I believe we are the architect of our own lives.

I tattooed my deceased husband’s favorite affirmation, in his writing, on my arm: I am responsible.

I am responsible for my interpretation.

I am responsible for my action.

I am responsible for my happiness.

I choose to be happy. I know that sounds weird to people, but what is the other option? I refuse to lay on the ground and be miserable. I refuse to dig myself into a deep pit of sorrow and wither away in it. I refuse to let my three young children to see anything other than happiness in our family. That’s what my husband would have wanted. That’s what I want.

There is so much more to life. If you really think objectively about life, we are born, and we have this lifetime of which we don’t know how long it will last. We can choose to do things to stack the odds in our favor as far as life expectancy goes, but we can’t completely eradicate the power of genetics, and sometimes accidents, cancer, and other monsters that may strike down from out of nowhere. We just don’t know.

So what to do?

One of the biggest mistakes I think we make as human beings is to act like we are owed something. And that everything should be perfect. I bet that is the single source of misery for people.

For example, I grow up as a little girl believing I’ll find prince charming, buy a home, have my 2.5 kids and live happily ever after.

But then my husband dies. Or he cheats on me and we get divorced. Or one of our kids has disabilities. Or we have financial ruin and lose our home. Whatever the scenario.

And we feel pissed. Betrayed.

How dare the universe do this to me!!! This is not my happily ever after. I was promised my happily ever after. I am owed something. Give me what I am owed.

Except you weren’t. You never were.

And to reconcile this causes deep pain and confusion for many people who never took the time to really explore and think about what life is.

Some people may be saddened by this realization.

I am not one of those people.

I appreciate that I am in control. It’s my interpretation. It’s what I choose to do in a world in which I can’t control every single thing. One chapter of my life had a husband and three kids and ups and downs but mostly happiness. That chapter is over. But my next chapter may be even better. It may be exactly what I’ve waited my entire life for.

And it might not be.

But I do the best I can, keep my head up high, and keep doing the things that I love. Because I am in control. I am responsible.

I choose happiness.

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