I fight, work, hustle, champion - whatever you want to call it - for my happiness each and every day. To be honest with you, happiness doesn't come easy to me. It has a way of tucking itself behind dark corners, peeping out, but then ducking away as quickly as it came.
I didn't have a terrible childhood. It was tricky, I suppose. I moved a lot, was always the different kid, made some not wonderful choices, had strained relationships with my parents... but, truly, I was pretty fortunate. Even still, the doubt, the fear and the self-deprecating attitude always won.
The person you see today hasn't changed much. I'm not sure when it clicked (yoga definitely helped, of course), but one day I realized that happiness is my choice. I can systematically choose to focus on the miserable bits of life or the bits that bring me joy. Either way, the same things bother me, bring me concern and fill my head with noise. But I decide how to interact with those pieces.
Because I choose to focus on the happy bits doesn't mean I'm disillusioned or ignorant. No, believe me, I understand and sit with the dark bits. I listen and tell them, "Not today." I am aware that they are there, needing my attention too. And they get it - when the time is right. But when I enter the world I choose the energy that I want to share, and it's one of happiness, light, positivity and joy. I'm not preaching a message that I don't truly believe, but if you want the whole story, we need to get a cup of coffee (probably wine).
There are so many people ready to tear down what you've built and what you project. These same people mistake happiness for being naive. My message to you and one that I remind myself often: you are your own light. No one can extinguish it or you. In darkness is where you find that light and when you find it, you guard it. Fiercely. Unapologetically.