Grab a cuppa coffee … this one’s a bit longer than usual ~ just this one time though … I decided to write across a couple of different platforms. As the crankiest happy person you may ever meet ~ I felt called to write about happiness from a different perspective.

This is that story (sort of) but it’s the longest one I’ll add to this page ’cause I want to get on with the business of living it, not just writing about it.

My bones are weary after a few thousand miles on the road this summer. Sitting down to write requires both the desire to sit and a well rested brain to write.

I’m a bit hoped up on that delicious Truck Stop coffee and it’s been a few days.

** Pilots ~ Love’s ~ Sheetz ~ Truck stop favorites when you’re traveling long distance. I dare any hipster upscale coffee shop to hold a candle to these folks in both freshness, and price point. 🙂

Happiness Noir came out of my own study of happiness in my doctoral dissertation. Then, right as I was about to finish ~ I ran out of money. The school dumped me. The price tag was so big, it f*cked me up. I grieved and grappled with the reality that ~ no matter what the achievement was, if you had money, you could earn any degree you wanted.

Karma? They are massively getting sued by people right now. Not by me, but by enough others that they are being forced to change. Love that for them!

Those people walking around with Dr.’s and MAPP’s (the premier happiness degree) ~ they had the cold, hard cash to pay for their education.

Me? I paid with blood, sweat, tears, loss, my life as I knew it and even with my own happiness. Studying happiness made me miserable.

So, I got an advanced certificate in mental health counseling instead. A full on 5 chapter dissertation worth a few hundred thousand dollars sits on my shelves, collecting dust.

Bitter? Hell yes I was. Not any more.

I got my a** handed to me by the universe while earning that degree. The bigger shocker? Yes, there is one, academically speaking. When I decided to leave academia to go back into the workplace and was told by some provincial HR middle management karen that my degree was TOO OLD.


The injustice of it all was too much. Until I started laughing.

Now, I’m still just ~ full on writing a book about all the irony in trying to achieve something in a place that used nepotism over accomplishment and narcissism over honorability.

SO ~ what’s a lady to do when she has a ton of student loan debt ~ 20+ years of knowledge and experience in the game of life AND … she’s flipping careers like a house hunter?

We write it out ~ that’s what we do. Do you know how many people are doing a major life flip right now? MILLIONS of us all around the world.

Let’s celebrate that. I’m excited about it! I’m really really happy to see so many people pursuing their joy. There’s so much promise, hope and excitement in this focus on mental health as evidenced by the athlete’s of the world ~ the royals of the world ~ the celebrities who are no longer trying to hide who they are.

When the big names come out of the shadows ~ the every day people do too.

It’s an exciting time to be alive.

However … all this talk about happiness, positivity and forced smiling … it’s giving me a headache.

It’s not as easy as snapping a pic for Insta and it’s not as easy as wishing it into existence.

Wish it ~ sure ~ then work your tail off to get there.

We CAN be super very happy no matter our circumstances but let’s be reasonable and down to earth about it. Life is just gonna suck sometimes. Horrors are happening around the world right now.

It’s SUCH a 1st world thing to want to talk about joy, happiness and laughing out loud when there are people who are literally running/hiding/begging for their lives. It’s enough to make us weep … I hope we are shedding a tear for them. Then, saying a prayer (to Whomever it is you pray to). I’m not here to judge.

Happiness, like your coffee ~ comes in all shapes and sizes … not to mention quality.

That’s what my writing focuses on. That’s the point of all of this.

For me ~ at this juncture in time ~ I love hearing from the gray haired women who are out there flipping life, living in their own truth and doing what they feel passionate about.

As Gloria Steinem said, in response to ~ whatever person she was asked to explain her work to, “Women grow radical with age. One day an army of gray-haired women may quietly take over the earth.”

I’m off to make another pot of coffee (I bought the two-cup sort so not to waste it) and do a little more writing somewhere else.

Here’s where you can find some other stuff ~

On Medium ~ https://inkhoneypub.medium.com/welcome-to-the-free-range-female-3bd0d6116fdf

On The Positive Psychology People ~ https://www.thepositivepsychologypeople.com/aren-henry/

On Linkedin ~ https://www.linkedin.com/in/henryhealing/

This was wordy ~ I tend to talk a lot … next time will trim it down. Until then ~ my website @HenryHealing.com

Over on Facebook ~ I share info. about healing after domestic violence and narcissistic abuse ~ it’s a bit darker but also lighter for those who have healed. #MustLoveLaughter


Loving on some @JayShetty wisdom today ~

I follow him on instagram

**If I start getting weird and adding in a bunch of widgets and bits ~ just know it’s because I’m old and don’t have an available teenager to help me tone it down.

All things in life are an adjustment.

🙂 And they are to be enjoyed, savored and laughed at if we can help it.

Thanks for reading! That’s a nugget of my story ~ there may be typos ~ such is life.

K~ Aren Henry Miller

Published by happinessnoir

Writer | Advocate | Free Range Female | Change Agent | Essayist

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