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Why Are You ALWAYS So Happy?

Hello everyone! It’s your home skillet, Kiara, here. *Pew Pew Pew*

I cannot count how many times I have been asked, “Why are you ALWAYS so happy?” (The image above displays my reaction when someone does ask me that question). I think I stopped counting in high school.

I remember a particular time when one girl asked me in a mean-spirited tone, “Why are you always so happy?” She said it in an agitated way. I could easily assume that she thought that I was foolish to choose joy. Then I began to question myself, “Am I being ignorant? Am I showing off happiness? Wait, what does showing off happiness even mean?”

That evening, I saw my mom cooking. My mom struggles with a lot of daily task like cooking, cleaning, etc. Her body aches of pain from working in a factory for 8 years. When I entered my home I could hear my mother’s music playing, her lovely singing voice, and the smell her good food. She radiates positivity in a way that makes me feel joy in my body. At that moment it became clear to me what happiness really means to me: my choice.

Even when my family was working factory jobs, money was tight, or college was out of the question for many of my brothers, they still choose to keep their head up high. My mother always asked me how my day was, my brothers always had jokes to tell me, and my sister was always supportive of me. My family did not let negativity over shadow the beauty in life. Coming from “El Barrio” can mean many things regarding opportunity. The ability to choose joy is the greatest opportunity that one can have. It was the daily smiles coming from the Tamale lady in California St., even when the weather was below 30 degrees, and others like her who taught me that a smile can fit into any circumstance. 

I wish for the girl who asked me, “Why are you ALWAYS so happy”, to understand that happiness is not being ignorant of the issues that disturb one. In times of struggle, happiness is a survival skill. If I were to complain about life, I would never see the light at the end of the tunnel. Having a positive attitude makes me feel empowered to solve the issues in life instead of just complaining about them.

Be grateful. Be kind. Choose joy. C’mon y’all, I look cuter when I smile.




Professional Oprah Enthusiast.  Otra Gordita Latina.  Xicana de Chicago.  I like to think my life is an NBC sitcom. Theatre and Anthropology Major with an English Minor.  Connecticut College Class of 2021.   
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