5 things that make me really happy

So hello! I wasn’t quite sure where to start my blog. There’s a lot of pressure with a first post- how is this post going to define my blog? What do I want this blog to be about? Am I even interesting enough to have a blog?

I like to think that maybe I have something to share with the world.

So here I am laying in my bed, listening to John Mayer, and my dog at my feet. We’re going to just start with what makes me really happy.

Back in late April, my life was turned upside down when I became a victim of domestic violence. It ended my relationship with the love of my life, I had to cancel my wedding, I fell into depression, and I really kind of lost touch with myself. My therapist told me that when we’re going through crisis we often feel like whats happening is actually happening to someone else… well thats what the last four months has felt like to me! So I’ve been reintroducing myself to me, and one of the ways I’ve been doing that is by just figuring out what makes me really happy.

1. Rock Picking on Lake Superior’s North Shore
beachSo there is really no where I feel at peace as much as Lake Superior’s pebble beaches on the North Shore. I get lost in my thoughts when I pick rocks, but theres a purpose- finding that perfect agate or thomsonite. Whether its sunny and clear, dreary and foggy, or somewhere in between, this is my happy place.

Why does this make me really happy? I have a purpose. I have a hard time on a beach without some sort of goal or activity. I need at least a book to read, but this is more fun for me. I like treasure hunting, and thats exactly what rock picking is. I have boxes of rocks that I’ve saved over the years and I can pick any one of them out and remember finding it. I guess thats a weird talent I have.

But additionally to the purpose, its the location. Lake Superior is one of my favorite places in the world and you can understand why the moment you see it. Dark cliffs, beaches with treasure, the crystal clear waters, the smell of the lake (seriously it smells amazing), and the pine trees all over the place. I always feel a pull to this lake, and even when I move away from its shores in two weeks, I know I’ll be planning my first visit pretty quickly.


2.  Smashing the Patriarchy


So its no secret that I’m a feminist. It shouldn’t be a secret. I’m proud of it! I’ll stand on the rooftops and call it out for the whole world to hear!

But anything that advances equality of the sexes and equity for all identities of women is something that really gets me excited. Whether its shutting down cat callers or supporting women running for office (or running myself!), I seriously get so empowered.

In this picture, I was speaking at a press conference in the Wisconsin State Capitol for United Council of UW Students. I made a statement about how a cut of state funding to the UW System would hurt students. I did this right after a weekend of learning about how democrat women are going to take over Wisconsin (it’ll happen, Erin Forrest is working on it through Emerge WI). I did this as my state was becoming a Right to Work state. Afterwards I joined the protests outside. It wasn’t necessarily a female-centered day, but they chose a woman student leader to speak. They cared about what I had to say. I power posed. I looked awesome. I felt like I was going to take over the world afterwards.

Those moments, from shutting down street harassers to giving great speeches, really fuel me.


3. Travel
travelSo I pretty much believe that you have to be a complete psychopath to not love traveling. I get the wonderful things about home, but there are so many wonderful things other places, too. I want to see as much of the world as I can, and I’m a great traveler, so I’m including this in the list.

If you ever go on a road trip, I’m the girl you want with you. I will listen to whatever you put on without complaint. I can drive for all daylight hours (once the sun goes down I get sleepy, but I can start in the dark!). I can hold my pee for a really long time.

If you want to camp, I’m great at that (though sleeping on the ground is starting to get hard for my almost-30-year-old body). I can pitch a tent in the dark. I can start a fire without a boy. I can chop wood.

And if you want to go to another country, I’m down. I will be low maintenance. I will not argue about what sights to see. I will do my very very best to respect the culture. I will try new foods. I will do what you’re supposed to do in the place you’re supposed to do it (Kristen Newman, wherever you are: thank you for that phrase). I haven’t been to a lot of countries yet, but I am itching to fill my passport.

In that picture, I am crossing a really sketchy railroad trellis over a river (that probably was filled with crocodiles) from Costa Rica into Panama.

(In another post someday I’ll go over why I share photos that also feature my ex.)


4. Great Danes, Specifically Watson

In another post someday, I will share the story of how Watson and I found each other. But he is seriously one of my greatest joys. I have never had another living creature love me as much as this dog. I don’t even think my own mother could love me as much as he does (sorry Mom).

My entire life I have wanted a great dane. I cannot remember a time in my life when I didn’t ache for one. I’m not even kidding. We almost got one when I was in fourth grade, and if it wasn’t for the fact that I got another amazing dog out of the deal, I would have been so devastated that we didn’t adopt that one.

It got so bad that I would see a great dane and go into panic attacks of joy. Like that video of Kristen Bell and the sloth? I was that person. Hyperventilating, tears, inability to explain what happened so everyone else is concerned for my health. So when Watson found me (pictured), we bonded instantly.

Since my experience with Domestic Violence he has been my rock. He made the entire thing bearable. I honestly don’t know what I would have done if I didn’t have him to invite into bed that night so I could sob into his fur. I miss him when I’m at work. I take him as many places as I can. I talk to him constantly. When I wake, my first thought is about him.


5. The Harry Potter Franchise
I believe that I have put more hours of my life into Harry Potter stuff than hours breathing.

slytherinOkay so that might be an exaggeration.

But the Harry Potter Franchise has brought me so many things. Friendships, enhancement to friendships that started over other things, an escape when I need one, hobbies, and endless imagination. The world that JK Rowling created for us never fails to bring me happiness. Even when I see scary comparisons of the return of Voldemort to some of the return (read: more visibility) of White Supremacy.

I am a Slytherin and I will HAPPILY fight to the death defending my house since everyone and their mother thinks you need to be evil to be part of it.

Wow, that photo is seven years old. SEVEN.

Anyway, what are some things that make you really happy? Do any of my listed things make you really happy?


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