When I was a teenager, I watched an episode of Oprah and she suggested writing down things that make you feel good about yourself. Since I was navigating boys — and I cared about taming my frizzy hair and how my butt looked in my jeans and what everyone thought of me — I took this to heart. I started self-esteem lists — all of the qualities I loved about myself. I even listed how many boys I had kissed (I actually think I did this one in my 20s, since I didn’t have my first kiss till I was 16 and I had a boyfriend my entire senior year.) It worked, these lists. They gave me a spring in my step.
Through my 20s and early 30s, I dated and broke up and dated and broke up and thought, dramatically, “When am I ever going to meet the person for me?” I dealt with my frustration by chanting positive self talk during yoga. “You are pretty,” or, “You are strong.”
Since I moved to Ridgecrest, I have met several people who say things like, “You came from D.C.? Most people leave here to go there,” or, “It’s not so bad here,” or, “The summers are terrible.” Last week, I struck up small talk with a Sri Lankan woman at the playground whose first words were, “I hate it here.” The negativity really gets to me, just as the positive self talk helps. So I’ve decided to befriend people who lift me up — and I’ve met three women so far who are joys to be around.
So today, I decided to share five things that make me happy. So many things make me happy, this is just what comes top of mind.
1. Early morning, just after the sun comes up. The air is crisp, the morning light is soft, it’s serene outside. And earlier this week, I saw these birds taking flight.
2. The pottery class I started on Tuesday evening. Lois, who’s in her 70s, is a kind, creative woman and her space — an industrial building with high ceilings and adorned with her pottery and paintings — is magic. I love, love working with the clay on the wheel. I was giddy when I came home that night.
3. Fresh-cut flowers on my kitchen table.
4. C.’s giggles. Right now, we’re playing a game where he digs out a handful of Cheerios from the box and he toddles to a kitchen chair, sets them on top and eats them one at a time. When he’s done, he opens the cupboard, does the sign for “please,” and when I open the box again for him, he pants and giggles with excitement. It’s awesome.
5. Exploring new places. Road trips. Mountains! (This is from a short trip to Lake Isabella last week, where S. and I stopped to take photos and had beers at the Kern River Brewery. Yum.)
What are some things that make you happy?