Finding my personal happiness is a never ending journey of mine. It ties together all aspects of my life. My first big girl lesson was that I must find a way to be happy on my own in order for all of life’s downfalls to be worth pushing through. Religion, self-confidence, self-worth, parental approval, I’ve worked to find my own happiness in many of them. However, even when I found what I was looking for, the daily to-dos and responsibilities still made it hard to keep that happiness in sight. So, to stay moving forward, I make it a point to remember the little things that make me smile to remind me of the things that are worth the toils and struggles of life:
That first sip of coffee in the morning
The smell of the morning dew
An organized work space
Waking up to a good morning text from your SO
Finding a lucky dollar in your pocket
Cutting into the avocado and it’s perfectly ripe
The taste of perfectly cooked fresh white rice
The cold side of the pillow
The first blooms of spring
Climbing into bed after a long day
It’s important to appreciate the little things in life. There are too many things to bring us down, so count your blessings, smile at life’s little pleasures, and create your own daily happiness. What do you do to find your daily happiness?
Do you get that exploration itch? That feeling that you want to just go, not knowing where or why. For many of us, traveling and finding those new experiences, venturing into unchartered territories to see what we can find is what we would do if money wasn’t necessary, our careers weren’t in the way, and we didn’t have responsibilities tying us to people and places. In our own ways, we all enjoy a good adventure, and there are many different ways to open that window of opportunity to explore not just the world around you, but yourself as well.
For those that don’t know me, I am a gamer that really enjoys open-world rpgs (role-playing-games). Growing up, World of Warcraft was one of those games that I couldn’t put down. My sisters and I have such fond memories of playing together on the same couch, bumming out during the summers, grinding through quests to see who could max out there level first and trying not to get creeped out in Duskwood while playing at 3am. There are those that played for the community. To me, the beauty lied in the amount of places to explore. The map grew with every expansion, and there were more quests and achievements to do that would take you all over the place. It was impossible to be bored.
Now, in my post-college life, with a 9-5 schedule and commutes totaling up to 2.5 hours in the car every day, unleashing that urge to explore and find new experiences becomes even harder, especially when sometimes all you want to do is enjoy the comforts of your bed and home. But I found the best ways to create your own adventure is to look at your home, your city or town in a different perspective, as it changes your experience and relationship to it.
I am a lucky soul to work and live in the DMV area. It is hard to be bored in DC, for there are so many places and things to see and experience. For anyone who has done the monuments at night vs the ever crowded day tours can vouch that it creates an entirely different, a much more peaceful and pensive atmosphere, leaving you time and space to ponder bigger thoughts next to Lincoln that you might have had dodging tourists.
For me, wandering through the many residential areas of DC is my adventure. There are hidden gems to find everywhere, from styles of homes and beautifully curated gardens, to unlikely mom & pop restaurants and the many dogs out and about. The best part, though, is the quiet. The serene peacefulness that comes with being away from the main roads. Its during these walks that let me think more about what I’m searching for and being okay in not always following the plan. And, it’s totally acceptable to spend a lazy weekend at home playing Assassins Creed Origins, and not going out and participating in stuff with people. FOMO has no place here.
So, for those like me that look for that spark of adventure here and there, take a saturday morning, and just walk. Don’t look at a map, don’t plan out your path, just go and see what you’ll find. Or, if you still wish to stay in bed, perhaps a little open-world gaming is in order :).
Throughout childhood into adulthood, we are all asked the same questions at the same times in our lives. It starts with “what’s your name” and “how old are you”, moving slowly to “what do you want to be when you grow up” and “are you going to college”. Past your college years, we become ever so familiar with “what’s next for you”, “are you dating” and “what do you do”.
We all have almost pre-programmed answers to these questions since we are asked them repeatedly at family dinners, happy hours, and awkward first dates. There are plenty of instances where we are just as guilty, leaning on them as a crutch for small talk, to pretend like we are truly getting to know someone. Most of us could care less about the degree, the job, or the mundane predictable parts of your life. How do we tap into what really makes you tick? What kind of questions truly expose the cogs and bits inside each of us, and make us work for the answer?
These are the kinds of inquiries I love to ask myself and others. Questions that make you think, ponder, consider your answer over and over again until you finally figure out what it is you believe to be true.
The purpose to this blog is to put some of these questions out in the open. These are my considerations of such questions. During school, I truly enjoyed short essays on topics of choice. They helped me build concise arguments, and provided an outlet for my curiosity to flow through. I have always considered myself a student of life, forever learning and observing new and exciting subjects. So! Here it goes, my continued studies into my daily ponderings. I hope these questions stir your cup of curiosity as they do mine.