So I needed to make a tangible list of things that made me happy because it has been a little bit stressful for me to be carving out my life with a spoon lately. For some context, I’ve included a short situation below:
You’re standing in front of your open closet. Clothes are thrown all over your floor in heaps of unwantedness as you desperately dress and undress yourself in several outfits before finally staring, butt-ass naked, into the skeleton of this disheveled mess you somehow call a closet. You have hundreds of items of clothing, but you just don’t feel cute in any of them, so you start to wonder whether you’d be better off never leaving your house again, or possibly becoming a nudist. And then you decide those options probably aren’t the best answers, which makes you more frustrated, because now you can’t escape from the piles and piles of shirts and tight jeans that scream, “You were never cute to begin with! You have wasted us! All of us!!!” as they lie crumpled and defeated on the carpet. You hang your head, sit on the edge of your bed (still butt-ass naked), and finally exclaim, “I have nothing to wear!!!” before melodramatically flinging yourself onto the floor surrounded by all the fashion you just murdered.
Does this sound at all familiar?
Yeah, this is what writing has felt like for me these past few weeks. Like, “I have nothing to write!!!”
It’s not even like anything bad has happened because of it, unless you count the hours of internal torment I’ve unnecessarily subjected myself to. Leave it to me to punish myself for not doing something I was never required to do in the first place. (Also sound familiar?) Anyway, I’ve discovered a few things about myself and the world around me from the time I took off from writing for my blog. I’ve decided to share some of those things with you, in hopes that it can better help both of us learn how to guzzle down life’s spiked and overwhelmingly flavored lemonade.
For a large part of my time recently, I have been highly caffeinated and have been pecking at the keys on my laptop like a madwoman, pretending like I’m writing something worthwhile. Mostly this ends with me closing the tab on an unfinished brain dump of words, still titled “Untitled Document”, and opening a new Chrome tab to check on my unfulfilling and unnecessary Facebook profile. I have also begun reading a novel about environmentalism and sex, which is equal parts academically interesting and really weird to be reading when I’m out in public. But mostly I have spent my time observing, blushing deeply, crying my eyes out, and experiencing the universe in the most astounding of ways. Part of me thinks that I might be wasting away all my days sitting and contemplating at the ocean’s edge, and strolling through empty beachside streets with grains of colorful sand clinging to the length of my legs. Some days it is really difficult to find a purpose in this time of limbo in my life; I’m not in school, I’m not working, and I’m not currently restoring a vintage Airstream trailer for full-time living like I would like to be. So instead, to help myself feel a little more still these days, I have composed a collection of things that make me happy. These all came from my life journal, where I jot down (almost) everything that I want to make a note of throughout the day. It keeps me half sane. And it’s really calming to have on hand.
Here is a list of little insignificant things that make me really, really happy.
- Sitting in the sun: Feeling sunlight embrace my skin leaves me grounded and relaxed, not to mention soaking up the sun’s rays actually cleanses your chakras, like leaving crystals out in full moonlight
- Putting your feet in a stream: This also cleanses you and washes away negative energy. Being next to water also helps to evoke emotion and can sometimes make you cry (all good things, tears are good for you).
- First kisses: This one goes without saying; life is just better when you’re filled with childlike joy and butterflies in your stomach from finally getting to kiss someone you really like for the first time.
- Watching someone learn a new song on the guitar: I’ve always loved watching people learn new instruments, because they mess up and struggle and improve and it is such a lovely way of getting to observe someone in their most vulnerable state. If someone starts playing an instrument they’re not very confident with around you, take advantage of it and really listen. You could discover new things about them and get to know them without words.
- Braiding hair; your own or a friend’s who showers: Braiding and playing with hair in general is just really therapeutic. It feels good when it’s happening to you, and for me, playing with someone’s hair is a BIG WAY of saying “I love you” without really saying it.
- Laughing when you are absolutely not allowed to: When is this not wonderful?
- Taking a barefoot walk: Go barefoot, it’s good for your soul. I’m not kidding.
- Talking about music with a new friend: Another way to see into someone’s heart is to listen to the music they really like. I have bonded with many people just from listening to vibrations in silence with them, and that makes me smile.
- Getting hand-written letters: Someone’s handwriting is like the written version of hearing their voice, because it’s uniquely theirs. And especially nowadays when we are slaves to technology, when someone takes the time to write you a note, cherish that.
- Tea with honey: Sweet, warm, comforting, earthy, and just good. Just good.
- Driving in the rain: Especially with Bon Iver playing? Moments like this make life romantic.
- Every single song by Bon Iver: No explanation needed.
- Journaling when you’re in love: I recommend journaling all the time, no matter what you’re feeling. But it’s wonderful to read my old entries from when I was head over heels for someone or something in my life, and it feels good to write down too. Memories are good.
- Finishing a good book: Now, ironically, it has been a long time since I actually finished a book, because due to my consistent unfocus, I can only really concentrate on one thing for a maximum of five minutes. This is what meditation is for. But it’s still nice to remember that finishing something feels good, so I can encourage myself to do it more often.
- Getting licked/nibbled by a friendly dog: No explanation needed.
- Holding hands: Walking along with someone and then being totally delighted when they grab your hand is by far the cutest feeling ever, but it’s even better if they absentmindedly play with your hands with theirs when you’re more comfortable with each other. Hands are important. Love them.
- Running through shallow ocean water: This is the epitome of the mid-summer break experience: sprinting with your friends or someone you love across the beach in the middle of the night and splashing each other with water. I think the last time I did this was during Senior Week, when I stripped at a bonfire in front of the class of 2016 and waded into the freezing dark water for a dare (something I will never regret doing and would definitely do again).
- Creating your own music playlist: I routinely create new Spotify playlists for the sole purpose of playing during stargazing outings and road trips. I came into this world believing I was in my own music video, so there is rarely a time in my life without music playing. Hit me up for some chill and romantic soundscapes.
- Corpuscular Avengers (basically a game of high intensity flashlight tag): This is a classic summer camp game that I want to include in my adult life, because it’s the best and creepiest game ever that involves sneaking, hiding, and running in wild darkness from people with flashlights, kind of like running from the scene of a crime or TP-ing someone’s house. Good times.
- Sleeping under the stars: I have spent plenty of nights dozing off under starry skies and I have concluded that it is the loveliest thing in this world to do.