How to be happy by On Being (CC BY-NC-SA)

How to be happy by On Being (CC BY-NC-SA)

The stars we are given. The constellations we make. That is to say, stars exist in the cosmos, but constellations are the imaginary lines we draw between them, the readings we give the sky, the stories we tell. —Rebecca Solnit
I hope you will go out and let stories, that is life, happen to you, and that you will work with these stories . . . water them with your blood and tears and your laughter till they bloom, till you yourself burst into bloom. —Clarissa Pinkola Estés
The secret of happiness is freedom, the secret of freedom is courage. ―Carrie Jones
Find out who you are and do it on purpose. —Dolly Parton




Story of Choice is an online zine that empowers DIY happiness with subversive stories for savvy teens, misfits, and other curious people.


It was a rough ride from restless conformity to assured independence, and there are things I wish someone had told me. I created Story of Choice to spare you unnecessary grief and help you find your own path to happiness so you can hit the road sooner.


Hiya, I’m Michelle―a recovering perfectionist and procrastinator, product of 30 years of institutionalized education and image-conscious professional experience, and creator of Story of Choice. When I’m not home writing, relating disparate things, deconstructing popular culture, or picking nature from the dark curly hair of my puppy Elphaba, you can find me at a library, dock, beach, thrift store, vegan eatery, live event, or somewhere very green.

heads up

  • Story of Choice is a safe space of mutual respect, honesty, inquiry, creativity, and dissent. I encourage authenticity and irreverence assuming they’ll cause no imminent harm. If you’re in an abusive relationship, totalitarian state, or other dangerous place, please nurture yourself stealthily until you’re safe.
  • While I hope my observations are useful to you, you are your own authority and solely responsible for your actions.
  • I may change names to respect privacy, but insofar as truth can be told—bias and ambiguity dog us all—everything else I’ve written is true.
  • I take privacy seriously. While I may share your feedback, your personal info will never be bartered or sold, given to advertisers, or shared with anyone’s big brother unless it’s both legally required and I believe it’s justified.
  • All content is original and protected by Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC-ND) unless otherwise noted. Please share material freely, unaltered, and fully attributed. (Michelle Gray, Story of Choice, www.storyofchoice.com). Hover over, see captions, or scroll down each page for image attribution and usage info.


Questions? Feedback? Say hello!

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