A couple I know recently broke up. “I’m just not happy,” one of them stated.
“Why?” I asked. “What happened?”
“It’s complicated,” she said.
Since their heart-wrenching breakup, I’ve had some time to reflect on happiness and how I have managed to stay married for twenty-three years.
Happiness is an emotion, and like any emotion, it can come and go. For some, happiness crashes in like a giant wave. For others it slowly escalates like the rising tide. But for a few rare people out there, happiness is not an event–some outside force dictating how and when they feel joy, rather, it is a choice. They are happy because they choose to be happy. Freedom cannot occur until a person learns to control their emotional fate. Or in other words, nothing can bring me down unless I allow it.
My life isn’t perfect. I have real problems like anyone else. But I choose to be happy and that makes all the difference.
“Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.” Abraham Lincoln
My favorite picture of my husband and me. We are happy!
My name is Rebecca Carpenter. The fifth of nine children, I was born without any outward talents or inward self-esteem. Plain and quiet, I grew up believing that in order to be accepted, I needed boys to like me. And the only way to do that was to change my personality into a loud, flirtatious, fake.
But it wasn’t just the boys that I flirted with–fate was tempted until my actions caught up to me. Pregnant at the age of fifteen, my youth shattered into tiny pieces, never again to return.
My teen pregnancy became my wake up call. Like a jigsaw puzzle, I began the arduous task of constructing a new me. The process of figuring out who I was and where self-esteem really comes from became my new focus. And just like a caterpillar, I experienced my own metamorphosis. My plain outer shell transformed into a unique array of color, design, shape, and size.
But the greatest change occured on the inside. I realized that self-esteem originated from within me, not without. I learned to like myself, develop my hidden talents, and eventually even love myself. I don’t look in the mirror and see the most beautiful woman in the world, nor am I in love with myself. But I can view my reflection and be content with what I see and who I am.
I am a Caterpillar Girl.