Friday, September 23, 2011


I attended a Health and Wellness workshop yesterday on campus.  Basically, How to Avoid Going Crazy While in Grad School.  We were each given a slip of paper, half of us had blue, half of us had yellow.  The yellows had to write down five things that made them happy, the blues 5 things that got them down.  I got blue.  My list:

  1. Confrontations
  2. Cold showers (our apartment hadn’t had hot water all summer; I’ve been taking room temperature showers for months—it finally got fixed a couple weeks ago!)

And I was shocked that I couldn’t finish the list.   It made me realize that in my day-to-day life, I don’t encounter a lot of things that upset me anymore.  And that’s good.  But a little strange, too, in a way.  I think depression has been a part of my identity for so long, that it’s a little weird not carrying that burden anymore.  It recalls Steven Page’s lyrics in “War on Drugs”:

Won't it be dull when we rid ourselves
Of all these demons haunting us
To keep us company
Won't it be odd to be happy like we
Always thought we're supposed to feel
But never seem to be

It is a little odd, but I find I’m rather liking it.

Now, I didn’t get to write a list of 5 things that make me happy yesterday.  So I’ll take the liberty to do so now.  And I’m not stopping at 5.

  1. Amul
  2. Olivia
  3. Mugs of green tea
  4. The scent of ginseng
  5. Foam on the top of milk steamers
  6. The shape of gingko leaves
  7. Family
  8. Chapbooks
  9. Hot car
  10. Persimmons
  11. Baking bread
  12. The smell of Olivia’s feet (corn chips!)
  13. Cabbage
  14. Stationery and office supplies
  15. Sea glass
  16. Napping in the sun
  17. Walks with the dog on the beach
  18. Pajamas
  19. Palindromes
  20. Things in miniature
  21. Korean street food
  22. Crossword puzzles

What do your lists look like?

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