Since the release of my novel, Rose's Will, which is heavily autobiographical, I've been looking back. Finding old high school friends on Facebook, scouring my yearbooks looking for faces that are still familiar, reading those quippy little goodbye blurbs from fellow graduates scribbled in bad penmanship over embarrassing pictures as we stopped each other in the halls en route to our last few classes.
I was surprised to see how many of my classmates referred to my zaniness, wit, and willingness to do whatever it took to get a laugh. "Always stay as happy as you are," I read forty years later as stark and painful memories of my high school years in a violent home collided with the message.
In that moment, I was sure that happiness is deeper than circumstance and truer than fleeting emotion. It's not something we can learn or consciously create. Happiness is inside of us whether we know it or not. It's born of strength and belief in our power. We need to stay out of our own way and make room for it. --
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