if i had to pick my least favorite day, it would be the night before this picture was taken. long story short, i made a fool out of myself and realized that i was far from the path i wanted to be on. my feelings were hurt. and i was sad. and i should have known better. if i had to pick a least proud moment, this would be it too. i realize that this sounds more dramatic than the moment actually was, but i know that’s how it felt at the time.
the picture is what tells the story. because i can look at this picture and remember that exact moment. standing in line, outside of the bathroom. thinking too hard. if you could see my face, i think you would notice that my eyes were hurt. and the picture is accurately blurry because i was figuratively spinning faster than i wanted to be. but what matters in the picture is that my feet are moving. because even when you are sad, what is important is that you move forward. you learn the steps as you go. it was the summer when ‘crazy girl’ by eli young band had just come out. and it started to play. by that time i was standing by myself, anxiously trying to avoid any potential awkward situations. it was the kind of night that worked out perfectly in my favor; partly because i made a conscious decision to choose happiness, and partly because a boy my age walked up to me and asked me to dance. he didn’t know that it exactly the kind gesture i needed at the time. and by now you should know that i can’t dance. so i twirled and laughed and did my best and he tried to shuffle around my two left feet to the country song. cowboy boots and all. the dance ended, the line moved forward, we thanked each other for the dance, and that was that. i consider that moment a beginning point. i decided i didn’t want to be sad anymore and so i stopped. literally. just like that. i smiled excessively. and pretended to be happy when i wasn’t– without even noticing that i quickly stopped having to pretend. you are in charge of how you feel–remember that. my friends and i screamed out lyrics to every country song we knew. we spun our hair around like rock stars-with no rhythm of course. and it all went uphill from there. because when you start to consider your worth, you might find that you deserve more than you are currently accepting. and when that happens, i hope you let go of the hand you were previously holding and grab your own.
and then there was this day. an exact year after i started this blog, and almost two years after the previous picture had been taken. a day where i realized i was on the exact path i wanted to be on. i can remember this moment too. i don’t know if it is just me, but the whole picture feels different. it is different. notice the details. this day was a proud day. i was proud of my boyfriend who just graduated from his MBA program and accepted a wonderful job offer. i was happy because all of my friends and family were there and we were spending time together. we had just eaten cupcakes and spent the afternoon with my little cousins. two of my favorite things. we walked around downtown and marveled at how beautifully decorated it all was. on this day, things were falling perfectly into place and i could just feel it. we indulged in every simple pleasure we could possibly find. and most importantly, i was just happy– because i’ve learned that’s what feels best.
in this picture, the colors are bright and the sun is shining, and i have a smile on my face that is impossible to wipe off. what is important is that i am twirling by myself, going just as fast as i want to. and despite being in a relationship with a boy who goes out of his way to make me happy, and who happens to the best person i know, my happiness is independent of that. it is not based off of a relationship, but rather, a choice. no music is playing, but i am dancing anyways. forever awkward. the photograph was captured in mid-laugh. and if there is one thing i know about being happy, it is that you do it for yourself. you stop basing your emotions off of what is going on around you and start attributing them to how you want your life to go. on who you want to be. and you decide for yourself what you are going to do about it. what i know is that you surround yourself with people who make you a better person. you make each day your best day.
maybe you can relate to the person in the first picture, or maybe it is the person in the second picture you identify with. regardless, i hope you remember that no feeling is final. that this moment too, will change. and whether you are twirling to a country song in the dirt after a bad day- or to your own beat on a day of celebration, i just hope you’re dancing.