I have been reflecting all day and asking the question, what defines happiness? How do I define happiness? There are so many "things" that make me happy, but what happiness do I own? What creates internal happiness?
Of course I love people, music, books, photography, painting, writing, teaching, etc... but at the end of the day, what is truly responsible for my happiness?
It is me being allowed to be me.
Being allowed to like the music I like, giving love and support to those I feel most need it, reading the books I want to read, teaching the way I feel most benefits my students, painting what makes sense to me, photographing what is important to me, laughing so hard my stomach aches (whether it is appropriate or not), the ability to be super silly when I feel like it, wearing clothes that I feel comfortable in no matter what the current trends are, believing in religion and politics in a way that seems most logical to me...
and most importantly, continuing to love and be loved unconditionally, in the face of it all.