On Being Happy

by Dawn W

Sometime during my college years, I decided that being happy and cheerful wasn’t cool. Maybe because that was the height of my pink-haired, “punk rock” days. Or perhaps it was an over correction after being surrounded by the kind of Christian culture that preached that people who love Jesus are always happy and joyful forever. I had lived too much life to swallow that pill.

However it happened, it happened. I found myself getting defensive when people would call me cheerful or peppy. “No, see. I’m just good at faking it. I hate people. I hate everyone.” Some days, I feel like that’s true. Call it the curse of the introvert. I go to Twitter (especially my secret Twitter account) and complain about everything and everyone. The thing is, sometimes I am mad and need to complain. I’m human and not always a very nice one. That’s okay.

Confession time. I think I’m by nature a happy person. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a total pessimist (about my own life) and a massive introvert. But a happy person. I’ve noticed lately a disturbing trend where I focus on the annoyances or miseries in my life when I start to feel “too happy.” My life has troubles and I can’t say that it doesn’t. Turns out, you can be sad about a thing and still be happy overall. Your love life can be in shambles but you might still smile about the rest of your day.

And the biggest thing I’m learning is that while it may still be cool to be cynical; the coolest thing you can do is be yourself. If your inner monologue is more Wednesday Addams than Pollyanna; own it. The world needs Wednesdays and Pollyannas and those of us that fall in between. So let yourself be you and I will do my best to allow myself to be happy. If you catch me online or in person being too crotchety, let me vent and then remind me that you love me even when I’m smiling.