Monday Morsel: Trent Shelton





Broken crayons still color the same.

There is one piece of advice that I have always hated: “just choose to be happy.”

Right. Because I choose to cry. Because I choose to have a gaping black pit where my heart ought to be. Because I choose to float through the day with my mind as numb as my fingertips. There are some things you don’t choose.

Sure, I could plaster a practiced smile onto my pretty face. I could talk to people and laugh when something is supposed to be funny. I could fill my days with many a productive activity. But just because I can act happy doesn’t mean I can be happy.

It doesn’t work that way.

If you are unhappy, ask yourself why? Is it a situation? A relationship? What is your trigger?

Figure it out yet? Ok. I’m going to tell you what to do.

First, take a good, long look at it. Can you fix it? Can you make it right? I’m not asking if it is easy, I’m asking if it is possible.

No? Then there is a second option.

Get. Out.

Don’t force yourself to suffer. If you find yourself somewhere everyday that makes you feel worse than empty, don’t go there!

Now you’re going to tell me, “oh, but I can’t drop out of school! I can’t quit my job! I can’t leave my friends!”.

I’m not telling you to drop out. Obviously, don’t be stupid. But see if there are other options. I can say that I personally switched schools. I was emotionally in pain every day. I couldn’t help people when I was in such a state. So I searched, and I found another program that seemed much more suited to me. It meant changing my plans, but it offered me different opportunities, and I know I would not be where I am today if I hadn’t made that choice.

Is it really worth keeping that job? Are you absolutely certain there is nowhere else you could make a living? Are you working towards what you want to spend the rest of your life doing?

You have full right to cut ties with anyone who drags you down. You don’t have to be mean, but you also don’t have to put up with other peoples crap.

You deserve to be happy. And you deserve to be real.

I think the only thing worse than being depressed is being made to wear a smile through it all, as you break silently under the surface.

So stop “choosing to be happy”, and choose a better life.

You may be broken, but you can still color. You must take charge of your own canvas. Other people will contribute to your masterpiece, other people are important. But you choose what you want it to look like. You are the artist of your life.

You can be happy. You can be real.

Put yourself in a place where you can realize those possibilities. Live the life you wish you were living. Plan your days so that you roll out of bed with excitement rather than dread. Find a way.

Broken crayons still color the same.


3 Comments Add yours

  1. sally lindquist says:

    Kim, you are amazing. I am sure you can accomplish great things with such an insightful, can-do attitude. AND…keep writing!!



  2. Mari says:

    Kim, you are a beautiful writer. I love to hear your thoughts and insights on life — very profound and thought provoking. Love it! Keep it up! I am glad you made changes that caused you to feel better!

    So, my mantra is to: “choose happy.” I had to giggle when you said you hate that advice. 🙂 I know it sounds like a ridiculous thing to do, especially when life can be the very opposite of happy. There are for sure some circumstance that no one should be happy with, but for the most part, I do believe we have more power to choose happiness than we know. For me choosing happiness equals choosing Jesus.

    I do not roll out of bed everyday with a smile on my face, I never have! It is not my personality. But once I am up, I have choices to make, and one of those choices is my attitude. I have to “choose to be happy” because happiness isn’t just there. I don’t naturally have sparkles and bubbles in my soul, I have deep thoughts and questions. I have to make an effort to go after joy, I have to grab it, to work for it; especially now, as I stare grief in the face.

    Sometimes finding happiness does require big changes like you said, and sometimes it is simply in changing my mind; recognizing I have the power to change my outlook on the life I am living, though it may not be ideal, or what I had hoped for and dreamed of.

    Some things I cannot change; some things I can.

    As long as I have the power to change my mind towards happiness, that is what I try to do; it is not an easy task, but it is better than giving up. I find I can cry and still be happy. I think of happiness as peace, the world views it as pleasure. I think most people are seeking for peace, but they try to find it in pleasure.

    If circumstances can be changed for the better, I totally agree people should change things and not wallow in darkness and agony. We are all broken, that is certain. But we don’t have to live broken forever, no matter what hell we go through in life. That is what makes Jesus so special, because we need Him. We all need Him.

    Through Him the broken can be healed, and joy can fill the heart. Trust me. I know. Jesus can put broken crayons (and hearts) back together and make them whole. I saw it with Charles’ life-changing conversion, and now with myself, as I battle it out with grief and sorrow over his death. I can let sorrow take me, or I can choose to fight it with joy, with Jesus. I can’t do it alone.

    My point, if I even have one, is that choosing happiness is not impossible. Happiness should not be faked, or photoshopped, but it can be felt even in the darkest of times. You don’t have to flop around like a spastic cheerleader to be happy. Happiness is peace, and peace requires no show or costumes.

    Look at what your thoughts made me do… you made me think! Well done, Kim, well done. 😉

    OK, gotta go… Henry is eating crayons right now. For reals. Nice timing!

    Love you! Keep writing your insights! Seriously, I love it! 🙂


    1. Kim says:

      Thanks Mari! I totally agree. The Atonement is amazing, and I know I couldn’t live a day without it. Christ is always there waiting, sometimes you just have to find the door before you can let him in. I love you! Thanks for reading!


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