Tag Archives: happiness

Albums of Our Lives

Think back to the last time you were happy. And I mean really happy, like cares-in-wind, so-perfect-you-could-stay-this-way-forever-happy, so content you can feel it from the tips of your toes to the top of your head. Touch that moment with your mind, feel its edges, revel in the way it makes you breathe easier if only for a moment. Think about what made that moment so perfect.

Knee Deep, Zac Brown Band (Ft. Jimmy Buffett)

It was Summer 2014 and I was at a friends cabin in the Poconos. There were spiked Arnold palmers, a dock on the lake, beautiful sunny weather and two of my best friends. We listened to country music the whole weekend, spent our days down at the lake jumping into the water, floating around on inner tubes, talking about everything and nothing, eating sandwiches and getting sunburnt. It was my perfect break from the real world. I have never had so much fun or felt so comfortable in a bikini. There was so much laughter my abs hurt for days after and I swear my hair was two shades lighter from all the sun. Something about big, open fields, being real with my best friends and that cool blue water filled a part of me that had been dry and dusty for a long time. 

Hold on to your happiness. Feel the edges like the worn down cover of your favorite book; lean in and remember the way it smells in the summer when the wind blows the water off the lake after a storm; close your eyes and let the wind run its fingers through your hair again. Don’t you dare forget the way the earth feels between your toes or the way the full moon tilts its head at midnight. Breathe it in, breathe it out. Put it in your pocket and don’t forget.

I think a lot about that moment when I’m feeling stressed or melancholy. Just the idea that I was happy once gives me hope that I will be happy like that again. Sometimes I think moments like that are the reason I don’t just shrivel up and blow away–like maybe they are my never-ending well of goodness that I can draw on during times of drought. During times of despair. During times of monotony. Tick tock tick tock tick tock.

Hold on to your happiness, draw from that well.

Put the world away for a minute, and let the sunshine wash your blues away.

Knee Deep, Zac Brown Band (Ft. Jimmy Buffett)

Mini-list of Happiness

  1. Big sweatshirts
  2. Stylin bangs
  3. Peach whiskey
  4. Temperature above 35 degrees
  5. Spontaneous sleepovers
  6. Sun Daze by Florida Georgia Line
  7. Being productive
  8. Knitting
  9. Making a difference
  10. Deep breaths
  11. My betta fish
  12. Big Hugs
  13. Chopping vegetables
  14. Not wearing pants
  15. Naps

I’m a Rambling Man

This week I went to my  first mindfulness meditation workshop. It was just an introduction, so we weren’t meditating the whole time, but it was a lot different than I’d thought it would be. I’ve been to multiple meditation-y type things over the course of my life, and I have found that I’m not very good at it. I pride myself on being a decent listener, so I know I can focus when I need to, but when it comes to meditation I feel like Dug from up.

Mindfulness meditation is different from other meditations I’ve tried in that it forces you to focus on the present, what is happening now. In the session I went to, we were told to focus on our body, specifically the breath. I really liked this because it gave me something substantial to focus on rather than emptying myself of everything. I felt like I was in control. But even having something to focus on, I was all over the place. My mind turned into cooked spaghetti! Every thought led to a different thought, which led to a quote from Pride and Prejudice, which led to why I should definitely try on a regency-styled dress before I die, which led to women in literature, which led to why Frozen has such a great soundtrack, but bad character development, which led to crap, I should be counting my breaths, I need to let this go….haha, let it go…and I’ll rise like the break of dawn….And there I went again.

Eventually I opened my eyes and focused on a spot on the floor as well as on my breathing so that my mind would shut up. Apparently I need multiple things to keep my mind focused on one thing. I’m all for being comfortable in silence with others (and when I’m in a good place I can even be quiet with myself), but I need to work on being comfortable in complete silence with myself. The combination of audio and visual silence is a lot of silence for the brain. Silence is golden, but hit someone with a stick of gold and you know how hard it is.

I breathe in, my body is calm.
I breathe out, I am going to be okay.

Keeping your mind focused on the present is a great way to minimize stress. Why stress about things that might never happen? Worried about seeing your ex? You’re not seeing him now so stop worrying, worry when you see him. Worried about a paper that hasn’t been assigned yet, but will determine your grade? There’s nothing you can do right now, so let it go until there is something you can do. What if you don’t graduate, what if you can’t find a job, what if, what if, what if.

I breathe in, my body is calm.
I breathe out, I am going to be okay.

Focus on the now. Focus on your body. It is alive. Breathe in, breathe out.
We are going to be okay.

On Being Alright

Sometimes I get the impression that being weird is a negative thing. With all the magazines sporting covers with perfect looking women and men in trendy outfits and fancy lipstick, being just me can feel…lame. But recently I’ve been seeing a trend emerging that I really like. Mindy Kaling, Jennifer Lawrence, and the TV show Girls are all things I’ve been seeing around and watching recently and those people all embrace their quirky personalities, they embrace themselves. And that is really a great message to have out there. No matter who you are or what you like, own who you are and what makes you happy inside. We are all just random pieces of stuff that somehow fit together to make a person.

Sometimes I dress like a hobo, sometimes I feel naked without make-up on my face, I listen to music incessantly on repeat, I know all the lyrics to every Disney song, I write over-dramatic poetry about nature, I am very indecisive, sometimes I like peas and sometimes I hate them, I have way too many shoes, I listen to both pop music and The Moldy Peaches, I am most at home in the country but I’ve always wanted to live in NYC, I drink too much red wine, I always leave my phone in the car, I thrive on dark chocolate and my life will never be complete until I have a dog.

These things used to make me feel less cool, less proud of myself, but as this new year keeps on, I’m finally beginning to accept myself. Yeah, I still have a long way to go, but I don’t think this journey stops until we’re dead, so as long as I keep walking, keep improving, I think I’m doing alright.

What about you?

Winter in Utah

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We dubbed them the “Misty Mountains” from the Hobbit–they were gorgeous!
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Beautiful ski slopes
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Mormon Architecture
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The water was so still and the lights so lovely
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Fun outfits!
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Goodbye Utah

How To Survive Family Vacation

  1. Pack your favorite fuzzy sweater
  2. Ear plugs
  3. Coffee coffee coffee
  4. Use teeth whitener a week before to hide your coffee stained teeth
  5. Find your own space to breathe, even if it means hiding in the bathtub with a pillow and your laptop
  6. Realize that four’s company and eight’s a crowd
  7. Avoid talking about yourself by constantly asking your relatives questions about their own life
  8. Master the art of sleeping with your eyes open
  9. Download new apps on your idevice so you always look busy
  10.  If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em!

End of Year Goals

  • Go to DC for spoken word/open mics
  • Marathon Classic Who
  • Yoga
  • Drink more water
  • Make crepes
  • Ice Skating
  • Connect with high school friends
  • Read more poetry
  • Organize school schedule
  • Tests for education major
  • Focus on what makes me happy