& the game changed.

71164547cfa79fd8434a67be2cbe6ace.jpg

"The game has changed, folks." It's one of those phrases that I find myself saying all of the time, and frankly, annoy myself saying in the process. I can only imagine the sentiments of the 'folks' on the listening end. 

For example:

Me in response to some artist releasing music that is polar opposite of their past music (i.e. Taylor Swift's "Look What You Made Me Do"-- side note, don't even get me started on this; it makes my blood boil just thinking about it): "Wow, the game has changed."

Me when I treat myself to a single beer on the patio instead of my usual nighttime tea: "The game has changed, everyone. Feeling wild tonight."

Me affirming someone's observation that I have taken a cozy night to the extreme (I really do: Comfy nights warrant candles, wine, binge-watching Grey's Anatomy, my knitting, the whole nine yards. Did I mention these are entirely solo? Ain't no shame in the game.): "Indeed, the game has changed."


Despite the humorous nature of this statement when I tend to use it, there is actually an insightful take on it. I realized this after meeting up with a high school buddy as he was passing through Nashville this week. Following dinner with him and his dad, he commented on how he just couldn't get enough of how happy I seemed.

(When someone comments on your happiness: "The game really has changed.")

You see, in the past, I have had a reputation as a chronic worrywart. I would fret incessantly about things beyond my control and allow mundane elements of my day to deem the entire 24 hours awful. I would lose sleep over things that happened in the daylight and didn't have any right following me into the night. I would ruminate over the way a situation should have gone but didn't. 

But upon reflecting upon my buddy's statement, I realized that, since my move to Nashville, the opposite has been true. In fact, my new normal has been HAPPY. I have finally become the person I've always wanted to be. 

Sure, I have had moments of homesickness or little disappointments here and there because, well... LIFE. But I have stopped allowing things beyond my control to dictate my day. Rather, I respond to those little disappointments as exactly what they are-- little-- and, on the other hand, give even the tiniest of triumphs a big spot in my bank of gratitude. Because the truth of the matter is, you, and only you, are responsible for your own happiness. 

Rather than slowly dragging myself out of bed at 4:30am for an opening shift at the coffee shop, cursing my alarm and the sure-to-be-painful day ahead of me, I celebrate that I got to wake up in the first place. I choose happy. 

Rather than allowing a silly dose of drama to infiltrate my good mood (side note: I despise drama and truly believe anything can be resolved with a good long chat and a hug), I do what I can with the situation and move on. I choose happy.

Rather than ruminate over that wrong note I played on my guitar during a writers' night, I chalk it up to an "oops" and play the next one better. I choose happy.

I may not have the answers to everything (or really, much of anything). But speaking from experience, I can honestly say that choosing happy is the best thing you can do for yourself. If you go to sleep every night and can honestly say that you gave that day your happiest, most valiant shot, you should sleep easy.

Choose happy and the game will change.