March 14, 2013

ebb and flow

I've noticed a lot of teenagers have trouble finding reasons to be happy and stay happy. They tend to find reasons to be insecure about themselves and their relationships with others. They live too much in the future and the past and forget to live in the present. They fail to see beauty in the little hamster-wheel that exists as their current life. I'll admit that I am not always incredibly peppy. There are weeks when I feel super unmotivated. Some days, I like to listen to sad, nostalgic music and think about all of the things I desire for my future and the things that haven't gone the way they've planned.

But I choose to be happy.

Today was weird -- and not in a bad way. In fact, it was in an incredibly good way! I just found myself thinking (sometimes with tears in my eyes ... I am getting a little tired again) about how everything in my life is much different then what I would have anticipated it to be a few years ago. It is SO MUCH BETTER. And yet I feel like I get trapped in a position where I can't find anything to be grateful for. I have pretty much the same routine every week and I hardly go out and have a great "night on the town" (or whatever the cool kids do these days).

But I choose to be happy.

I spent the day thinking about the past two semesters. I could not believe that in just two short months ... I'll be graduating. I'm a SENIOR. Who will I miss? What will I miss? It kind of hit me like a ton of bricks. I've been so anxious to leave Waynesville, Missouri that I think I've forgotten what's really beautiful about my life. I drove home with the windows rolled down and I saw the endless blue sky over the kind of Ozark mountains and I felt incredibly in tune with my own thoughts. The past few months have been turbulent.

But I choose to be happy.

A few of my super close friends are always fluctuating between heartbreaking drama and extreme bliss. Sometimes, when these said friends are incredibly happy, I wonder why I don't have these swings back and forth. Is there something wrong with consistent happiness? I see their daily ebb and flow with increasing bewilderment and I wonder what on earth gives them the motivation to keep swinging forward. I feel pity for these emotions, but I don't let them affect me.

I choose to be happy.

I am so grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ and the guidance it gives me. So many things in my life are changing right now. I have a totally different set of close friends then I did a month ago. I have scholarships to fill out. I have to survive through the last bit of high school. But I have felt the love of the Savior as I have continued a habit of personal scripture study. As I was driving home from school today ... while I was thinking about the wonderful state of constant bliss I live in, I realized the evolving nature of things. I don't know why that revelation came as a surprise to me, but it did. I realized that the days that I am happy and the days that I am sad depend entirely on my attitude. Others around me may be discontent with their lots; others around me might not have eyes to see the little things that make life wonderful; others may not have the same faith that everything will work to their advantage.

Things may happen in my life that are hard. Things have happened in my life that have been hard. Heartbreak and suffering and anguish are bound to be part of the human experience. I really don't know what lies ahead for me. I know that there are great things in store, if I can maintain a cheery outlook and optimistic attitude about life. Storms may arise.

But I choose to be happy.

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