For years I’ve had a huge poster in my room that reads “happiness is your first kiss, the beach, laughing, laying in bed listening to the rain, receiving a letter…” and so on. For years I believed this, I followed it, and I happily kept it hanging there in the corner of my room. But, not anymore. First kisses are awkward, bumbling, uncomfortable, even weird. The beach is nice occasionally but not on windy days, when the cold blows down your spine and goosebumps appear, covering your skin. Laughing can be forced and fake. Laying in bed listening to the rain often brings a pit to my stomach as I realise I’ll be walking an hour in that rain, as I realise the buses are delayed and my coat is either in the wash or simply nowhere to be seen. Receiving a letter usually takes the form of a bill, a notice or something boring and adult, which is not quite yet my forte. Life is not the way it is in movies, books, Taylor Swift songs. Life is raw and tough and exhausting. Life can leave us with mascara rolling down our cheeks and our under eyes like clouds on a stormy night. But it is also beautiful and can give us with butterflies in our chests and grins embedded on our faces. We live through the difficult days because we hope-we know that better days lie ahead. As the late and great George Michael once said, I gotta have faith.-m.