If you and I went to high school together, I’m curious how you remember me. In my head, I remember being shy and anxious, but also willing to go on the offensive with my opinion. I remember hating being told what to do (by anyone), but also feeling compelled to be polite to people. That’s an interesting conundrum, isn’t it? “Look at him, he’s raging against the machine, but he’s so damn polite about it.”
Since leaving the halls of the Moshannon Valley Junior-Senior high school, I’ve changed a lot. Managing anxiety and ADD is a given, but my perspective also changed. I found out that I enjoy, and have something of a talent, in business. I’ve put my personality out there in the form of radio and television. I’ve written books! I’ve found that perspective and media influence has a big deciding factor in how successful a person will be. For example, if you listen to music that themes on “the world is pain and I am made of sadness,” and then surround yourself with people who believe that, guess what? The world is pain and you are made of sadness. If you listen to confident music that talks about overcoming struggles and getting the girl, and then find a tribe who feels that way, then you’ve better make reservations for two at the first restaurant along the fast track to making it.
I started writing a really angry blog and then I changed my mind. Writing a pissy essay about how x number of things makes me angry is only going to make me angrier. So, I decided on the opposite. Today, I put on some confident music and decided to make a list of the things that make me happy. I am dedicating this blog to adjusting my perspective and tuning my vibrations to things that bring me joy.
Without further ado, and in no particular order, these are a few of my favorite things:
- Hearing your favorite song on the radio, as soon as you turn the car on, from the beginning.
- Buying a bunch of random stuff and having the total come out to an exact dollar amount after tax.
- The smell of a coffee shop.
- A brand new book that hasn’t been bent or folded.
- Finding a pre-owned book that someone loved and then really enjoying the story.
- Finding a really good book on sale or at a consignment store — it’s like stumbling on a treasure without the map.
- Listening to a CD or album from the beginning and then finding a bunch of songs that I really like.
- Getting a genuine laugh out of someone.
- Hearing someone that you really respect and revere drop the “f” bomb for the first time.
- Hearing elderly folks drop the “f” bomb.
- Apple pie.
- Hearing a favorite song in a movie soundtrack that I wasn’t expecting.
- Thinking that I am out of something in the fridge and then finding one more.
- Dogs that come up to me and decide that I am worthy of petting them.
- My cats.
- Seeing a picture of myself that I didn’t know someone took and not looking like a trainwreck.
- Southern accents.
- Hearing about someone I didn’t like getting their shit together and finally becoming a decent person.
- Discovering a new favorite song on the radio without looking for it.
- Getting done with all of my Friday duties by 3 PM.
- Playing Canasta with family.
- Busting out the entire theme song for “The Fresh Prince.”
- Finding a movie to watch on Netflix right away.
- Throwing a wad of paper and getting it into the trash can with relative ease.
- Random compliments from people that I don’t know.
- Bruce Springsteen.
- White collar criminals getting blue collar justice in works of fiction.
- Jean-Claude Van Damme movies. All of them.
- Milkshakes from Cookout.
- A job well done.
- Kids in public who are polite without prompting.
- Going to a midnight showing of a movie.
- Anything that comes out of Russell Howard’s mouth.
- Talking to people in line at a concert.
- Stories about people who have died, met Jesus, and then came back.
- Hearing about people doing nice things for people in public, like buying someone’s order in line behind them at the drive-thru.
- Everyone who works at Harris Teeter.
- Winning drawings & contests.
- Hearing from someone I haven’t heard from in a while.
- Hearing stories about my parents from people who knew them before I did.
- The X-Men: The Animated Series theme song.
- Scrubs — the medical comedy.
- Hugs. Obviously.
- When the people who work at the gym give unsolicited encouragement. I eat that right up.
- Being let out in traffic by people who are just being nice and aren’t concerned by the line of traffic behind them.
- Catching fish.
- Hearing from the people who have read and enjoy my work (and from those who have suggestions).
After getting through this list I feel much better!
Also, you should be advised that I won’t be blogging for the month of October. Instead, I will be sharing original short stories to celebrate Halloween — I’m looking forward to it.
Be happy, share joy, multiply smiles.
I’ll see you on your next trip around the Millerverse!