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Choose Joy, Choose You

Updated: Nov 15, 2023

By McKenna Leavens

Recently, there has been a common theme in my life about choices. 

I have heard an overwhelming amount of people complain about their current situation, whether it be romantically or in their academic careers. So, with that being said, I have something to say…

None of us get to decide what happens in our lives, but we do get to decide what we do when those things happen. Chaotic, horrible things happen every single day and we have no control over them but we do get to control our choices in the midst of all the chaos.  

I hear so many people talk about how they’re jealous of so and so’s life or how they need to get out of their hometown but they can’t because *insert bullshit excuse here.*

Stop being jealous of someone’s life, go out and CHOOSE to get the life you’ve always wanted. Get out of that toxic relationship, move on from the person who hurt you, and get the HELL out of your hometown.

Sure, this is all easier said than done but I am living proof that you can do it. I have been through a lot in my short little life and I could’ve lived in my trauma but instead, I am living in the NOW.

There will always be things holding you back and there will always be hurdles to jump over. 

I guess what I’m saying is once you jump over those hurdles and push past all of the hurt and pain you’re going to come out on the other side THRIVING and better than ever.

The best part will be that you chose to do that.

Actively choose joy. Better yet, choose yourself. 

For as long as I can remember, I have always chosen men and even friendships before I chose myself. The minute I started putting myself first and looking out for what I wanted is when things truly started to change for me.  

Life is all about choices. The choices we make define who we are, not the things that happen to us. My trauma doesn’t define me but instead what I did in the light of my trauma.

Next time you get jealous because your friend/significant other has something that you don’t, take a step back and 1. Realize that jealousy is ugly and knock that ish off right now and 2. Choose to go out and do something that you’ve always wanted for no reason other than the fact that you deserve it.

Choose you, choose happiness and choose to leave things behind that no longer benefit you. I promise you it’s worth it. 


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