You’re allowed to be happy.

Some yellow and purple pansies in grass.

I’m going to write that on a sticky note and stick it to my iMac, along with my stickies that say “Be kind to yourself” and “Rule #408”.

Doctor Who's rule 408: You should always waste time when you don't have any. Time is not the boss of you. Rule 408.

There’s a lot of bad happening in the world right now. War in Ukraine. A still happening pandemic. We’re teetering on the verge of climate catastrophe. The US government wanting to strip away abortion rights. Attacks on trans youth in multiple states. Every day I look at the news and get upset. And scared.

I worry every day now what kind of world my niece and nephews are going to be growing up in.

But there’s also a lot of good, fun, exciting things happening in the world, too. Not big things, but small, trivial things. It’s warm and sunny and the flowers are blooming. Outside the air smells so good. The cast announcements for Doctor Who are so exciting! I’m so looking forward to seeing Ncuti Gatwa as the Doctor, and I love that Donna and Ten are returning. There’s new Drag Race and Stranger Things coming right up. Harry Styles is releasing a new album! Kenobi premieres at the end of the month! And all of these things make me happy and excited.

It’s been a really long time since things made me happy and excited.

It’s hard, though. Because there’s a guilt that lingers around being happy and excited. It’s like I shouldn’t look forward to things, I shouldn’t be excited, because everything is Bad™ and things could just get worse.

But I deserve to be happy. Everyone deserves to be happy. Especially when things are bad. Happy is what keeps people going. I’ve lived too long in the darkness, dwelling on nothing but the Bad™ , I almost lost myself to it. I refuse to feel bad for finding joy in small, trivial things. Joy is so sparse nowadays, I’m going to seize it where I can.

I figure if I say it enough times I’ll start to believe it. So this one’s a note to myself: You’re allowed to be happy.

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