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
Being ignored or forgotten
My physical state
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
The Huntington Library
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
Anything that makes my partner laugh
When people reach out to each other
When things sparkle
When people sparkle
Grilled cheese sandwiches
Sincere and thoughtful answers to those questions
Being out at night
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.