Feel-Better Friday

I started watching Schitt’s Creek a few weeks ago at the recommendation of many friends and, first of all…

I was not!!!!!!! expecting it!!!!! to get so emotional!!!! For context: I finished Season 3 last night, and the Grad Night episode took it right out of me. I’ve been watching an episode per night as comic relief after stressful days, so when the characters started doing nice, genuine, heartfelt things for each other, I just… wasn’t ready.

And so, as I sit down to commence Season 4 tonight:

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In other news:

It’s been a rough past few days, and in case it has been for you, too, here are some things that have cheered me up (aside from Schitt’s Creek, of course):

1. This new song from The 1975, which sounds exactly like most of their other songs, and for that reason is perfect.

Every time I listen to them I’m transported back to the months I spent backpacking in Australia and New Zealand, cooking pasta and drinking cans of Jack Daniel’s Whiskey & Coke in hostels, falling in love lust with wild, man-bunned men, picking weeds on a farm in Tasmania, watching summer sunsets on a deserted beach. There’s a lot to be said for music that reminds you of simpler times, when your biggest concern was trying to look cute when you passed your crush in the hallway between periods.

The band also released their 2020 North American tour dates which devastatingly do not include any locations in Northern California. How else am I supposed to relive my feelings of teen angst and swoon over Matt Healy with a bunch of other like-minded young adults?!

2. This live performance of “In Your Eyes”:

How had I never seen this before?! Luckily, I discovered this amazing live version just when I needed it most: on a Tuesday morning when I couldn’t motivate myself (even after a large coffee) to commence another banal day. This timely discovery resulted in a 7am dance party in my kitchen and an eventual motivation to get on my bike and ride to work.

3. This incredible article from OneZero that answered one of my life’s most pressing questions. It also led me down the rabbit-hole that is browsing random articles on wikiHow and scrolling through pictures on the finely curated cursed wikihow’s Twitter. Here’s a slideshow of my personal (not to mention relatable) favorites:

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4. Last night’s sunset and – even better – this father in a Subaru who, with his two young children in tow, pulled over to the side of the road to take a picture of it:

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If I ever had a spirit animal, this guy would be it.

5. This book I came across at a bookstore after work on Wednesday night:

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If I had to sum up a few of my mental health issues in a sentence, it would be something like: “I don’t have realistic or concrete goals and therefore continually set myself up for disappointment and depression.” So, when I saw this cover on display in the bookstore, it made me laugh out loud. Sometimes you just have to make fun of yourself and your problems to get through.

Some Things I Thought While Watching the Sun Set This Evening

Feel free to call me out as hypocrite here; I know I’m usually the person running and riding and squashing around like crazy. But today, the only exercise I got was walking two blocks from my front door to watch the sunset (OK, fine, also to pick up dinner at the Whole Foods hot bar because I’m a lazy and impatient piece of garbage who didn’t want to wait for pasta water to boil). And as I watched the exceptionally beautiful sunset (again, probably played a role in my current sentiments) I thought to myself, “I don’t need any more from ‘exercise’ than this.”

By which I mean that even though I have spent the majority of my life playing sports or being active, there’s only so much the intense physical activity is necessary for my happiness. I run and ride and hike because for me, to be outdoors is to be happy, no matter what it is I’m doing. To be able to sit outside and watch the sunset, or to spot the new flower blooming in front of my neighbor’s house, or to smell the ocean or the eucalyptus trees when they’re nearby; that is happiness.

And the feeling of my legs underneath me and my breath colder against the becoming-crisper October air; that is happiness.

And to notice: the smallest corners of the earth, my breath, the simultaneous silence of a sunset and the background cries of a bird or a child; that is happiness.

When I heal I will return to my sports and my jogs, I can’t pretend I won’t. There’s something about my heart beating hard in my chest and the burning of my quads that gives me an endorphin rush. But after not having any of that for the past six weeks – and believe me, I never thought I’d say this – I genuinely think I’d be ok without it. As long as I have this sacred earth’s nature, and the ability to notice and feel even the smallest moments of beauty and awe within it, I think I might just be alright.

(P.S. I wrote this stream-of-consciousness while sitting outside, in the dark, on the sidewalk outside Whole Foods. When I say that these are my unfiltered thoughts, know it’s no exaggeration.)