1. When squirrels chase their tails.  Fluffy little bundles of happiness and spaztasticity.  And they may look stupid, but I suppose we shouldn’t judge because some days I feel like I’m doing the same thing.  And I probably look just about as entertaining to the rest of the world too.
  2. When you don’t know what to type and you start typing nonsense but it accidentally turns into a masterpiece.  In the middle of typing an essay, it seems inevitable that I stop thinking and just start typing nonsense.  And sometimes it is just that but sometimes I read back through it and it not only makes sense but also sounds intelligent and cultured.  I guess the voices inside of my head can be pretty brilliant sometimes.
  3. Sitting in a coffee shop to do homework.  People watching and music and scents galore.  And you guys, it is a real thing.  People actually do that.  And it’s perfectly socially acceptable.  And there’s also the fact that it feels so hipstery and pop-cultured.
  4. That feeling when you actually have everything done and you aren’t really sure what to do with your life but it’s kind of nice all the same.  My first thought is always “What am I forgetting?”  “What haven’t I done that needs doing?” “What neglected monster is waiting to surprise me when I least expect it?” But then, after digging around and realizing I still don’t have anything left to do, I can relax with absolutely zero guilt and it is wonderful.
  5. The sound of clunky keyboards.  The ones with the unnecessarily tall keys that you have to smash down with your fingertips.  Clickety clack as you conquer the keys.  If there is any sound that could quantify productivity, I think it would be that one.
  6. Watching a play come together.  One week everyone is mumbling into scripts on a blank stage.  The next week there are props and movement.  Before you know it, the set is in place, lines are memorized, costumes are on, and it is show time.  There is a completely unique experience about that, something I expect would be akin to raising a child but on an incredibly short term basis.
  7. Day two of a good hair day.  Day one was flawless.  Every hair in its place and all making you feel like strutting around like James Potter every moment of your life.  But there is something extra victorious about when you sleep on it and wake up and it still looks amazing.  It’s almost too good to be true.  No fuss today, just good old being fabulous.
  8. When you don’t have to force the creative juices.  Everyone who has ever tried to be creative knows the horrible truth that sometimes you just don’t feel it.  It’s indescribably frustrating to create something but not be able to put your heart into it.  Because you can’t be on full creative mode all of the time and sometimes you need to be creative even when the inspiration really is not coming to you.  But there are other days, the days that truly make us artists, where everything that touches your senses also tugs at your heartstrings and the whole world is a playground of ideas and inspiration.  Those are the days that artists live for.  That’s why we plow through the difficult days, because they lead us to the kaleidoscope of wonder where we pour our hearts out from time to time.
  9. When God blows your mind.  Think about this: God exists outside of time.  God created everything that exists, including time.  From our point of view as time-bound creatures, that in itself is impossible to comprehend.  But wait, as the infomercials always say, there’s more!  Because God created time, that means that God existed before time.  In order to even attempt to comprehend the hugeness of God, we have to use time to describe its own nonexistence to show where and how God exists.  And yet, despite the fact that your brain is desperately trying to work a way around that astronomical fact, that very same God knows and loves you personally and intimately with an abundance that quite literally knows no limits.  Out of the entire universe, you matter.
  10. Earning respect from people you respect.  When you look up to someone, it can make your whole day to be affirmed by them as a legitimate and respectable human being.  And it makes you respect them even more for it.
  11. Making obscure references and other people actually get them.  Watching a movie you’ve already seen with someone else who has not seen it and, at a nice little piece of foreshadowing muttering under your breath “What is… a pooortkey?” and the other person instantly gets concerned because they know something big is coming up.
  12. When someone initiates a friendship with you.  I accidentally found out a few months ago that I actually really love going out and making friends.  However, I still love it when someone comes up to me and does the whole “hey wanna be friends?” thing because it makes my heart feel like sunshine.
  13. Wearing a t-shirt with a blazer.  My secret to fashion: wear whatever you want to and then pretend you pull it off and everyone magically thinks you do.  So I am not a fan or wearing just t-shirts because I feel like a slob, but a t-shirt and a blazer is the most professional way to wear a comfy beacon of unprofessionalness.
  14. Secondhand spaziness.  When you have a friend who is in a crazy mood and you just sort of slowly pick it up via osmosis or something.  Then you can all get crazy together!  Yay!
  15. Sharing inside jokes with your siblings when your parents do habitually silly things.  When my parents start talking about what meets fire code at the dinner table, my sister and I can barely make eye-contact without dissolving into giggles.  If she sends me a text about something my parents have done, nobody else would ever find it funny but me.  And the best part is, we get to laugh a whole lot more than average people.
  16. Finding unexpected resemblances between you and your family.  I have been told before that I look like my grandma did at my age, but I rarely see the connection.  Sure I inherited her massive sweet tooth, but I thought that was about where the resemblance ended.  However, I took a picture today and played around with editing it until all of a sudden it looked just like the black and white picture of her as a senior in high school that we have sitting on the counter at home.  It is always nice to have a new connection with the people who have contributed to so much of my life.
  17. Good tidings.  Getting nice news is my favorite.  It comes in a whole plethora of ways and subjects, but it can lift a whole day.
  18. Reconnecting with people I don’t make a huge effort to keep in touch with.  There are some people who I enjoy being around, but I don’t have a close enough relationship with them to keep it up when they are not around.  But it’s still nice to check in on them every once in a while and see how their lives have been going.  It’s neat to see where God can take people and I think it is easier to notice the change when you don’t get to see it progress day by day.
  19. Classic Hollywood voices.  Judy Garland, James Dean, Grace Kelly, Clark Gable.  They all have that slightly British but not really British way of speaking.  The over-dramatized romanticized voice of Hollywood. if that was still a thing, I would one-hundred percent talk like that as a lifestyle.
  20. When people have really incredible dreams for you.  “You could totally be a model!” “If you sent that to a publisher, they would totally print it.” “When you are famous…” It’s not that anyone is putting pressure on me or expectations, but they genuinely believe that if I wanted to, I could pull off all sorts of crazy things.  And I think that’s the first start to doing something extraordinary: the simple confidence that the world has in you.
  21. When God puts a passion in your heart for something.  Whether you know he is calling you into missions or to be a worship leader or heck even just to be a student and learn for the sake of using that beautiful brain God gave you.  He calls us to amazing places and when the passion to do those things is there, God can do really cool things with us.
  22. Children’s made up words.  My theatre director told me today that his three-year-old daughter calls any day before yesterday “lasterday”.  I am going to steal that word for my everyday vocabulary because it is a pretty brilliant addition to the English language and also it makes me smile.
  23. When your whole family collaborates to do something special for you.  I got a “trick or treat package” today from home.  It was stuffed with a sweet note, candy, cookies, popcorn, lip balm, nail polish, obnoxious foam candy corn crafts that have been in my house for the past eight years but no one has ever actually done, a ghost of my past (by which I mean an actual ghost that I made as a child), and a picture of Martin Luther’s face photoshopped onto Elsa’s body.  Don’t even ask about that last one.  But despite the foam candy corn, it was special to get something from them, a little slice of home.
  24. Unlikely discussions.  When you are sitting in practice and waiting to go on stage and start talking about deep theology with the people sitting next to you, you know it’s going to be a pretty good day.  Or that it has been.  Either way, you get to know new people really well just by having substantive discussions and conversations with them for an hour or two or three.
  25. When a character that you are writing surprises you.  Authors always talk about that particular little phenomenon, but I still forget how cool it is when it actually happens.  I may be the one bringing this character into being, but I feel more like I’m getting to know someone than actually forming and sculpting their personality.
  26. Getting to watch your friends do things they are passionate about.  They become even more beautiful than normal when they are intently focused.  Their eyes alight with a kind of feverish joy and a little smile refuses to leave their face.  Who needs to pay money for happiness when you have those little moments?
  27. Creeping into the terrifying depths of a person’s humble beginnings on the internet.  We all do it.  You meet someone new and want to see what they are like.  What do you do?  You look through everything on their social media including the stuff from 2009 that everyone would really rather forget.  And as strange and scary as it can be, it is always sure to be an adventure.
  28. All of the random little noises you make when you are waking up.  A little grunt as you sit up.  The crackle of your neck as you roll it around.  Mumbling at yourself to get out of bed.  Grumbling at the alarm clock.  All of your best caveman impressions rolled into one without even trying.  And maybe, a few minutes later, those random noises will turn into speech and the noises of a functional human being, but for now you can stick with your sleepyhead groans because they are a great way to start the day.
  29. Stopping to take a picture of a random everyday object because you found some unique beauty in it that needed capturing.  I hear people all the time saying that we like to document our lives nowadays instead of live them.  I’ll agree, that’s not completely untrue, but I also love that we can.  If I see a leaf hanging just so off of a tree, I can whip out my phone and take a really beautiful picture.  Whenever I do that, I take a moment to appreciate the random beauty that God has absolutely suffused this world with and every time I find myself completely in awe of his creation.
  30. Secondhand excitement.  When a friend is so happy about something in their lives that they are leaking enthusiasm, you can’t help but feel it too.  It may not even pertain to you, but seeing them happy makes you happy.
  31. When people you don’t know compliment you.  Someone random walks up to you just to say “Hey you look pretty nifty today” and you get little happy butterflies in your stomach.  The fact that another person noticed you and thought it was important to let you know that is a really special feeling.

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