1. The way a stage looks right after a strike.  An hour ago, there was an entire world created here and now it is once again bare.  An ambivalent blank canvas pulsing, waiting, conjuring up shadowy ideas and intangible visions.  Until the next time, when one of those visions is plucked from the serene vortex and brought to life again, but that is not for now.  This is the moment of possibility.  Of questions and intrigue and all of the things that could be and that have been and that will be.
  2. Nail polish topcoat.  The shiny sweep of the brush and everything is sealed in.  The painting is framed.  The polish is soft and smooth and, well, polished.
  3. Communicating with people.  I don’t know if you knew this, but humans are communal beings.  God made us to live together with each other in community.  Am I sounding redundant yet?  Good.  Because I cannot stress how important this is enough.  We were made to share our experiences with each other.  In other words: Life is easier when you talk to people about it.  If you want to know what someone is thinking, ask them.  If you want someone to know what you are thinking, tell them.  For some reason, we have convinced ourselves that this is the scariest, hardest, least pleasant thing we could possibly do to resolve a situation, but shocker: it actually makes everything so much simpler!  You can guess and guess about something all you like, but there is the most immense relief when you know for sure and the only way to know something about someone else is to learn it straight from them.  Life makes so much more sense when you just communicate with people.  And trust me, the people you talk to appreciate it too (but you can learn that from them yourself if you ask them).
  4. Accidentally taking a really amazing picture.  You just took it for the fun of it, but when you look back later, that offhand picture becomes one of your ultimate favorites.  Just goes to show that sometimes the most spontaneous moments or the smallest ones can be the best.
  5. Hanging laundry up to dry.  The way that the clothes shift with the breeze as it blows in through the open window is almost like the leaves of a forest canopy if you squint.  A charming, little cottage forest.  Not that I have ever lived in a charming little cottage or hung my clothes in one, but on a sunny day as the clothes hang up to dry, it sure feels like I could be.
  6. When you are sitting in the sunshine with just the slightest of breezes.  The light gathers around your skin like a blanket until the wind comes along to lightly brush it off only to gather back again.  The leaves overhead sound like an echoed vestige of the ocean.  Serenity seeps in through every pore and it feels like this moment could be frozen in time forever.
  7. Super competitive card games.  There is either absolute concentrated silence or unnecessary bloodcurdling screaming.  The stakes are life or death.  Friendships are ruined.  Claws come out.  But the instant the game is over, it is all fun and games.
  8. Super little kittens.  When you can hold them in one hand and feel the tiny little things are so soft and smooth and cuddleable.  Small and perfect and lovely and my absolute favorites.
  9. Chopping all of your hair off.  At least one in everyone’s life, there is the chop.  When you are in the process of losing your mind completely and the only option is to do something drastic with your hair.  There is a personal attachment to those little obnoxious things that sprout out of your head, let me tell you.  When you change them, you change you, even if it feels subtle.  So, when you are ready for it, face the scissors and lose the locks.  Trust me, it is worth the change.
  10. Collective loopiness.  When an entire group of people are in a semi-frenzied state of exhaustion and caffeine, anything is possible.  Also, anything is hilarious.  Maybe creativity is at its peak then, or maybe life just seems more friendly, but either way is a good option.
  11. Finally getting a good drink of water when you have been mildly parched all day long.  Your throat isn’t scratchy enough to bother you into stopping whatever you are doing to get a drink, but the back of your mind is fixated on the idea of a nice cool sip of water bringing life to your weary body.  You move on to something else and forget about it for a little while but then you grab a glass of water and that first drink that touches your lips is like a drop of pure refreshing dew of life itself.
  12. Belting showtunes in not showtuney situations.  You are at the grocery store and someone makes a comment that reminds you of a cue line and next thing you know the grocery store seems like the perfect scene to perform the full choreographed version of that song.  And, in that moment, it is.
  13. Having a really good day when you were anticipating a bad one.  Yeah, so anticipating bad days is not really an advisable life practice, but alas, no human is infallible.  We can look at a day and just assume it is going to be bad and then usually it is.  I think a large part of that is that when we think it is going to be a bad day, we do everything in our power to make it so without even realizing it.  So to have a really good day on one of those days you are trying so hard to not enjoy is a miracle, and a welcome one at that.
  14. Finding that something you have been striving so hard for is in your hands.  When you want so hard to be in a different place in life and you think you are doing everything you can to achieve that but you can’t seem to get any closer to the goal, there are times you just want to curl up in a ball on the floor and cry for a while.  But eventually that constant reaching becomes so routine that you don’t realize right away when you have net your goal.  When you stop running and look around to realize how far you have come, that is a moment of immense relief and joy.
  15. Doing tough, physical labor every once in a while.  Scientifically, I am no different from a potato.  I don’t exercise, I don’t try to be active every day, I spend more time thank I really need to on the internet.  But every once in a while, I actually get off of my backside and work, and I’m not going to lie to you it feels really good.  There is a sense of satisfaction in tangibly knowing that you are doing something, making a difference.  Using your life.  All of that jazz.
  16. When you get sentimental finishing a class because of the people in it.  You know a class has been good when you are going to miss it, yes because of the material, but more because you have made a family with the people in it.  That means there must have been some serious bonding, and I am all about that life.
  17. The overwhelming amount of support when a new blog post comes out.  Yesterday I posted this thought about my life and apparently people liked it.  As in, I had literally hundreds of views and at least a dozen people specifically telling me to my face or online that they had been touched by my message.  I spent most of the day sort of in shock that my little corner of the internet was reaching so. many. people.  I cannot express enough gratitude for the love that I received, because it takes a whole lot of courage to put my writing up for everyone to see and when it is a blessing to them, there is no better reward I could get for it.  Thank you for all of your support!  I hope that you continue to get something out of this place and that God uses this blog to reach out to you.
  18. Settling into the idea that your life is changing.  Once you have settled into a way of life, it takes a substantial bit of uprooting to go somewhere else.  But if you stop fighting all of the hesitation and discomfort, it can become a whole new adventure and completely worth it.
  19. Finding dumb ways to study.  Have a psych test tomorrow? Draw a story about a nerd named Frank joining a boy band and robbing a bank.  Chemistry? Sing a song about the chemical process of metabolism.  It sounds ridiculous, but when you are sitting in that exam, you are going to remember that sick jingle about lipids or Frank’s cognitive dissonance about robbing a bank with his cool new palz in the boy band.  And you have fun learning, which is pretty neat too I guess.
  20. Milestone accomplishments.  I just finished my first year of college.  And no, I was not actually that happy to leave.  It was really hard to say goodbye to my friends and move out of my dorm room and completely vacate the place I was blessed to call home over the past year.  But it is also really cool that I finished an entire year of college.  I lived away from home for the first time, I made an entirely new group of friends for the first time, I got to experience a completely new transitional phase in my life.  And that’s cool.  So I’m thankful for my first year and I can’t wait to see what next year holds for me.
  21. Goofing off in photo booths.  Don’t lie to me, you enjoy being a little silly in front of the camera every once in a while.  It just takes the proper motivation and maybe a few strategically placed props.
  22. Knowing that even after moving away from home for a year, my sister is still my best friend in the whole wide world.  And that is not to say that I didn’t make friends moving away or that the ones I did make are sub-par because I did and they are amazing, but they will never be my sister.  Even after being away for so long, we still just have this connection that literally nobody else on the planet gets to share and that makes her a pretty special gal.
  23. Blundering around with good sports.  My motto when it comes to adventures is that you either have a good time or a good story.  Today, my thoroughly midwestern (read:hick) family took on San Francisco.  Yeah… we had some pretty good stories.  And that’s not to say that the day wasn’t enjoyable, because it certainly was, but part of the reason it was was that everybody had great attitudes about all of our little misadventures so we could just laugh at them.  Trust me, we laughed a whole lot, and I know I have plenty of good memories and stories to bring out of today, even if I didn’t really experience that much of the city itself.
  24. Having a suitcase heart.  I read a quote today in one of the touristy shops in SanFran by Gabrielle Zevin that said this “They should tell you when you are born: have a suitcase heart, be ready to travel.”  And oh my word if that is not me.  There is something magical about travel and I can’t get enough of it.  Seeing and experiencing different people, places, cultures, foods, languages, clothing, architecture, art, all of it.  That stuff inspires a wonder for this world and our God who created it that nothing else can quite capture.
  25. Breaking out the swimsuit for the first time in the summer.  There is so much to look forward to the instant the swimsuit comes out.  It is a staple of summer, or leisure and play and the kind of enjoyment that you always looked forward to as a kid.  Not that summer fun is technically different from any other type of fun, but let’s be honest.  It is.  And it’s something you can’t help but anticipate at least a little bit.
  26. Returning to work.  Vacations are amazing, but work is a blessing too, and God designed us to be productive humans.  We love to dig in and do something to make this world a little better place.  God made us in his image and he is a creator, so we like to build, to make, to bloom.  It’s good for us.  So when Monday rolls around, stick your chin out and grin.  Because you get to go to work.
  27. Kneading bread.  Arm workout, stress release, and the creation of bread all in one.  Plus you get to make a pretty fun mess.  God sure knew what he was doing when he made bread making the way he did, because that is one of my favorite parts of baking.
  28. Hugs from people who are taller than you.  All of a sudden you are a kid again and someone warm and safe and cozy is showering you with love.  They make a cocoon around you and the whole world feels a little friendlier.
  29. Learning new things on your own time and motivation.  Did you know that thesaurus means “treasure house” in Latin?  Or that people shrug one shoulder subconsciously when they don’t really believe what they are saying?  Did you even realize that those were things you didn’t know?  Learning is such an incredible thing and humans have this inherent thirst for it at some level.  We don’t always like school or being told what to learn, that much is true, but that doesn’t stop us from wanting to discover and expand.  So don’t be afraid to learn.  Trust me, it can be whatever sort of adventure you want to make of it.
  30. New card games.  It is astounding how much you can do with 52 little rectangles of plastic-coated paper.  There are hundreds if not thousands of different games that people have created to entertain themselves using the exact same deck that they have had access to all along.  That deck of cards is a pretty neat testimony to the creativity God has given humans and our proclivity to pick up new ideas and angles about something that hasn’t done anything new in and of itself, but is now brimming with options.
  31. When cats sleep all curled up in a little ball with their front paws wrapped around their feetsies in a precious bundle of fluff and joy.