Learning to smile

Two years since my father died, I’ve finally found happiness and peace.

The despair that is prevalent when a loved one dies also comes from when realizing that life goes on and doesn’t stop for you when your world has fallen apart.

However, that’s the beauty in the breakdown: life still goes on. My father wouldn’t have wanted me to stop living my life because of my despair from losing him, he would want me to continue striving to be a better man. People come and go, we change careers, and sometimes, we need to stop taking ourselves so goddamned seriously. We can always learn something new not from opening our minds, but our hearts.

So every day, I dedicate to my father and his memory, the sacrifices he made, and knowing he wasn’t perfect; to the friends I love and reciprocate that love who have helped me appreciate the life I have; and to myself, my goals, passions, and ambitions.

Nobody stops me but me. Today is the first day of the rest of my life, and tomorrow is another day. And tomorrow becomes today. Firsts don’t always have to be lasts, just like anyone who has ever fallen in love knows that the one whose hand they hold walking down the aisle may not have been whom they imagined or expected they’d end up with. A failure today is a lesson learned, and a lesson learned is a story worth sharing to encourage us all to soldier on.After a long journey, I’ve finally found the love and hope that has helped me realize what makes me want to continue living, and it comes from the happiness of gratitude and friendship.

I’m not posting a lot nowadays because most of the time, I’m busy with school. On top of that, I’m applying to internships and spending time with myself, learning to feel and be receptive to the gifts of the universe, which come in the form of wonderful friends and circumstances, my program, a paradise known as La Jolla, California, and a bright future.

For now, I think the best thing I can do is show you my room. I am responsible for my own happiness, and now instead of worrying if it can happen, I am excited that that right and responsibility is all mine. I don’t need other people’s admiration, a lover to make me feel more comfortable in my own skin, or credentials and skills to impress others to validate my insecurities. I shape my life, my future, and my world. And it begins at home, in my room.

The following slideshow shows you what is in my room, and each picture is a grouping or an individual picture that tells a story that everyone is free to interpret.

Every day, I practice stoic optimism, that allows me to appreciate what I have rather than what I don’t have, for I could lose it any time, and there is absolutely more to be happy about. When I wake up early in the morning, I don’t have the dread of having to wake up, I laugh because I customized my alarm to play Europe’s “The Final Countdown” and allow me to imagine that I can start my day with both urgency and a little fun. Instead of being upset when overwhelmed with school and work, I am happy to have that because if I were bored and broke, I’d be wishing for something to do. When walking from home to school, the long distance, though daunting, is pleasant because I get more exercise each way and a chance to enjoy the sights of the attractive women on campus. There are plenty of things to be grateful for and happy, and I shape my own world.

I’ll end with a few images that must be shared. The first is my wall of love and happiness, which I wake up to every day, allowing me to remember why I am happy to be alive and what keeps me working hard to keep living well.

Here is an image that was the biggest revelation to me that helped me overcome my depression, finally.

So now I wear on my sleeve the greatest power that exists:

And of course, music that fits.

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