this is how happiness shows up

growing up, we learn the hard way that it is never the way we imagine it but happy shows up.

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it’s a few years later, you’re sitting by the passenger seat, on a long road trip. you’re singing along to the song you used to listen to when you were a sad 17-year-old and everything is different but everything is good.

and then you realize that most of your happy memories aren’t from the biggest transitions in your life. it’s not your birthday celebrations, it’s not your New Years, or your Christmas-es.

maybe, it’s after a long day of work and somebody hands you a cup of warm coffee; and you hold it with both of your hands and you feel you again. maybe, it’s that 2am conversation you had with the person you love the most; where your eyes are drooping but you can’t stop talking and laughing, and falling in love.

growing up, we learn the hard way that it is never the way we imagine it but happy shows up.

it’s the good morning texts. the i love you’s that never get old. it’s the mini-reunion you have every year with people you’ve met a long time ago and still managed to stay in your life despite changing seasons.

and you may not recognize it sometimes but happy shows up when the traffic is long and your favorite song plays on the radio, and the person next to you sings along.

it doesn’t even warn you when it comes, but sometimes happy shows up on a rainy evening when everything is cold and dark, and you get the chance to pull the covers next to you–and you feel warm and safe in a world that constantly weighs you down.

happy shows up in the morning, too, when you have omelettes and good coffee; and your heart flutters a bit because the most important person in your life is having breakfast with you. you hold their hand and for a couple of seconds the world is peaceful. the world is everything you want it to be.

it’s that gesture. it’s that small movement of reaching out and getting to hold something or someone–and you get to do that just because. and you sigh in relief because some people spend their nights and mornings alone–but you’re not one of them.

you’re lucky. even if you don’t have enough money to have a Christmas vacation or any vacation but you come home every night to a home that restores your sanity so you can tackle the next day with your head up high.

because the world is crazy and it’s cruel but happy shows up before you fall asleep–and your lips curl into a smile because you’re alive and you get to start over; and to hell with everyone who tries to hurt you because you’re wiser and older now. and it hurts when you breathe but you’re strong in your own way. and nobody can take that away from you.

happy shows up when you have a bag of chips and you curl by the bed and start a marathon of your favorite TV shows–and there was a time when being alone was a bad thing but you cherish the silence now because the world is loud and this is your chance to be you.

happy shows up when you get to be just you in a world that demands you everyday to be somebody else.

i know the nights are longer these days and it gets cold very easily. sometimes, your hands shake because the world is terrifying and i know, it’s scary to not know what tomorrow holds but let me tell you something.

i am another year older now and i still sometimes stare at the blank walls of my room thinking about absolutely nothing and i’m unsure of a lot of things–but happiness finds a way in. always.

most days, it’s the small moments that end up meaning a lot. happy seeps in on those moments. look for them.