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An Alphabet of Awesomeness Tag

I know everyone’s seen this type of thing before, with awards and challenges, but I just thought I’d start one that’s all my own, challenge a few people, and see what happens…

Sometimes, in life, it’s incredibly hard to find things to be grateful for or things that make you happy when you feel just so so so sad, not like sad panda sad, but Picasso’s-Blue-Period sad, or Wilting-Flowers-of-Virginia-Woolf sad, or even Everything-But-The-Girl-desert-misses-the-rain-except-the-desert-is-glass-and-Morton-Salt-without-the-yellow-umbrella-since-there’s-no-rain-here sad.

But now that I’ve saddled you with metaphors and addled your brain, let me bring you back to the positive feelings that I hope you are having right now (If you are, good for you! If not, that’s okay, I’m here if you need a hug).

Some days, life is just sweet, normal, average, even – dare I say – happy. It could be a tapping-your-toes-to-Pharrell-Williams’s-“Happy” happy, or even raindrops-on-roses-and-whiskers-on-kittens-Julie-Andrews-frolicking-in-the-sunny-countryside happy, or even the happiest feeling that I can imagine, like, right-this-minute-I-can-see-myself-as-the-cool-person-I-dreamed-of-being-when-I-was-young-and-shy-and-awkward-and-to-top-it-off-I-have-sunglasses-and-a-car-and-good-hair happy.

It’s the days that you’re feeling like a Picasso that you wish you could magically channel a day when you were Pharrell Williams. When you wish you had an arsenal of things that make you feel awesome and confident and sophisticated and proud but you just can’t seem to picture any.

My friends, here is the solution for you.

Presenting:

That’s So Jacob’s All-New Alphabet of Awesomeness Tag

The point of this game is to come up with 26 things that just make you feel effervescent, one for each letter of the alphabet, and maybe write a brief sentence or two about each thing, and then tag 26 friends to do the same. Hopefully this will ignite a giant arsenal of awesome and happy things that will break the Internet because everyone’s sharing too many happy thoughts.

Here goes nothing, I guess.

is for Anne Taintor. Classic pinup girls with delightfully irreverent sayings. I buy her calendar every year and have a sticker pack and fun coffee-table coasters. Just plain fun.

is for ballroom dance. What started as a sign on a lamppost has turned into four semesters of fun, friendship, and fancy footwork. I always say that I like Latin better, but then I feel like that’s unfair to Standard, so I constantly switch back and forth because just being on the dance floor is a gift unto itself.

C is for Call the Midwife. One random Sunday, I turned on PBS, and stared at my television screen open-mouthed for two whole hours watching a marathon of this fantastic BBC masterpiece. It is incredibly well-acted, thought-provoking, inspirational, and hasn’t hit the Downton Abbey/Game of Thrones glass ceiling here in the USA yet, so I feel ahead of the curve. And even if it doesn’t make it in America, this show is so awesome and now I kinda want to see if I could deliver a baby using what I’ve learned from the show. 

is for driving, especially on the open road. I don’t get it how so many people despise driving. I love it. I would rather drive than be a passenger. Other than expensive gas (which, living in Wisconsin, is less of a drain on my wallet than in giant Texas) and maybe car trouble/repair, I love long road trips, beautiful scenery, racking up the miles, and when I am with friends, racking up the smiles.

is for Ellen DeGeneres. E-nough said. I really think she should reconsider running for political office. She could do a lot of good (well, even more than she already does).

is for friends who do stuff together… but no, really, it’s for my fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega. It’s helped make me into a better person. My parents did not believe it when I said I wanted to pledge, but they have come to peace with it and acknowledged that it has introduced me to a lot of good people and helped me do a lot of good things.

is for

is for

is for iced coffeeWhen I had my first real downward spiral into depression and bad bad thoughts, my dad always told me “if you’re dead, there’s no iced coffee anymore.” So trivial, but for some reason it perked me up a little bit.

is for Jenna Marbles. I eagerly count the days until Wednesday/Thursday so I can fold laundry while watching her new video (now, on my Chromecast). There has rarely been one that I haven’t found something I liked in, except maybe the dog porn one and the “Dropping Beets” one.

is for Keurig. I bought mine in December and haven’t looked back. Sometimes I sit in class, just counting down the minutes until I can go home and use my Keurig to make something delicious.

is for licorice. Twizzlers (though NOT a low-fat snack like they say), gimme. Bites, pull and peel, the rainbow colored ones, all the Twizzlers. YUM.

is for Mental Floss on YouTube. Along with Jenna Marbles, John Green’s List Show makes up my mid-week hump days playlist. I’ve been a fan of MF since high school, and now instead of sitting at Barnes & Noble and reading the new one each month, I get a little mini video-magazine of quirky facts that I can watch while I fold my laundry. If Jenna Marbles did a Mental Floss List Show one Wednesday, I think my brain might actually explode with happiness.

is for New York Times Crossword Puzzles. Part of my daily routine. My favorites are the Sunday ones; when I solve it in under 15 minutes I just feel like the smartest person in the world. Plus, it’s a great way to learn new facts.

is for October, the month of my birth. I have a love/hate relationship, because I love birthdays but hate growing older. Still, it’s usually just brisk enough to enjoy hot and iced drinks, and an unexpected warm day, like this past weekend, can really make your day. Plus, it’s too early for Christmas music and decorations to appear, so there’s that. Also, Jewish holidays.

is for Pandora. This app and I had our issues, once I found out it was killing my cell phone bill, but now that I use it more sparingly, it’s going back to the top of my list of favorite apps. Where else can you rock out to an entire station devoted to A Tribe Called Red or the Barry Sisters?

is for theatre. I have devoted the last ten years of my life to studying it, so it deserves a spot on the list. A close second is travel. And an even closer third is Tim Hortons. I am seriously considering a road trip to the closest one (Fort Frances, Ontario, Canada) just to get a cafe glace and donut. Tims for days, baby.

is for Words with Friends. It doesn’t matter if I win or lose, but it’s just a helpful distraction that’s just temporary enough to calm my mind.

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Let It Grow or Let It Go

As I opened WordPress on my iPad to start today’s (11:30 PM – crap) entry, the song to come through the earbuds amidst the chatter of the Saturday night crowd at Glass Nickel Pizza Co., is “Let It Go,” from Disney’s Frozen, AKA the best new song that everyone is (rightfully) going gaga over.

My Florida trip as well as the past 48 hours of being home without very much human interaction brought back my anxieties and fears, big time, preventing me from getting my work done (well, that and the fact that I left one of my textbooks in Florida and have to hunt down another copy at the library tomorrow). The usual fears; schoolwork, life, friendship. These are the anxieties that make me stare into walls, pick at a scab on my heel until it bleeds, pare my nails, and on the whole, take down my confidence.

Confidence is a tricky thing; it can help you reach your goals, but you shouldn’t have too much of it, only in moderation. Having a whole lot of inner confidence can help you shine on the outside, even when you don’t feel particularly positive. Knowing who you are, and what you love and why you love it, and allowing that feeling to emanate throughout your body, that’s true confidence and it’s tricky to achieve. Sometimes, people mistake a lack of outer effervescence for a lack of confidence or self-esteem, but sometimes you don’t need to assert yourself. It is okay to celebrate being you, because you are the best you that there is. When I doubt myself, it hampers my ability to function. But I just have to keep reminding myself to let it go, just like the song says, and focus on my power inside.

There’s a phrase that I heard somewhere along the line, what you focus on grows. It’s a corny phrase, and of course my dirty mind goes straight to the innuendo, but if you look at yourself in a better light, as a dreamer, a believer, a human…(now, “Under the Sea” is playing, so my thoughts are temporarily interrupted by singing sea creatures)..,okay, well the song’s not over yet, but grabbing back on to that previous train of thought, what you focus on does grow. The more I replay a scenario in my head, the bigger it gets. So if you just focus on being a good person, the positive attributes will grow and overpower the bad and sad thoughts, making them the plebeian, shoddily-made cloth finger puppets of your psyche rather than the complicated connections of bones, muscles, and tissues, that make up your essence as a puppet of your own design, controlled by all the processes that magically fit together to make a human being.

Taking a step back…sometimes that’s just what is necessary, to take a step back. Just today, A friend of mine posted a one-liner on Facebook that made me giggle, and I told myself “okay, I’ve gotta comment on this with a zinger.”

So I clicked.
And I thought.
And I waited for a thought to come to me.
And I started typing something…but then realized all the ways it could be misconstrued.
So I deleted it, and started typing something else…before retracting that.

Ultimately, I wasted about five solid minutes just staring at that dialogue box, “leave a comment” leering at me through the bared teeth of Facebook on iPad.

And I didn’t post anything.

Sometimes you don’t need to have your say on everything, mark your territory, get in the last word. If you have something to add, put it in focus and let it grow, or take a step back and let it go.

Exactly one post down was another keen observation made by another friend, and on that one, the appropriate response came to my mind fully formed, and took me mere seconds to post, without a second thought.

Now, that moment has come where I can’t think of anything more to say, so I’ll end this post for tonight with this message:

If you want to post a comment, do so, and let it grow.
If you’ve read this far and the moment doesn’t come to you, just press like and let it go.
I won’t be offended either way.