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Please do not feel pressured to always be happy. It’s okay that there are moments in which you aren’t, moments in which you feel sad or even moments in which you are neither happy nor sad, in which you are somewhere in the middle. It in no way implies that you are doing a bad job at this life thing. See, life is a spectrum of emotions, of euphoria, joy, sadness, angst, anxiety, and everything in between. To truly live is to experience them all.

Of course happiness is a choice. You can and should choose when to be happy. But it is one influenced by external circumstances, some of which you have no control over. Sometimes things are just… shitty, and no matter what way you look at it, there isn’t a positive to it. Sometimes you are overcome by a random wave of sadness whose source you do not even know. And that’s okay. It’s okay that things are shitty sometimes. It’s okay that you sometimes feel sad without reason. Whatever it is you feel now, feel it. Allow it to run for a while. Explore it until you know it’s parts, until you know every edge of it, until you have run your finger over each seam of its fabric.

Because that is what it means to truly live: to experience it all. Life is a spectrum of emotions. You starve of yourself of the full experience if your approach is to immediately stifle any negative feelings. Because what is happiness without the contrasting melancholy? Would there be any highs without the lows? Would certainty be as liberating were anxiety not so burdening? Would laughter be any more meaningful if your heart did not ache as much when it breaks?

You don’t have to be happy all the time. It isn’t possible. Whatever you feel in the moment, that’s okay too. Cry when it hurts. Laugh when it’s funny. Celebrate when you win. It’s a spectrum of emotions.

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