I like to think that most days are good days.

Every time I wake up in the morning, I try to see if at least one thing will manage to bring me joy. It could be that it’s a nice enough day to wear that new dress hidden in my dresser. It could be that one of my classes got cancelled so I can spend time writing or catching up on the sleep that I keep meaning to cross off my to do list. It could even be that I manage not to bang my knee when walking past my desk to get to my closet.

It’s the little victories that count.

I wake up most mornings with this hope in mind. Even if today isn’t going to be monumental or go down in the books of my personal history as life-changing, that’s OK. There’s still possibility for good. Things could be far worse than having an ordinary day. Some people even find comfort in routines, thrive even on their one cup of coffee a day and zumba classes twice a week regimens. Patterns develop, help us recognize our strengths, and foster relationships. At least that’s the plan.

Yes, Annie, the sun will come out tomorrow.

So I carry on, putting one foot in front of the each other, day in and day out like everyone else in the world. Hoping for small victories if possible, and looking out for the finer things. I like to consider myself a realist with a tendency toward optimism, and most days the optimist in me wins.

And then there are days it doesn’t.

I wake up and see no possibilities in front of me. It feels like it will rain even though there was no broadcast predicting it would. It feels like anything I wear doesn’t fit right or feel “me.” I’m so tired of banging my freaking knee into my desk when I never should have put it so close to my closet in the first place. My writing is so shitty that a fan-written, self-published, spin-off following Edward and Bella’s love child sounds more promising than mine.

All I want to do is sleep, because it feels like the only thing I’m good at.

I want to sink back into my world of soft down comforters, and silky sheets just waiting to envelop me in a world away from here. It’s a world where I don’t have to ever use the bathroom, or feel awkward around others, or eat, or leave my comfort zone. It’s a small town with a population of one.

Nothing happens, but no harm can come to me.

Patterns feel like shackles imprisoning in a path I thought I chose. I thought I wanted these classes, clubs, meetings, friends, and distance. I thought I loved plans and organization and adored my daily planner clutching it like a Bible as a way to survive. But I seem to just be following along, doing what’s expected of me.

What does it matter if I don’t show up?

Some would care, most wouldn’t. Unless it was an important event or thing I was supposed to do, but everyone has a different definition of what’s important nowadays. I could miss a lunch, or a phone call, and be considered unreliable. I could miss a class or an assignment and be considered unprepared.

It may have only happened once, but people will never let you forget it.

You won’t let you forget it. The bad days of the past seem to cloud the present and tornado into extremes of frustration and hurt and hopelessness until they shatter all things you were hoping to hold onto to help guide your future. Whether you caused the storm or not, you still have to sort through the wreckage.

Eventually, you get past it.

Whether you just discovered the cure for cancer or found out your dog has died, you still are expected to get up the next morning. Whether you’re in the middle of a storm or one has just passed, there will soon be another one coming your way at one point or another. So we sit and wait.

We still hope, despite it all.

Call it dumb, call it optimistic, or even realistic, but we still have this sheer hope in the universe, in others that things will turn a corner for us. Joy will return to us once more and we will welcome it back like an old friend. Why don’t you stay for awhile, Joy?

If only it didn’t have to leave so soon.

Whenever we wake up and take those first steps out the door, we never know what we may encounter. It could be the most important day of our lives or the dullest. But we do have a say in looking out more for the good over the bad.

It’s all about how we choose to use the time.

I take a moment to breathe, stand tall, and peer from behind my intense, dark brown eyes to catch a glimpse of paradise; even if it’s just for a minute. The gleaming smile of my lover. The hysterical laugh of my mother. The shared look of trust and love between friends and family. The Chicago skyline from the top floor of the John Hancock Building. I see it all, and I hope to see more.

No matter what day is in store, I like to think that most days are good days.