part of our 12 hour walk (yes, 12-hour walk…her feet had blisters!) we went to washington square to people watch and eat popsicles.  along the way, we were directed by side-walk chalk into the square that said “this way to happiness” and “happiness over here.” i of course was in love with it, because those kinds of things just make me happy in general.  so naturally, we decided that it was necessary to take a picture.

to tell you the truth, i was initially embarrassed by this picture.  i thought it looked like i had intentionally placed myself in front of the arrow and that it might seem like i was suggesting that i was the way to happiness, when all i really wanted was a picture of how adorable the idea was (and how happy it made me).

today was meaningful however, because it dawned on me. although the picture may have been a mistake, the message wasn’t.

today i realized that i am the way to happiness.  not to all happiness of course, but to my own.  you too, in fact, are responsible for and in control of your own happiness.

that is a pretty big (and freeing) responsibility to give yourself.  it’s not the weather’s role, nor the cashier’s.  it’s not your dog.cat.kids.parents.school.teachers.boyfriend.girlfriend.boss.job or stranger’s role to bring happiness in to your life.  it is also not their role to take some away either.

of course people, weather, and life in general may disappoint, upset, or frustrate you, but that is only because you let it. 

you don’t have to be unhappy if you don’t want to be.

when faced with an annoying/frustrating/or angry situation you always have a choice:

you can see failure as a set back, or as another opportunity in disguise, a lesson learned.

you can see anger as an excuse to explode, or as a chance to practice patience, to be more kind.

you can view the bad weather as a reason to stay inside, or as an opportunity to dance in the rain, to appreciate the seasons.

and you can view each moment as just part of an ordinary day, or see it as an opportunity to make the most out of time you will never get back.

you choose.  :)

i choose happiness.

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2 thoughts on “…because of chalk

  1. Love this Jessica. My mom used to say that all the time when I was in high school. Of course, I found it annoying then. Now due to my own experiences and watching people who could never be happy, no matter how much they had, I realize how right she was. And how right you are. It is a freeing truth.

  2. Thank you so much for taking the time to read the post and for commenting on it! :). I don’t think I ever really truly understood what it meant when I was told that either–and you are right, after realizing that I am responsible for the way I feel (and act), I found myself much more capable of creating and determining my happiness…. I am glad to hear that you have learned the same thing :)

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