Joy isn’t a very common word. Sometimes we talk about being happy, but happiness is short-term. Happiness comes from the little things – the moments you feel it because something good happened. It’s when someone makes your day or things go as planned. It’s when you feel productive and have the chance to finally just sit down and do the things that make you…happy.
It’s when you get to put together your first magazine as an Editor in Chief.
Joy is different. Joy is a choice. It isn’t something you just come across or a feeling of satisfaction. It’s something you live and breathe. It’s the light inside you that pushes you to stay on your feet. It’s what allows you to find happiness where you couldn’t before.
I don’t know what I want to be. I don’t know where I see myself in ten years. I know the things I love – the things that I am. I love to write. I love to look up into the stars and imagine other universes. I love to be creative – imagine the world in new ways. These are the things that push me to succeed: the foundation of my joy.
Sometimes I look back on my life and wonder how I got to where I did. I think we all feel this. Life as a student isn’t anywhere near simple. As the stress and expectations continue to build up it’s so hard to stay sane. Old darkness grows in deepest moments of stress and our negativity pits dig further; further into the gaping holes. Yet there is a light in that darkness, no matter how cheesy it sounds.
One day I realized how far down I was and I knew I needed to change that. I wanted to be more than just happy sometimes. I wanted a little bit of that feeling all the time. No one can always be positive, but waking up every morning, looking in the mirror and saying, “today I choose joy” is the first step. Convincing yourself that smiling is more beneficial than frowning, that being kind will always feel better than spreading negativity, that love always trumps hate, is where you can start in finding your joy.
Happiness will always be found in the small moments, but joy is the lifestyle that will carry you out of your darkness – that will make life feel so much lighter.
*This article originally appeared in the February 2018 issue of The Yard*