I can't say I'm always happy, but who can? I try to be for the sake of other people, sometimes. In general, I'm a pretty happy and satisfied person. A few things can bring my positive mood to a halt: a bad grade, toxic people, and even a paper cut – those types of things.

As people, we're too hard on ourselves. We expect to always reach an end goal or vision within a certain timeframe, or get bullied by other people just for the sake of having "friends". Nobody wants to be unhappy, especially because sometimes we think nobody else cares about our problems. As a result, we shove those problems until it becomes unbearable to deal with.

You deserve to be happy because your pain isn't beneficial for yourself or anybody else. The more we grieve and suffer, the less we grow, the less we connect with people, and the less we push ourselves to become bigger and better versions of ourselves.

When we're miserable, we shrink into the second-rate versions of ourselves. When we're happy, we thrive, envelop, and burn brightly to light up those around us. Our lives take on a stronger and more meaningful purpose.

You deserve to be happy because there is no sense in not being yourself. The more you hide, quiver, or retreat into the quiet recesses of existence, the more you lose the chance to show off who you are. The world deserves the inspiration of people who come alive through what they hope for, the people who end up creating change, be it artistically, technically, or persistently. The world doesn’t need people half-fulfilling someone else’s dream: It needs people who are fully embodying their own, and are happy doing it.

Now, I'm not implying a need to always be happy. My point is to not be so critical and harsh on yourself. Its okay to not achieve that one test grade, or personal best. Its okay to cut off a toxic person from your life, or to be late to a class/meeting. It's okay to not stay on your diet 24/7 –say "f*** it" and eat whatever you want because it makes you a happy, well-rounded individual.

You deserve to be happy because happy people make their lives matter, and what more can we ask for than that?