If we wait until a critical moment to decide to cherish life, we gradually kill ourselves inside. However, this past year and a half and the pandemic have made us acknowledge the little moments we encounter in life and how those are the ones that carry the most accountability in molding our outlooks.
The following is a pretty oddly specific list of components that remind teens to love life, regardless of how corny it may sound. Sometimes we need remembrances that make us halt and actually digest our surroundings. We constantly find ourselves hunting for different elements in life: success, time, happiness, money. It isn’t until we enter a period of standstill that we’re able to fall in love with our everyday existence. Here are fifty short things that can make you smile.
- The smell of a new book
- Seeing a quote right when you need it
- Puppy kisses
- Getting butterflies in your stomach from that one person
- Laughing until you cry
- 80’s movies
- Saying, “I love you.”
- The fortunes inside of fortune cookies
- Barnes & Noble purchases
- Seeing your best friend for the first time in a long time
- Reading poems
- A good night’s sleep
- Taking pictures in bittersweet moments
- Getting packages in the mail
- Having a good relationship with your parents
- Watching the sunset and discerning all the delicate colors that fill up the sky
- Inside jokes
- The optimistic emotion you get after a workout
- Feeling comfortable in your skin
- Lengthy car rides with lots of music
- Family dinners
- Bubble baths after a long, efficient day
- Proving yourself wrong
- Proving someone else wrong
- Being loved back by that someone
- Lighting candles, bonus points if they’re new
- Throwing your cap into the air on graduation night
- Painting without sketching
- Feeling the sun on your face
- When your favorite song comes on the radio
- The thrill of watching horror films at the movie theater
- Listening to the rainfall/thunderstorms when you’re inside
- Speaking to or playing with your pet
- Finding the perfect song to match your mood
- Checking everything off your to-do list
- Looking back at photos and scrapbook albums
- Shopping for books
- Glimpsing up at the stars on a clear night
- Having a tidy space or house
- Thoroughly cleansing and moisturizing one’s face
- Making someone laugh
- Making yourself laugh
- New calendars/notebooks
- Finding ways to enjoy the seasons
- Having one’s hair stroked or played with
- Having childlike fun with absolutely no care
- Talking and laughing with a long-distance friend on the phone
- The delight of personal accomplishment
- Reruns of your favorite TV shows
- Realizing that you get a new chance to encounter all of these every morning
Seriously, every morning we’re woken up, our lungs expand a bit more, and our hearts attain more oxygen. To put it simply, life is like a restricted bucket list. We’re not promised forever, but we’re pledged to the days we strive to make count.
The other night, I talked to a long-distance friend, and she helped me realize something so significant. I was feeling frightened yet excited about stepping into a new circumstance of my life and required crucial advice. “You’re going to get hurt; it’s inevitable. Might as well give it a shot and go for it, you know.” Nineteen words, yet so much wisdom if one truly thinks about what she said.
It’s been a while since I received this piece of advice, and I hope it sticks around with me for an even longer time. Life is composed of small experiences, and all of these occasions elicit all kinds of emotions—prosperity, sorrow, tension, relief, doubts, everything. This is where the word inevitable comes in. There isn’t a shortcut to life, and there’s just one thing we can do that will enable us to deal with the uncertainties that come with life: relish it all.
Falling in love with life doesn’t mean we’re suddenly invulnerable to anguish, heartbreak, or pressure. No, it simply means you finally acknowledge every outcome and every repercussion that comes along with it. And accepting things is such a fascinating concept. It means we eventually let go of everything that doesn’t fall upon our hands to influence or alter. It’s just like falling in love with someone else: You abide by their shortcomings, their drawbacks, their missteps, and you not only accept them, but these make you cherish that person even more.
You’re probably wondering how you begin liking life again; it’s relatively simple. First, let your laughter be of everyday importance; and understand something as broad as education doesn’t have to end once you graduate college; it’s an all-life thing. Second, start listening to others. Always remember you have more to learn from others than you think you do. Third, never fear or shy away from intricate work and minimize your desire for instant gratification. We’re never going to please everyone, and we’re not supposed to rely on endorsement from others. Fourth, establish a precise equilibrium between segregating time for yourself and dedicating energy to everyone else. This allows us to infer a whole world out there if we perceive a glance of it. Lastly, make sure you have a creative outlet. A safe space or even a relaxing hobby you can turn to if no one else is there or if you simply wish to practice the art of being solitary. All of these trivial actions will one day be reciprocated back to you when you sit back, take a sigh of relief and say, ‘I fell in love with life.’
So, even if the universe ends up sending you a partner who breaks your heart; even if it sends you the pain of not being able to live with someone by their side anymore; or simply just sends you some pouring rain despite the fact you just washed your hair, you're still going to admire every minute of these occurrences. All it takes to “truly live life,” like in the movies, is to keep waking up. Then, the rest we choose for ourselves.