Things That Make Me Go Hmm

I live in a year-round warm climate. That means ice cream trucks are in constant rotation. For as long as I can remember, ice cream trucks have made me feel sad. I’ve never been sure why this is, but once I hear that music and see the slow moving vehicle, I feel an innate sadness.

Yesterday, as I was pulling back up to the building I live in, an ice cream truck drove by and I felt this profound sadness.

I am an emotional person by nature. I used to think that was a liability or something to be ashamed of. Now I don’t care about the negative connotations a lot of people assign to the trait. I’ve embraced it and I’m almost grateful for it. Yes, it makes me open to more heartache, but it also makes me open to more joy, and I will take that bad with the good any day.

I started thinking about the various things that make me sad. Some make sense, some do not.

I invariably started thinking about the myriad things that make me happy; the list is so much longer and easier to come up with. That fact makes me smile, especially since I am someone who has struggled with depression more than once. Sh*t, one of those times is now. My anxiety has been in overdrive lately, and the depression is something that seems to be hanging around despite my best efforts. But I keep on trucking. It’s what I do.

So I thought, for fun, I’d list out some of the first things to come to mind on both accounts. I’ll start with sad, as I’d far rather leave off on happy. Also, please keep in mind, these things are all at varying degrees and these lists are in no way comprehensive.



Ice cream trucks
My anxiety and depression
Some people
Being ignored or forgotten
My physical state



My partner
Being alive
Chosen family
Friends and friendships
A room full of people
An empty theatre
An orchestra in unison
The slightly moist feeling of night air
A sense of occasion
A sincere hug
Sincere words
Heartfelt laughter
The Huntington Library
Performing onstage
Hoodie strings flapping in the breeze
Things that make people happy that don’t hurt anyone else
The Polyphonic Spree
Hearing music in unexpected places
Not knowing exactly what is going on
A sense of discovery
Video Games
Anything that makes my partner laugh
Bright makeup
Hot tea
Iced tea
When people reach out to each other
When things sparkle
When people sparkle
Colored lights
Grilled cheese sandwiches
Asking questions
Sincere and thoughtful answers to those questions
Being out at night
Green bananas
Hard nectarines


I could literally keep going, and perhaps I will continue this list at a later date, but I’ve just managed to make myself happy; the sad list is short. The happy list is long and full of truth.

What would your lists look like? What makes you sad? What makes you happy? I think there is power in writing those things down and sharing them with others.

If you’re here and reading this, please add yourself to my happy list. Thank you for being part of my life. I’m grateful to be a part of yours. It’s a gift, indeed.

Categories: musings

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16 replies »

  1. I’m not sure if my happy list would be longer than my sad. There are so many things that used to make me happy that I associate with sad things now. Like, kittens. I love kittens and cattens, but when I think about the ones I’ve lost it makes me very sad. Or there are songs I associate with sad things or sad feelings. Or sometimes I have inherently sad feelings for no reason. I think the thing that makes me saddest is old age. Nobody respects their elders anymore. People grow old and alone and forget the things that made life worth living. Maybe if I listed my things like you I’d discover some happier things.

    Liked by 1 person

    • A lot of that makes a lot of sense to me, honestly. There are creatures (one specifically) that I feel devastated when I think about. Some music has the power to completely level me. Other music has the power to lift me way up.

      But I get you on feeling sad for no, or no discernible, reason.

      Getting older legitimately terrifies me. I already worry I am irrelevant, and I worry age will only make that worse. I will never be younger than this moment.

      Maybe try to list the happy things? You might have an easier time of making that list than you think!


  2. Funny, I also relate ice cream truck to bad things. We don’t have these in Brazil but there was one Hey, Arnold character that was a ice cream truck driver and he had one sad episode focused on him and I always relate that one episode to ice cream trucks. I also find the little jingle they usually use for them really creepy.

    I’ve been thinking since yesterday for things that makes me sad or happy but I couldn’t find a lot. I think it’s interesting to think about it. Specially for trying more the little things that makes me happy that I probably forget or don’t give proper attention.

    Thanks for writing this!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are the ONLY other person I’ve ever heard that from! I also didn’t know you didn’t have ice cream trucks in Brazil. And some of the music they play is DEFINITELY creepy. Some of them here have messed up sound systems and the songs sound unintentionally sinister.

      Well I hope if you do come up with a list that you will share it. I’d love to read it.

      Aww, thank you! Thank you for reading it!


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