Happiness is a butterfly and that’s okay


I’m a Swiftie and Nadine, my daughter is a Lanatic. 

Before you think we’re a lunatic mother-daughter duo, let me explain. My daughter and I couldn’t be more different in personalities. I like Taylor Swift while my daughter likes Lana Del Rey. If you’ve heard their music, you’d know how there’s nothing in common between the two. 

I’m a Swiftie because I love her happy vibe. Even her sad or breakup songs are happy. Call it toxic positivity or whatever, I choose to stay happy and hopeful despite the odds stacked against me. Yes, some times I can’t hold the fort anymore, and the waters gush out at full throttle. Not very pleasant and, a tad bit embarrassing too.

But I’ve learned over the years that it’s so important to accept your emotions and vent out early on so things don’t come to a full boil at the cost of your wellbeing. 

She played almost all of Lana Del Rey’s songs to me. Like any teenager looking for validation, even more so from their mother, I poured cold water. 

Me: Lana’s songs are nice. But why do you like them so much? It’s borderline depressing.

Nadine: No! It’s realistic. 

Me: Why don’t you listen to more joyful songs?

Nadine: Can I decide what I like to hear? I don’t enjoy listening to OTT happy songs. 

Me: But this is OTT sad too. 

Nadine: It’s not. What about keeping it real, remember?

Lana Del Rey’s songs have a low-key melancholic vibe to them. 

Me: I like her music, but I can’t agree with everything she writes. Like, I don’t think happiness is a butterfly. How hopeless! 

Nadine: *glares at me.*

Me: Happiness is a choice. You can have the biggest setback and still choose to be hopeful and happy. 

Nadine: But that’s not how it works all the time.

Me: You make that choice. I know it’s hard, but you try. 

A few months down the line, I stand corrected. I see the flaw in my approach. No matter how happy I am on the exterior and hold on to hope and faith, there’ll always be the problem weighing me down and eating me up inside. Isn’t that pretending and fooling yourself? 

I take back my words I told my daughter months ago. I’ve learned over the years that it’s so important to accept your emotions and vent out early on so things don’t come to a full boil at the cost of your wellbeing.

The more I think about it, happiness is a butterfly. The more you pursue it, the more it eludes you. Also, happiness is ephemeral, and it’s not practical to be happy all the time. You need to embrace all emotions to stay balanced. 

Yes, there will be ‘ups and downs’ in life. And the only way to tide through them is to stay hopeful and optimistic. But it’s also important to address the inner demons inside of us, be it sadness, loneliness, anxiety, or depression that comes with failure or setback. I’m learning to make peace with reality, embrace all emotions, and move on with hope. While I continue to retain my optimistic self, I know my future will not change if I don’t focus on the ‘now’ and work on it. 

It’s also perfectly fine to be not okay and to express your raw feelings. I know there’s always the risk of being vulnerable to the people with the wrong intentions when you bare open your heart. But that’s where the power of discernment comes in. There’s nothing like sharing your innermost fears and anxieties with a trusted well wisher. You feel lighter. If you have no one like that, there’s always writing to the rescue. I find writing cathartic. In times of despair, writing is my solace and safe space. 

There’s no strength in hiding your authentic emotions and pretending to be brave and happy. How many lives of seemingly strong and happy people would have been saved if they opened up and confided in somebody or something like the pages of a book or a heart-rending song? 

What are your thoughts on happiness? 

*I’m participating in #BlogchatterA2Z.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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Tina Sequeira
Tina Sequeira is a marketer and moonlighting writer. She is passionate about tech, creativity, and social justice—dabbling in and writing about the same.

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