There is so much we can complain about on a day to day basis it becomes overwhelming. Every small part of the day can be broken down, analyzed, every ounce of goodness stripped away.
It is the nature of the human animal to focus more on the negative aspects of life . We are biologically hardwired to notice disparities, to notice the little hurts and negative criticisms. It is how we view ourselves, our bodies and minds and actions and that of others around us.
But we also see the good. We can appreciate even the smallest of things in a way that can inspire awe. People like Jason Silva, Ross Gay and many others can inspire us in a way that makes us realize how profound simply being alive is.
So I have decided that for the next 361 days of this year I will write about a little joy of mine. Something I have noticed on that specific day that just made me happy, even if only for an instant.
It is the focusing of our attention on a moment that can truly solidify it’s presence in our mind and make it come alive for us in a way that can shift our perception and bring a wonder to our lives.
To start off with, here are 4 little joys that I have noticed over the past few days of this new year.
Western culture makes a lot out of the coming new year. We celebrate, we congregate, we make promises of change. We swear that we will be better people, more kind and generous not only to others but to ourselves. And after a month or two we forget it all and go right back to how we were. To twist this all around, having celebrated this new year in the Philippines completely on my own in a hotel room, slightly annoyed by the bombardment of fireworks in Manila, I realized that what I am truly filled with joy with is the knowledge that I I don’t, and should not, be waiting for a new year to change. Change is an evolving process, and it is something that should be happening every single day of our lives. It does not require some made up calendar day to get started. Knowing that I can be whoever it is I wish to be at anytime, is a blissful feeling.
Every day we run the risk of being hurt, whether physically or mentally. There is so much chronic, stressful situations happening in our modern lives it can be overwhelming. So being able to choose to be hurt for a specific goal can be cathartic. To finally have the choice instead of the world just bombarding you with it without your consent. I got a new tattoo yesterday, spur of the moment thing with a friend I had made. It was tiring, and uncomfortable, and at moments felt like my leg was being cut open, but the ending was, as always, quietly joyful for myself.
For those wondering, this is a goofy little sketch of Calcifer from Howl’s moving castle, one of my favorite Studio Ghibli animated films.
The feeling of another’s skin between your fingers. Strange to write it out, but there it is. There is something wholly unique about another human being allowing you to lay your hand upon theirs, to slide your fingers across their back, to hold them gently, or roughly, against your body. This is an intimate act, but must not be confused with a sexual act. To hold a friend, in comfort, in solidarity against the difficulties of the day, is exquisite.
Over the course of the last 3 months, ever since arriving in Japan, then getting to the Philippines, and now finally being back in Vietnam, I have found myself completely stagnant with my writing. I have managed a piece here and there, but my brain seemed to have collapsed in on itself. I have gone through these kinds of small depressions many times in my life, but this has been one of the longest, especially considering I am traveling at the moment.
I find myself renewed today, perhaps because having been to Vietnam already once before I am in comfortable surroundings? who knows what triggers the mind to relax and give you some space to think. But the words are flowing again, and I am supremely grateful for this little joy, one of the only true joys I have in my life, to have started back up again. To share my thoughts, pluck them from my mind and get the gutter cleaned out, is a necessary purge for someone like me who’s brain just never quite shuts down.
I hope you all enjoy these little writings of mine, and I hope to really put more effort and stay consistent over the coming days. I owe it to myself, and to whomever out there happens to find a little joy in my words to brighten up their day.