I've been studying a lot recently about how to naturally boost serotonin levels, and wouldn't you know it - thinking happy thoughts is one of the suggestions! How funny that positive thinking will LITERALLY result in a positive life?! People tell us that all the time but I thought it was just talk and I was actually kind of surprised to read that (although I don't remember my source, haha sorry!) The article I read specifically mentioned reflecting back on a positive memory, so since I have been such a downer lately I decided to share with you the first 5 memories I think of when prompted to recall a happy memory - NOT including my wedding day because that's too cliche ;) Illustrated with random pictures of other happy moments...
ONE - The day I learned how to ride a bike and found a raspberry bush. My grandparents used to vacation in their camping trailer, and sometimes they would take me. Once…I was 8 I think? It was probably around my birthday because they bought me a bike, and I spent my days trying to learn how to ride it. It was a gorgeous campsite in Utah next to a lake, and I recall that it felt like we were one of the only ones at the campsite that time of year (a world of a difference from our Memorial Day camping trips). As soon as I woke up I would wheel my bike to the top of a nearby hill, and try coasting down over and over until I got the balancing part down. Yes, this was on asphalt and yes I got a couple dents in my helmet haha! I would go back to the trailer every now and then for food. I just remember a general feeling of contentment and determination. Then, I got it! And I started pedaling…and I still had it! I felt like I was flying and my sense of accomplishment was through the roof. As I was riding around the campsite I found this odd bush with little berries on it. I didn’t recognize them but they smelled sweet so I tasted one. Raspberries! I sat in that bush and ate every last raspberry…and I had never EVER been happier. Today I’m not sure if I love raspberries so much because of their taste or the sweet memory they bring back.
TWO - Gymnastics. I absolutely LOVED gymnastics as a kid. It was a healthy (as opposed to running around the nearby desert shirtless and barefoot) outlet for my energy. It gave me a challenge, and I was good at it so it boost my confidence as well. Sometimes when I did very well the teacher would give us bubblegum. Well, similar story to number one, I was determined to learn how to blow a bubble! I used to watch people’s mouths when they blew bubbles and it was mind boggling, I had no idea how they did it. But I tried and tried, and after one day at gymnastics I popped that bubblegum in my mouth while I was sitting in the back of my grandpa’s truck…and I blew a bubble!
THREE - I’m starting to notice that all of my happiest stories revolve around me accomplishing something. This one is no different. In middle school, I wanted to try out for cheerleading. I practiced and practiced to get the routines down, but I was pretty sloppy. There was a girl who was trying out who was SO good at tumbling…she could do a round off and a back hand spring anytime, anywhere. I felt like if I could do a back handspring then maybe I would be as good as her and then I would make the team. So I practiced. My oldest little brother was only 4 or 5, and what I didn’t know at the time was that he was the SWEETEST little boy that EVER lived and he loved and looked up to me so much. When I told him my goal, he and my other little brother went out to go sit with me and cheer me on. Josh quickly got bored after my many failed attempts and I grew more and more frustrated. Josh went in the house, but Jacob stayed. For HOURS (which is days in four year old time) and he never took his eyes off of me. Every single time I wanted to give up he would encourage me, until finally I did it! Then I did it again and again just to be sure. My sweet little brother was probably more excited than I was, he stood up and clapped and cheered like I had just won a freaking medal…I was so happy I might as well have won a medal. Didn’t make the cheerleading squad though lol.
FOUR - In my tiny high school class, we were all very close. It was the same 30 people (give or take a few) year in and year out, so we knew each other well. But we didn’t ALWAYS get along. There was a girl in my class who I didn’t particularly like. She was too pretty and too perfect. I called her things like stuck up and prissy. My friends and I rolled my eyes every time she talked, and later I found out the feeling was mutual. Junior and senior year, she joined track so we started to talk a little more. She was fine, I could tolerate her, but I still didn’t WANT to like her. Somehow or another, in my senior year, I found myself hanging out with her and another girl on the track team very often. As we hung out I realized that we were soooo alike – we had similar interests and thoughts about life, and talking to her was really refreshing. So I admitted that I liked her and we continued to hang out. At our sleepovers we would turn the lights out, say goodnight…and then find ourselves talking openly about our deepest thoughts – until the early hours of the morning! When it came time for her to go off to college, we sat on my driveway in her car and cried about the thought of being separated. It was then I realized that she officially owned a piece of my heart that I would never get back. It was bitter sweet, but mostly sweet I think. I’ve never been happier to find out that I was wrong about a person.
BONUS - I was only going to list 5 but I can't leave out the day(s) I did birth photography! I was fighting happy tears the whole time because I couldn't believe that a dream I have had for so long actually came true! This is the recent one I did, for those of you who don't follow my photography page on Facebook: