Finding Happiness (and a contest!)

It was July 2008. My two girlfriends and I were on an afternoon sail in Key West, my favorite place on earth (thus far, anyway…). Our buddy Jarred perched easily on the mast playing guitar while we soaked up the sun and floated over the blue water, passing Christmas Tree Island and Mallory Square.

It was beautiful, and peaceful, and easy.

Sometimes, this is life.

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We sailed out of the harbor and into the open waters of the Atlantic. We picked up speed. We bounded over the waves. It was choppy. Jarred easily navigated while we feisty little Southern girls got quiet and turned a little green. I will neither confirm nor deny whether there was actual seasickness involved.

It was uncomfortable, and awkward, and we were ready for the rough spots to all be over.

Sometimes, this is life.

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We turned back towards the island, and immediately the Carambola sailed more smoothly, the wind seemed less angry, we were relaxed, and the sun began to drop towards the horizon. The worst had passed, and we were all the more grateful for the blue of the water, the sparkle of the sun’s rays on the waves, and the laughter of our free-spirited friends. (Who totally had their sea legs.)

Sometimes, this is life.

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As we sailed back into the calm waters of the harbor, Jarred helped me to the bow of the boat. I sat here, leading the way into the sunset, with my toes dipping into the warm waters every time the sailboat bobbed over a wave. I had finally broken ties from a tumultuous relationship that just would not end; my family was adjusting to the fact that my precious grandparents were becoming more dependent on my parents and me; I worked really hard to find peace in my life, but I still hadn’t relaxed enough to let myself be happy again. Until that moment. In the orange Key West twilight with my toes still in the water, I turned to Jarred and to my college friend Brandy, and I said six words that redefined my life:

“I am so happy right now.”

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Always, this is life.

Sometimes things are peaceful, sometimes they are rough, and sometimes you just feel sick and awkward. But after you turn yourself around and lift your head back up, there is peace. And then, you find happiness.

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CONTEST!!

So tell me: where is your happy place? Where, when, with whom do you find your greatest contentment and happiness? Leave a comment below to share your story. You will be entered to win either an iTunes gift card or free prints from ACP…your choice! You have until 7:00pm EST on Saturday, July 9 Monday, July 12 at 10:00am EST to enter the contest. I can’t wait to read about your happiness!

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