I’m proud to say that I see myself as an everyday optimist.
If you’ve met me, I was probably a hard pill to swallow. I can be moody and judgmental and, at times, the absolute epitome of a Debbie Downer. But I’ve found it’s always the little things in life that make me happiest.
I only stumbled upon this realization about a year ago — when the world went to s—. We were forced to stay at home, and while I’ve always considered myself an introvert, I felt as though even I was at my breaking point. I thrive in the outdoors, even if it means I need three whole days by myself to recharge after a night of socializing.
Something as simple as going to the movies just brings me so much joy. I love the anticipation of walking into the theater with my friends and discussing our predictions before we watch. I love lining up and ordering popcorn — which I somehow finish during the trailers — and always poking down the little bubbles on the soda lid they give me. Walking out of the theater is our re-introduction to reality. To say I miss that feeling would be an understatement.
I know huge milestones such as landing your dream job or being accepted into a program you’re passionate about are worthy of a huge celebration. But the truth is, we need those small, everyday moments to brighten up our lives so we can build up to larger achievements. It’s the little things that make us appreciate all that surrounds us.
There’s a mall just five minutes away from where I live. Though shopping looks a little different now, going to the mall still gives me an irrational amount of glee. What is it about finding the perfect highlighter in Sephora that just instantly brightens my day? It’s nothing special, yet I can’t imagine my life without these small, secret victories.
Going to a restaurant and seeing that it’s happy hour. Finding the cutest little succulent plant and discovering that it’s 20% off. Sticking in your AirPods and going out for a walk in the sun while music is blasting in your ears. These activities are so normal, so standard, yet they define our lives — or at least mine — and make our days so much better.
We often overlook the little things we do and always dream about parties or celebrations or anything that seems grand and monumental. But I find it so beautiful and awe-inspiring that we can somehow find something to appreciate, no matter how unexciting it may seem. That’s our gift, even if we don’t realize it.
So, this is a sign. Just stop what you’re doing and look up at the sky. Listen to the birds. Feel the wind blowing your hair back. Sink your feet into the grass. Or you can even sniff a flower. I don’t know. Just do something that makes you sit and savor the moment, that makes you feel alive.
Isn’t that what we’re here to do? Make the most of every moment, live our lives to the fullest and do all those cliché life lessons we’ve always been taught to follow? This is your way to make sure you are on that path — find the little things and pay attention to them.
You may be shocked at just how much joy they can bring to your life.