In a strange turn of events, I’m in a park eating dried mango by the handful and I’m feeling OKAY. I wrote ‘good’, initially, but I didn’t wanna go too far into the realm of fiction today.
But ‘okay’ is still a pretty fine way to be feeling; I’ve bought Amy Poehler’s audiobook and I have a bag full of snacks (read: chocolate and various forms of mango), and I’m taking a break from just thinking about my life and actually letting myself enjoy it.
I know this probably doesn’t seem like a particularly wild Monday – I wouldn’t blame you for thinking so, if I saw me right now I’d think I was probably not doing my 20s right – but I spend a fair amount of time on my own inside, so the simple act of going outside for a bit is surely a promising sign, right? I think so, anyway.
So I’ve decided to write a list of small things that have brightened up my last couple of months, because I’m awful at telling people I appreciate them. It’s gonna be anonymous, and if you think ‘huh, I think I did that’, then you probably did. I’ve been thinking about small gestures that mean a lot and I’ve been trying to be nicer, too. Trying, at least. This starts with the tweet you’ll find below, because I’m a millennial and I’m incapable of my own thoughts, or something.
Anyway! The list is as follows:
1) being supported by girls – particularly girls I didn’t expect, not that they’re not absolute queens, but the situation is that I lost a fair few friends in a change of personal circumstance. Sending an ‘I heard the news, are you okay?’ message seems like a really small thing but it’s actually really lovely.
2) being asked genuine questions that start a conversation – ‘tell me about your upbringing’ is a really nice way to make someone (me) feel interesting and not super boring by having to say, again, that no, I haven’t heard of that super cool band, and no, I haven’t been anywhere cool recently, sorry.
3) making eye contact with my friends at work when something annoying/scandalous/hilarious has happened – I’m not on my own and I need to share how I feel about said thing, but I’m trying to keep my words to myself (trying). Sharing these little moments keeps me grounded, if anything.
4) getting the ‘they played this song and it made me think of you’ message – like thank you, I’m flattered and honoured and honestly kinda amazed that I’ve had even a tiny impact on anyone’s memories! It makes my heart feel fuzzy and like probably, actually glow a bit?
5) having those evenings where I just text for hours – gossiping about my hometown and boys, making far-off birthday plans, and telling my best friend how much I love and miss her (so, so, so much). She’s just text me and I told her I’m writing this but I’m not gonna tell her she has her own bullet point. I’ll wait for her to read it.
6) talking about my future but not in a scary, daunting way – gentle, playful conversations about things people have done or didn’t do and why, non-judgemental conversations that end with my favourite phrase, ‘you’ll work it out’ and not the most anxiety-stirring ‘you should’ve done this by now’. I’ve spent a long time feeling like I haven’t been doing enough, and it’s nice to start understanding that I’ve hardly just begun.
7) sitting on the steps opposite a bar/pub/club/etc, inebriated, and just chatting, making plans that might not happen but that are so much fun to create, like random festivals in the West Midlands and pop punk nights out and gigs we probably won’t be able to get tickets to. It’s the thought that counts.
8) getting strangers to take photos of us, and not feeling embarrassed when they take 30. I often feel like I’m pushing my luck, that my questions are a burden, but I’ve also always known the power of multiple angles and having a chance to do-over a photo until it’s cute (plus, the ones that don’t make the Instagram quote are the best ones to ponder over when I’m not feeling okay).
9) having our coffee club every morning – although it was harder without my darling angel who brings a smile to my face even when I’m spiralling hard at work – because it’s time to de-brief, it’s time to get the evening’s events off my chest (sorry to everyone who has to listen to me), and it’s time to have a coffee with my favourite people before the headsets go on and SAP passwords are entered.
10) sitting down after a long time of standing up, sharing some drinks and applying glitter (this is a recent one, thanks Pride), then feeling really heckin’ good about the way the world around me is going, even if the immediate moment wasn’t going exactly to plan. Because it doesn’t always have to be going to plan for it to be a really lush time, actually.
11) and, finally, hearing people’s stories after they’ve read my posts. I’ve never felt more connected to the people in my world, whether I see them every day or not in years. I always figured I was on my own, feeling too young and too lonely and too crazy, but now I know that I’m not and I know that it’s gonna be okay and I especially know that there are people that love me, or at least like me a bit more than I was expecting. Sometimes it’s hard to remember, but then I have a browse through the conversations I’ve had since writing these, and I know that this has just been a blip. And that blips come to an end. And life goes on after it does.
That’s enough for now, I think. If you’re feeling anything less than okay (or anything more, if you fancy it) then I recommend writing down some things you’re grateful for. My heart feels full. X