I came across this photo on my computer. I must be nine or ten in this picture. Obviously it was a trip to Disneyland and somehow I got lucky enough to single ride the teacups. I don’t really remember this moment, or this trip necessarily, but seeing this photo brings me such joy because I look so happy.


This stage of life was before I knew anything about make-up, before braces straightened my teeth. I remember that headband  and how I use to wear my stick straight short hair with the headband pushing my hair out of my eyes. I had a mole on my chin that I was always a bit self conscious about.

Yet, as I look at that picture today I love the person I see. I don’t think I was worried about anything in the moment this picture was taken. I see pure joy, true happiness, and none of my imperfections kept me from experiencing this perfect blissful moment.

As I look as this picture today I see a beautiful little girl, full of life. It helps me remember who I truly am. It teaches me that no matter what is happening in my life, I still have the ability to choose to be happy, even if it is just for a small moment. It reminds me that happiness does not come from a store, bottle, or magical miracle cream, it is just there, ready to be experienced. And although I was at Disneyland in this picture, I am certain that as a ten year old I experienced similar happiness as I was playing potions in the back yard, climbing dirt hills in our neighborhood when new houses were being built, and rollerblading down the street.

Happiness seemed to always be there for me as a child, and although it feels like it takes a bit more effort sometimes as an adult, I feel like it is still there, ready for me to embrace it.

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