I’ve noticed something strange recently. At the start of last year I had an awful first few months where I felt low and angry pretty much all the time but by August things melted away and I just enjoyed the second half of the year feeling pretty good. I was determined that the start of 2018 would be better so I got myself organised and did some things I’d been putting off that I actually really wanted to do – I got my first tattoo, went on my first solo trip abroad, started piano lessons and did my best to generally cram in as much fun stuff as possible.
Regardless of this though I still felt low and angry a lot of the time just like the beginning of last year. To be fair I feel like I tried harder this year but some things happened completely out of my control. My Grandad passed away in February. I’ve never lost anybody before and to reach 21 and not lose anybody is a pretty amazing but I don’t think I’m coping well with it now it’s happened. Then a couple of months later my colleague Malcolm also passed away. I had never attended a funeral in my life now suddenly this year I’ve attended two within the space of three months.
Other things were getting me down too but I don’t really want to dwell on them in this post. This post is about what makes me happy so that hopefully in my lower moments I can refer to this and do my best to cheer myself up. I’m quite dramatic so when I’m upset it’s quite easy for me to just wallow in my own self-pity but I don’t want to keep feeling sorry for myself. So here is my list of things that make me happy.
Okay obviously I can’t just get up and go abroad every time I feel sad because honestly I just couldn’t afford that lifestyle but usually at any given time I have a trip to look forward to. At the moment those trips include Paris, Japan and South Korea (and then Paris again). It doesn’t even have to be abroad, I love going to London which I do quite regularly.
I’ve been to some amazing places over the past few years including Benidorm, Paris, Amsterdam, Luxembourg, Lithuania, New York, Poland and Greece and I loved every single one of them. I travel so often that I figured out since starting my job last March I have visited six new countries within that time. I now have a reputation in the office of being a bit of a jet-setter and I’m not complaining, I love having that reputation.
In February I was telling a colleague I’d just got back from Poland to which they responded “So that’s you done with trips now for the year?” Done with trips? In February? I don’t think so. The moment I’m back I’m ready to book the next one and it’s usually never long before I’m off somewhere else again.
I went to see the nurse recently who told me “I do like going on holiday but I also hate it because of the depression I get coming back home” and I feel that, I do get quite down when I come back to work after an amazing trip but ultimately I could never stop travelling and don’t plan to. There are so many places I want to see!
I love reading books but unfortunately I don’t always have the motivation. I feel like I haven’t read as much this year as I normally do but I haven’t lost my love for it. I’m pretty much always in the middle of a book and I can leave it for a while then just get straight back into the story. My Mom told me she can’t do that, she has to read it all in one go or she loses the plot but I could leave it a while and just pick it back up whenever.
At the moment my favourite book is ‘Only Ever Yours’ by Louise O’Neill which isn’t the most cheery book ever but I still love pretty much everything about it and I’m looking forward to the movie version (I’m praying it doesn’t suck). Other favourites include the Harry Potter series, ‘The Lost and the Found’ by Cat Clarke and ‘Am I Normal Yet’ by Holly Bourne. I just love getting lost in a book for a few hours instead of staring at a computer screen like I so often do.
I definitely need to read more because there’s a lot in my ‘to be read’ pile that I haven’t look at even though they’ve been there for over a year. It’s on my bucket list to have a year where I read at least two new books a month so I might have to make that my 2019 goal. I’m actually so excited I might start collecting the books and preparing now!
I swear our local Cineworld has healing powers or something. One day I was up town and got really bad period cramps but the moment I got to Cineworld and was sat in the screen with my large chocolate milkshake they completely stopped. For ages I had an unlimited card so I spent an awful lot of time at that cinema and it never failed to cheer me up, even if the film I saw was dreadful. I got rid of the card but now have it back again because I go so often that I might as well.
This year I’m going to write a list of my favourite 2018 releases and films that I think will be quite high on the list are ‘The Greatest Showman’, ‘The Incredibles 2’ and ‘A Quiet Place’ because I just absolutely loved those movies. I don’t understand people who would rather watch the movie at home on DVD, there’s nothing better than watching a movie on the big screen.
The woman drives me up the wall but ultimately she is my best friend. Not a day has gone past that I haven’t spoken to my Mom, even when I’m away I text her regularly and we always know what the other is up to. We work in the same building so every Friday we meet up to have lunch and we always make time to hang out with each other.
It’s convenient having her in the same building because one day I came into work and my friend informed me that one of my colleagues had been bitching about me while I’d been off the week before. I was already sad about other things and that kind of tipped me over the edge so at lunch time I went into my Mom’s office and had a mope to her. She took me over town and treated us both to a slice of cake and had a chat about what had upset me.
Last month we started watching Love Island together, something I never thought I’d be interested in but it was cool that me and my Mom had something to watch and talk about together. I could tag her in the memes on Facebook and we could just have a laugh. It was nice, I enjoyed watching it with her and I just love spending time with her.
I’ve always loved going to the theatre but I didn’t really consider myself a ‘theatre fan’. I just assumed everyone liked going as much as me – it wasn’t until last year or the year before that I realised yeah I actually love the theatre an awful lot. One of my favourite weekends was my birthday present to myself last year – I spent the weekend in London and watched five shows – ‘Annie’, ‘Aladdin’, ‘Dream Girls’, ‘School of Rock’ and ‘The Comedy About A Bank Robbery’.
My favourite show so far is probably ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’. Me and Becca went in March (as you can read here) and had such a good time that we’re going back next year but in the more expensive seats so we can hopefully have a better view. If I’m sat behind a giraffe now I may have to cry.
I don’t just go to London, I’ve seen some good shows at closer theatres in Wolverhampton and Birmingham. There is a local theatre a short walk away from my house but there’s not usually much on there to be honest although I do go and see the panto every Christmas Eve there.
But yeah, I’m usually quite happy when I’m sat in a theatre watching a show.
Going For a Run
Unfortunately I don’t always have the motivation for this which is annoying because usually I feel really good afterwards and I know that it’s good for me. We’re in the middle of a heat wave right now in England so I can barely walk anywhere let alone run but I love going for a run in the cooler months, especially when it’s dark and no one can see me. I thought about signing up for the gym because that might motivate me to exercise more as generally exercise does make me happy but gym memberships are quite expensive so I decided not to because, y’know, running’s free. Now I’ve written it down I can come back to this and hopefully force myself to exercise!
I already wrote a long post about what I love about my best friends but like… I do love my friends. An awful lot. Even when we argue I still love them. We’ve made some amazing memories together and I know we’ll continue to, probably for the rest of our lives. I can’t see us breaking friends any time soon and I can’t wait to see where we all end up.
This year we’re celebrating ten years since we all met each other. The idea was to get a joint tattoo but we’re not sure that’s happening anymore. Regardless I’m glad we’ve known each other for ten years and I can’t wait to celebrate twenty years in 2028.
Hanging out with three of them makes me insanely happy. I’m in the middle of writing a post of my favourite memories with them to celebrate our ten years of friendship but even the small times where we just sit in someone’s house and talk mean an awful lot to me. Even just our Facebook group chat can mean a lot to me. Hearing about Hirst going to ASDA to buy some garden gnomes at 11PM the other night really made my night. So yeah, chilling with my friends makes me super happy and I need to make more of an effort to meet up with them regularly – difficult because we’re adults and have our own responsibilities and schedules but we’ve managed so far.
Lame but music does make me happy, especially K-Pop. Recently me and Jess went to a K-Pop Night in Birmingham which was amazing until around the 3AM mark when I was suddenly exhausted. But it was cool to be able to dance to songs I knew as opposed to when we went clubbing the week before and I barely knew any of the songs. It was a good night though and I’m looking forward to the next one when hopefully Becca can join us.
I also love going to K-Pop concerts – so far I’ve seen BTS, FT Island, f(x), IOI, SHINee, Block B, 24K, EXID, Snuper, Highlight, KNK and Dreamcatcher. There are plenty of other groups/artists I would absolutely love to see including but not limited to G-Friend, Red Velvet, TWICE, Hyuna, CLC and so many more.
Another thing I love about K-Pop is being able to learn the dances. Even though I’m sure I look like an absolute moron doing them it still makes me happy to give it a go. I’d love to rent out a dance studio for the day and just learn the dances to my favourite songs but as I can’t afford that I will have to make do with my living room whenever my parents are away.
Going out for Meals
Okay but who doesn’t love going out for a meal? Having food cooked for you and then not having to worry about the washing up afterwards is lush. I never really eat anywhere fancy because I’m a fan of just simple food so my favourite place to eat is Wetherspoons. If I’m feeling more adventurous than I do love going to TGI Friday’s but the food there is quite a bit more expensive. It doesn’t matter where I am though to be honest I just love going for a nice meal out whether that’s by myself or with friends/family.
My only issue with this list is that a lot of the stuff costs money and I need to find more things that are free that make me feel happy. Feel free to comment with things that make you happy, I might be able to take inspiration!