by Lainey Skolnik

I’m simply happy. It’s a decision I made at a young age, and it has shaped the person I am today. Each morning as the sun rises, a sense of optimism rises with it.
Being positive and upbeat is a choice; geniality is not a genetic quality. Every individual has the potential to be cheerful, and unfortunately, some choose to be pessimistic.
My positive energy helps me in every aspect of my life. At school, acquaintances ask for help about ordinary and serious problems. It is humbling to know that people trust me with their dilemmas, and I know it would not be possible without my outgoing nature.
As a cashier/waitress, my job requires customer service. Being bubbly at my job is a win-win situation: I earn more tips and people tell me that I make their experience pleasant.
There are some days when nothing seems to go right with the customers: their food is too cold; they want no onions; they want a refund; they are grumpy. Regardless of the circumstance, it is my job to smile and assure them that any changes are ‘no problem.’ Even when people are rude and abrupt, I make it a point to communicate with them in a friendly manner. I know the positive energy will affect them, leaving them with a smile as they walk out the door.
Sometimes people accuse me of being a fake. They act negatively toward me because of my positive attitude. My personality is not phony; it is the manner in which I choose to deal with situations. Cheerfulness does not make a person dishonest. It is entirely possible for a person to speak their mind and to do it in a nice manner. Instead of being bitter about another person’s happiness, people could feed off of that positive energy.
I don’t push my feelings aside. I’m not claiming to be Superwoman. I’m a real person; I feel emotions like sadness, rejection, and anger. Sometimes I’m mean, sometimes I’m moody, sometimes I’m depressed, and it’s okay to feel these emotions. But when I experience these feelings, I remind myself that wallowing in self-pity isn’t a way to conquer obstacles. Life’s too short to put so much energy into feeding negative feelings.
I know for the rest of my life, I will be able to use this capability to my advantage. I know that I will not be content unless I am interacting with people. My goals to help, comfort, and assist others will be bettered by the choice I make to be happy. Each night, I fall asleep confident, knowing that I’ve done everything I can to be positive.