Welcome to the Posts Named After Pop Songs series, in which I take something very tenuously linked to my life from the lyrics and run with it.

Find light in the beautiful sea, I choose to be happy
You and I, you and I , we’re like diamonds in the sky
You’re a shooting star I see, a vision of ecstasy
When you hold me, I’m alive
We’re like diamonds in the sky

I often think about that first line: “I choose to be happy”. I mean, I’m usually thinking about Rihanna as standard but that line has always resonated with me. Is it that easy then? Do we simply choose and then become it?

I think there might be something in this theory and it’s got me thinking. About whether I am a truly happy person, what makes me happy – and how much power I have within me just to be as happy as a clam (or a pig in shit, depending on how sophisticated I’m feeling). It’s a broad topic to be sure.

I think I’m happy generally but, like most people, I do let the small things rob me of joy sometimes. For instance I’m very irritable today not because of my hormones but because my work headphones kept getting tangled in my chair. This is something that could be easily fixed and yet, mixed with the Monday blues, I’ve been fuming.

I could and should just say to hell with annoyance, today is the best day of my life – and get the fuck on with it. That’s a choice. Because I’ve chosen not to do this, the day’s got worse and worse. The only good news is that I can have icecream for dinner and nobody will dare tell me off.

But there’s something there, isn’t there? I used to be a very depressed individual and ten years ago I wouldn’t have framed myself as a happy individual. I have been in dark and lonely places feeling as though I had nothing good to show for my life and nothing to look forward to. It was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done to get out of that and let a little sunshine in.

At a point in my life I could take no more of my own misery shit. It was time to sink or swim and thankfully my mediocre doggy paddle just about got me to land.

Life is in colour now and I love it. I have friends, an amazing family and I get to come home to the best person on the planet. I’m privileged in many ways and I can’t deny that. There are lots of reasons to smile and more reasons to be positive than to let tangled headphones fuck with my chi. So maybe I will drop the attitude and leave myself open. Sure, not everyday can be a skip through the posies but I can take a vow to at least try.

Maybe against all odds and in the face of the things I can’t control, I will stand up and say “Not today, Satan. Rihanna chooses happiness and so do I.”

His Highness the crown prince Dalai Lama agrees:

Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions. ~ Dalai Lama XIV

What do you think?

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