The Best Things In Life

I am the kind of person who feels emotions really strongly. Sometimes this makes me think that in order to enjoy something or to be happy, that I have to be REALLY happy. But recently, I realized that some of the best things in life just feel natural. They don’t necessarily make you deliriously happy in the moment.

Let me explain.

I talked with my Case Worker today for the Big Brother Big Sister Program. I’ve been doing the program for nearly a year now- spending some time with my little sister about twice a month. When they ask me how it’s going, I always think about what I expected and what my relationship with my little sister is actually like. I expected to walk into her life and be A Hero. I was going to save her from everything bad and she would love me and it would be amazing. It didn’t work out that way, obviously. But that isn’t bad. I love my little sister. She is one of my favorite people to spend time with. She constantly defies my expectations in the best possible ways. But I’m not A Hero. I’m not Amazing and Infallible. I’m a person. And so is she. The best part of our relationship is getting to know each other. It’s our genuine conversations on my couch or at Starbucks or as we are terrified together completing a high ropes course. It’s watching the TV show she recommended to me and texting her when something absolutely crazy happens. It’s how I can be genuine with her. It’s how we can know each other and appreciate each other for who we are. That’s far better than being worshipped.

I recently started a relationship with one of my close friends from college. It’s been very different for me in a few ways- the biggest one being that all of my past relationships have been with someone who I just met relatively recently. In this case, I’ve known him for 11 years. I’m used to the beginnings of relationships being emotionally intense, full of that immediate infatuation you feel for someone you just met and are attracted to. This isn’t like that, but not in a bad way. In most of my past relationships, I felt like I had to change my life and myself to accommodate my partner. I didn’t think of it like this at the time, but in retrospect, that’s definitely what I was doing, and it wasn’t good. What I love about this relationship is that I can be myself. I can still engage in my hobbies and hang out with my friends and also be in a relationship. We got together on the beginning of the JoCo Cruise. We were able to spend some time alone together on it, but we didn’t let that monopolize our purpose for being there: playing board games and hanging out with fellow nerds. I loved that we could do what we wanted, while also being together. It feels like my life, but enhanced.

Sometimes the best things in life don’t always bring amazing intense feelings. These are deceptive: they feel good, but don’t last. Instead, I’m learning to look out for those things- or those people- that just feel right. Those people around who you can be yourself. Who make you happy. Who make you more yourself.


Down to the Wire

Last Friday, I received the short story contest prompt from Reedsy. I wasn’t sure when it was due, so I started on it immediately. I was excited- I had a cool idea (a supernatural twist on a day at the office) and my character’s voice was coming through really strongly. The length requirement was 1,000-3,000 words and I got to about 850 before I was stuck. My main character just realized his gun wouldn’t work on the ghost- his ex-wife- who was pointing a gun at him (which would). How was he going to get out of that situation? And more importantly, how was the story even going to end?

I decided to take a break from the story and work on other things. Throughout the week I revisited the story, mostly just to look at it, think Wow, what a cool start! and procrastinate some more. To be fair, it was a busy week, but I made time for reading and playing Magic, so it wasn’t like I actually didn’t have time to write.

I made myself finish it this evening (after discovering that today was the deadline. Hopefully 9:30 pm wasn’t too late). When I sat down to write it and made myself put words on the page, I was surprised to find that they came . I didn’t eat dinner until 9 because I was so excited to start writing, and I didn’t stop writing as I finally got around to eating it. I really got into the story!

I told myself I just needed to finish it, even if it wasn’t good, but honestly, I think it is pretty good. It’s probably not professional quality, but I’m proud of it. I wasn’t expecting that.

It’s not that we don’t do things because they are hard, but they are hard because we don’t do them. Once I actually started writing, it was a lot easier than I had expected. We psych ourselves out about things like this that we are really nervous about. That’s what actually makes them hard.

Don’t doubt yourself. You are capable of more than you think you are.

Go out there and do the thing that you want to!