What is Making Me Happy This Week

Who doesn’t like underwear? Who doesn’t appreciate underwear? Who doesn’t curse when they woke up late and find that they have no clean underwear to throw on as they’re leaving the house?

I love underwear- I’ve always been a sucker for a man in boxer briefs (hi, manfriend and your sweet tush!) and I have a running subscription to an online panty shop. There’s something about underwear that make a person confident. Maybe it’s because you have this sexy, little secret only you know about underneath your clothes. Or you’re trying to impress someone special after the third date. It’s all about comfort and style- the stuff that makes you feel great. Confidence begins, after all, with the layer closest to you.

Each week, my favorite NPR podcast, Pop Culture Happy Hour ends their program with the question, “What is making me happy this week?” The podcast’s commentators then share the best parts of their lives from Sunday ’til Saturday. As I’m trying to live a more positive life and focus more on my own happiness, I started asking myself this question, with hopes that I can happiness everywhere in my world.

This post is a collaboration with Tommy John– all opinions are my own. Thank you for reading and supporting 20Something!

Advertisements

What is Making Me Happy This Week

Me, leading New Student Orientation back in 2008

Me, leading New Student Orientation back in 2008

Last night after leaving my violin lesson, I walked through the UNR campus, checking out the new freshmen moving into the residence halls and touring the grounds with their excited parents. There’s a thrill in the air with the start of each new semester- I, for one, am excited (IT’S MY LAST SEMESTER!). I was stoked to get my biology text book in the mail and I’m ready to get that A.

Walking through campus, though, was humbling. Seeing all the new students reminded me of my 18-year-old self and all hope I had for making my future bright, ready to prove to the world that I am something. The university pulled that strength out of me. While I may disagree with some of the things that UNR is doing (like tearing down my favorite building, the Getchell Library), I have a deep admiration and respect for my alma mater, and all higher educational institutions.

Bring on Fall 2015!

Each week, my favorite NPR podcast, Pop Culture Happy Hour ends their program with the question, “What is making me happy this week?” The podcast’s commentators then share the best parts of their lives from Sunday ’til Saturday. As I’m trying to live a more positive life and focus more on my own happiness, I started asking myself this question, with hopes that I can happiness everywhere in my world.

Just F**king Do It

Last night, the manfriend and I hiked in the mountains. We made a poor time keeping decision, starting our hike later than we should’ve and we ended up hiking our way back to the car in the dark (thank you, Apple, for putting flashlights on your iPhones). There’s nothing like walking through the wilderness in complete blackness. I was terrified- I saw five scorpions and then fell, opening up an old running wound- so I was fiercely determined to get back to the car. It was a slow climb back down the mountain but I used the thoughts of the Jeep’s safety and comfort to help me conquer the decent. When Steve and I reached the parking lot, I threw my hands up into the air. WE DID IT!

I woke up this morning thinking about last night’s hike. On the way up the mountain, my legs started to hurt. I could feel my runner’s knee coming back. I ran out of water. I got dusty and unbelievably sweaty. But I continued to push forward. At the end of six miles uphill, there was this beautiful waterfall. That was my goal. I wanted to see that damn waterfall. Sometimes, I wish all the goals in my life were that tangible and easy to obtain. For a while, I thought they were. But as my hike taught me yesterday, nothing great is achieved without a lot of hard work.

Me and the manfriend at the top of the Hunter Creek trail- WE MADE IT!

At the top of the Hunter Creek trail- WE MADE IT!

I have this list of all the things I want to accomplish- Get better at running. Play the violin beautifully. Finally start that investigative blog I wanted to start for years. Sing a band. Wear more poufy dresses. Get my driver’s license… I only started seriously asking myself why I haven’t started this projects. I came up with this list:

I haven’t started these fun, possibly life changing projects because:

  • I’m afraid of embarrassing myself and looking stupid.
  • I’m afraid of asking for help.
  • I’m DEATHLY afraid of failing.
  • Sometimes, there just isn’t enough hours in a day.
  • I’m lazy and rather spend my day avoiding hard work (procrastination, baby!)

So now, I know what is holding me back from accomplishing the things I really want to do and from living the life I always wanted to live. I think once you have such a list established, you can start breaking down each goal into accomplish-able pieces. Take my blog idea: I have already developed my webpage for it and created a domain name. For it, I have to search for local stories and interview people. Despite being social and a journalist, I’m still get incredibly nervous about interviewing people. I feel like I’m always going to ask the wrong question or receive an answer that I can’t use. Right there, I can see that I’m scared of embarrassing myself and scared of asking for help but these are hurdles that I need to jump over. I know that I conquer these stressors- I just need to try and don’t overthink about the fear and embarrassment.

Richard Branson of Virgin said, There’s no other way to find out whether or not you will be successful other than just doing it. In other words– screw it, let’s do it. You’ll never know what would have happened if you don’t give it a go. And he’s right. There is no better time than right now to make your life great and start something wonderful. We all have fears that we need to slay. If the promise of greatness and self-satisfactory is in the distance, why shouldn’t we risk everything and just go out there and do it?

What are you absolutely dying to do, dear reader? And why haven’t you done it yet?

You can do it! YOU CAN FUCKING DO IT!

What is Making Me Happy This Week

My fluff, Hova the half-mustachio’d cat

Home. I am happy for my home.

I bike through my neighborhood every day, admiring the treelined streets and porches covered with flower pots. There are friendly feral cats and friendly neighbors chirping their bicycle bells at you. When I get home, I’m greeted with meows from my half-mustachio’d cat, Hova, and kisses from my manfriend. Every room in our home is comforting; from the our living room still aligned with moving boxes to our kitchen that has no storage space but plenty of grease stains from the new recipes Steve and I are trying, the bathroom filled with Star Wars memorabilia to our bedroom where we three circle up into a mess of sheets and hair and refuse to wake up until 1 o’clock on a Sunday afternoon.

The old saying goes, home is where your heart is. After living in a several different places during my 20s (sixteen residences all over the country with both terrific and terrible roommates), I do finally feel like this place is my home. I’ve built this place. I’ve built the life that resides here. My heart is happy. And so am I.

Each week, my favorite NPR podcast, Pop Culture Happy Hour ends their program with the question, “What is making me happy this week?” The podcast’s commentators then share the best parts of their lives from Sunday ’til Saturday.  As I’m trying to live a more positive life and focus more on my own happiness, I started asking myself this question,  with hopes that I can happiness everywhere in my world.

Therapy… Three Times a Day

I’m halfway through this book where the author is quite frank about her therapy appointments, going to her weekly session to talk about her relationship issues (she eventually breaks up with the guy). In her most recent album, “The London Sessions,” Mary J. Blige sings about seeing her therapist three times a day (she too, like the author, doesn’t need a man). I’ve been seeing a therapist on and off for the last couple of years and am a firm believer that everyone should go see a therapist every once in a while… even if you think you’re mentally sound.

Sure, mental health is a scary thing to talk about- there is that stigma that only crazy people need to see a shrink. But seeing a therapist doesn’t mean you are depressed or weak. Think of therapy as regular maintenance for your emotional sanity. It’s like keeping your car tuned up. Just because you change your oil doesn’t mean anything is wrong with your car.

No one is mentally perfect (even though most of us think we are). Therapy can help sort out the smallest of problems, as well as large ones. The manfriend and I have been seriously talking about our future- the whole shebang with marriage, kids, finances. Steve brought up the good idea of premarital counseling. We have a lot of decisions to make and to talk about when it comes to the big stuff and we hope that our bond is strengthen by some thoughtful sessions.

People are complex and we often need to blow off steam. “People go to therapy to cope with disorders, relationships, stress, grief but also, to figure out who they are and learn to live life to the fullest,” said Ryan Howes Ph.D, a clinical psychologist. “There’s no shame in wanting a better life.”

Have you, dear reader, seen a therapist recently?

A Slice of Courage: Peter Jennings

Ten years ago, a man that I loved since childhood died. I’ve been into Peter Jennings since I was a toddler. My mom tells me that I’d frantically ran around the living room, exclaiming “Petah Hennings! Petah Hennings!” when he appeared on the TV screen (I had a terrible lisp then). Other than being my very first celebrity crush, I think Peter is the reason I got into journalism. Many have their own opinion of who is the voice of our generation- for me, it’s Peter. When he died of lung cancer in 2005, I cried for two days. I lost a friend and trusted source.

Thanks to YouTube, I’m able to watch old clips of Peter. There is something about him that still moves me- his tone, his cadence, his reporting. Jennings existed in a time where journalists didn’t sensationalize, time where the only requirement to be a reporter wasn’t just to be a pretty blonde (looking to you, FOX). He was respected (and still is).

When I think about my own career, I hope to have one like Jennings (reporting from the war front and all). He too was a drop out (he dropped out of high school, while I left college) but he proved that hard work pays off. His integrity and determination to deliver the evening news each night is still incredibly admirable. With each time I write a piece, whether it’s for my blog or a serious story, I ask myself if Peter would approve of my story. Each I time, I think he will.

Thank you for always inspiring me, Peter. I hope you’re resting in peace.

What Is Making Me Happy This Week

Each week, my favorite NPR podcast, Pop Culture Happy Hour ends their program with the question, “What is making me happy this week?” The podcast’s commentators then share the best parts of their lives from Sunday ’til Saturday.  As I’m trying to live a more positive life and focus more on my own happiness, I started asking myself this question,  with hopes that I can happiness everywhere in my world.

What was I excited for this week? Drink coupons for Southwest Airlines.

This week has been great between “Magic Mike XXL” (I still can’t stop raving about it), lunch and dinner with friends, running with Steve, venturing to Vegas for my little sister’s wedding… When I told my friend that I was flying Southwest for the nuptials, she gave me her highly coveted drink coupons (thanks, Melissa!). After a late night doing laundry, packing and beautifying myself, a gin fizz was the perfect treat first thing in the morning.

WOOSAH!

My brain goes a mile a minute, as well as my emotions. I like to compare my brain to the streets of San Francisco; they go up and down, sideways, winding back and forth. But then… WOOSAH. The streets are flat and still, looking more like sandy, flat beach rather than a noisy and packed metropolis.

Thank you, mindfulness.

Mindfulness: the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something. In therapy, mindfulness is a state you can achieve when you empty your head of worries and anxieties and completely focus on the present moment. You are active and open in the present. There are many times at work where I need to take a mental break. I get off my computer, take a walk and WOOSAH– I focus on my breathing or the clouds or the water I’m sipping. Woosah-ing allows me to become aware of my surroundings. I feel the air escape my nostrils. I note the kiss of sunshine on the clouds. I feel the water touching the different parts of mouth.

The thing about mindfulness is that it’s nonjudgmental. I can be having a terrible day- the manfriend and I started the morning with an argument; the cat threw up on the shoes I was planning to wear; my bike got a flat tire; my boss yelled at me for taking too long to finish a project; blah blah blah. I recognize that I’m having a bad day and all the feelings inside: frustration, anger, hopelessness- all these words that have a negative connotation. I accept the presence of the emotions without names nor judgments and let them go.

Also with practicing mindfulness, it’s hard to get wrapped up in worries about the future and regrets of your past. I feel like it has helped me become a better friend, as I listen more intently and focus on the person’s features, like the way their mouth moves or how their eyes reflect the light. And the more I practice, the better I get at being mindful.

How do you practice mindfulness and being in the moment, dear reader?

woosah-gif-bad-boys-2

Inspiring Courage

I find inspiration in the strangest things. Over the weekend, I saw “Magic Mike XXL” and was impressed with the characters’ dance moves and physicality. Last night as I ran around the marina with the manfriend, I thought of Channing Tatum’s muscles and used that image to push me forward and faster (silly trick, I know, but it worked).

tumblr_m8i9t4vL0i1rdqc8ro1_500

We all find inspiration in different things- whether it’s from people we know, strangers, events, songs, whatever. I can get both physically and emotionally pumped listening to Madonna, or a coffee date with a thoughtful friend. I write with high hopes of inspiring others, using examples of my life as written learning lessons. And with writing, comes courage. My English 101 professor told his freshmen that the best writers write their truths. But sometimes, the truth can be difficult to get out. I don’t know about you, dear reader, but I am not confrontational. I don’t like getting in people’s faces. I don’t like getting in my own face when something’s wrong. Writing is the way I get to be honest with myself- and that honesty takes courage.

“With courage you will dare to take risks, have the strength to be compassionate, and the wisdom to be humble. Courage is the foundation of integrity.” -Mark Twain

I write this post today thinking about all the people who positively inspire me, who show me that courage is truly the absence of fear- it’s time to nut up or shut up, as a friend says. Life is about exploration and risk. It’s about finding the courage to speak. Courage is having the mental strength to do something you think is impossible- for me, it’s starting up my new comedy blog, starting violin lessons and training for a 5k. Courage is being your true self and being confident about that self- with all your tattoos, wild personality and closet full of tulle ballerina skirts. Courage comes from the heart- it’s a mental, physical and emotional aspect I try to inspire everyone with every day.

How do you inspire courage?