Wednesday, March 12, 2014

What's there to be excited about?

John Green's Vlogbrothers video from yesterday was a Question Tuesday. One of the final questions was, "What are you most excited about?" And John really took that question to heart and said something about how he should ask himself that every day. Then John said he wanted us to leave in the comments what we're most excited about.

And I sat at my computer for probably five or more minutes trying to figure out what I'm excited about. I had no idea. What am I excited about? I didn't think it would be that difficult to come up with one thing. I don't think I could've come up with more than one thing without spending a ridiculous amount of time brainstorming, either. (I finally came up with starting the Doug Dorst & JJ Abrams book "S" yesterday afternoon. It's super neat.) It really was in that moment that I realized I'm not excited about things lately. 

Last night Alex Carpenter posted this on his Tumblr

I can’t remember the last time I talked to someone who was really happy. And that scares the crap out of me. I hope that things are better for everyone soon.

It's not that I'm unhappy, but like Alex I wouldn't say that I'm "really happy," nor do I know anyone who would call themselves "really happy." I'm pretty much just content; I'm satisfied; I'm a normal amount of happy. But after that post and John's video, I started asking myself why I'm not excited about things.

The answer is I don't know. I think some of the reason is I don't have huge things happening in my life. I've graduated and I have income and I spend lots of time doing relaxing things that I love, like reading books and watching YouTube. But that shouldn't mean I can't be excited about things! My life might be pretty uneventful now, but I should still be excited about the small things. I think it's totally fine to not be excited all the time; there's a lot to be said for being sad some times. It's important that we acknowledge when sad things happen and, you know, be sad. There's nothing wrong with that. 

When it takes me five minutes to figure out one small thing I'm excited about, though? I'd rather not be like that.

So I'm taking the time right now to legitimately think of things I should be excited about that I've maybe been indifferent about or just not even thought of.
  • Tomorrow I'll probably go bowling. Last semester I bowled three or more times a week, at least two games every time I went. This year I only go about once a week so it's a real treat. I'm still looking to break 200, which is something I'll be stoked out of my mind about when it happens.
  • By the end of the year there's a good chance I won't live in Provo anymore. It's possible that by the end of the summer I'll have moved somewhere else. I've been here five years so going to a new place is going to be, well, awesome.
  • I've designed a lot of new posters in the past week. Also related to design is the fact that I was introduced to a new website to find fonts.
  • Some time this spring I'll be going back to New York. To visit, I mean. Not to live. (At least I don't think I'll move back there.) There are some days I miss that city immensely. I left a piece of myself there, a lot of pieces probably. I'm scattered all over New York: I-House and the 125th St. subway stop, the Chipotle near Columbia, the Thai place Kelly and I went to nearly every Friday, Coney Island and the ocean, Metrotech in Brooklyn, the Met, various parts of Central Park but especially on the peninsula by the fountain and the lake, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Highline, in the theater where I saw Arthur Darvill in "Once," the tiny theater where I saw Cameron just days after getting to New York. Saying I'm excited to go back is an understatement.
  • ShayCarl and his family just finished five years of daily vlogging. That's a momentous thing and I've been watching since October or November of 2009.
  • I've worn my Chacos more times this winter than I ever thought I would. It's been in the 50s most days for the entirety of February and March. Plus, I got to wear them all over St. George when I went in January.
  • March Madness will start next week. So much basketball.
  • I started listening to Rhett and Link's podcast "Ear Biscuits" and it's amazing. They basically just have hour-long conversations with YouTubers except they're way more in-depth and get down to who these YouTubers are beyond video/content creators. So far I've listened to the one where they interview Grace Helbig and I'm part way through the second part of ShayCarl's episode. I just really love YouTube, okay?
  • For my birthday I got a nice Moleskine notebook I've been using to start doing typography sketching and stuff like that. It's really fun and really relaxing to write out and design quotes, words, etc. Some of it totally sucks but other sketches I'm actually quite proud of.
Having written all that out, I can honestly say that I feel better about myself and my life. I feel genuinely happier acknowledging all this cool stuff that's going on or will be going on even in the coming months. It's weird how that works, eh? Really taking the time to think about the good things in my life not only makes me more grateful for them but also makes me excited to do more awesome things that will make me happier. It's not like I didn't already know that, that taking the time to be grateful is good for you, but it's important that we always remind ourselves of that. The phrase "happiness is a choice" comes to mind. It's a concept I've come to know and love.

But if you are always striving to choose happiness, and everyday you wake up and you say to yourself, “You know what, I am going to choose to not let the outside influences of the world affect my mood, and I am going to be in charge of how I feel because I am choosing happiness," I promise you that you will lead a lot happier life.

That's from, of course, ShayCarl. And he's so right.

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