i am one of those who wears her heart on her sleeve. i can’t lie very well, i can’t keep a secret, i can’t hold in laughter or tears. how i am feeling and what i am thinking is usually plastered all over my forehead  and raising my eyebrows, curling around my lips and flaring my eyelashes out.

i am very easy-going about most things in life, but sometimes, and maybe you feel this, too, i feel like i can soar so high so high and then the littlest thing that i should be strong and brave enough to overcome makes me tumble deep and dark and flail against nothing and refuse any help.

i can let myself mope. i pull out a bottle of wine and my guitar, light candles, listen to every sad song, slump shoulders, find the oldest pair of sweats i own.

suddenly everything is the worst. and i revel in it, roll in it.

i went on a run at 7pm, and i saw the sunset, and ducks and geese, and puppies, and people holding hands, and everything was the BEST! three hours and one dumb conversation later, i wanted to crawl into a hole and disappear until next winter when Starbucks had Peppermint Mochas again.

in the midst of my self-inflicted downward spiral, a good friend reminded me:

“you are the only one making yourself feel this way.”

Suddenly I snapped. He’s right! I am controlling the way I am not handling this situation, therefore, I can stop myself, myself! I can capitalize my “I’s” and speak in complete sentences! I can end these complete sentences with explanation marks, because life is actually great!

I can be grateful instead!

I have an electric blanket! It’s almost the weekend! My toenails are painted green! I bought avocados! I like the way my lotion smells! I can change all these sad songs to happy songs!

My muscles are sore from a new workout regimen. I learned how to make quinoa. I scored something amazing on my recent TPA. I have fresh flowers in my vase. I get to hang out with family tomorrow night at a free happy hour before a sneak peek of “Hunger Games.” My volleyball team rules. My hair looked nice today. We got a new copier at work. My students brought me goldfish crackers. My eyes are swollen with cathartic tears of all emotions – but if we weren’t made to feel them, they wouldn’t exist.

I can decide to focus my emotions. I can decide to be happy. I can control what affects me.

I have a choice to be grateful, and so I choose to be. It’s nicer this way.

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