Sunday, April 15, 2012

#7: Happiest Moments

There are few things in life that bring you true elation. Most of the time, these things are rather odd, or they make perfect sense. Here's a list of probably some of the best moments of my life:
1. Going to the Fun. concert on March 3rd, 2012. Seeing my favorite band live was probably one of the most uplifting nights I have ever had. I got introduced to Sleeper Agent, which is an incredible band. That night was, for lack of better words, absolutely perfect.
2. The anime convention where I met Peter and Dan and cosplayed as Akito. The friends I made and had there gave me more faith in the world. I had so much fun with Mik and everyone else. Anime conventions are always exhilarating and I always know for sure that when I go to one, I'm surrounded by people that love the exact same things that I do.
3. Walking around in a forest with my camera. It gave me a lot of time to think about life, and even though I found that area with someone that was rather special to me, I still went there the day after we broke up, despite the memories. But it proved to bring me a lot better opportunities than I had thought. I took some of my best photos there. And it helped me look into the present, not the past.
4. Watching Harold and Maude. This movie brought so many laughs, and it showed me that even though people have certain rules about love, when you find love, it is so right, no matter what. A person who was so obsessed with death fell in love with someone so in love with life. It was a beautiful movie and even at the end, I was smiling.
5. Being woken up by Keren-ha by her excited declaration telling me it was raining. I smile when I think about this memory, just two best friends who found happiness in the simplest things. We went outside and started dancing in the rain, laughing and giggling and running around. Afterwards we wrapped ourselves in a beach towel and sat on the terrace, looking at the rain. It was a moment of peace and elation alike.
6. Reading Paper Towns. This book has a lot more meaning to me than any other book I think I've read before. It helped me make a really important decision that honestly changed a lot of my life. While reading that book, I realized that you can't please everyone. You can't bend like paper to satisfy someone else. That in the end, you need to be yourself or you'll be driven off the edge. This book taught me a lesson, and I don't know what I would have done without it.

There are so many other memories I could talk about, but now I'm getting overwhelmed with rather pointless memories and can't think of anything else. But please, I would love to hear of some of your favorite memories, simple moments when you felt like things were right in the world.

date on penny is 1995, date collected is 4/15/2012

By the way, happy birthday, Lily! I can't believe you're finally a legal adult. I'm going to miss you so incredibly much when you leave us to go off to college. I hope this year is an incredible one for you.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

#6: Is depression a disease?

Let's face it. All of us have at one point in our lives been depressed. It seems so easy to become depressed; you bomb a test, you lose a friend, your dog dies, or you're simply lonely. Or the sun is out. Or you envy someone so painfully you want to cry every time you see them. Or you feel misunderstood and neglected. Or you're tired. Or you're fed up with the world. There can be so many causes for depression, and they can be the simplest things, or something very serious, or a ton of little things put together. Frustration can build up with time, and eventually it will all pour out like a volcano. It happens. Regrettably to say, it's happened a lot to me. But of course, it's happened to you as well.
Why do we feel the way we feel? Why is everyone so compelled to feel depressed? And have you noticed how much younger people have gotten that get depressed? Usually depression was found in people from 25-40, who could be struggling with their jobs or their marriages. But nowadays, there are 15 year old children that get very depressed. I was 8 years old when I first got depressed. In my mind, that is way too young to be so sad that you can't eat, you sleep too much, you cry every day and you don't even have the energy to do your schoolwork. But what is even more shocking, is that people have found depression in three year olds. How come children that can barely form coherent sentences are depressed? They say the causes can be neglect or the absence (or death) of a loved one. This is way too young.
And what is even more shocking is that doctors are prescribing these children with antidepressants. Oh, hey, you're depressed. Here, have a pill. Oh, you don't look so good. Have a pill. Can't pay attention in class? Have a pill. Anger issues? Have a pill. Pills are the answer to everything nowadays. Instead of dealing with their issues and getting through them, they're encouraged to take a pill so that they can run away from the issue and feel better. I can understand it if someone is being suicidal, but that is it. Why is society doing this? A medicine isn't going to solve the issue that I believe ruined my interview with a school that I really want to go to. A pill isn't going to bring my friends back.
But you know, neither will depression. So I've moved on. There's more to life than losses and struggles. At the end of it all, there is some sort of victory, some sort of hope for the future. Some sort of decision that will help you in the long run.
I have noticed that depression is very contagious. It's like a common cold, or the flu. It catches like wildfire. Depression is a disease.
Instead of focusing on how awful your life is and why (which I know you do a lot, I do too. It's a depressing symptom of depression that only makes things worse), maybe you should go for a walk. Just walk, because I've noticed that I take in the view of everything a lot more happily and think less when I walk. Go to a cafe, talk to a stranger. Make a friend. Take a random photo of something you love and make it your desktop background. Eat a vegetable. Try to sort things out with someone you're quarreling with. Talk to someone you trust. It helps. Even if you may not want to talk to anyone, I guarantee that you will feel better, knowing that there's someone to help you.
And it is so much greater to be happy-- or at least not sad-- and be able to spread the happiness. Because you know, happiness is contagious too. We're not going to be able to fight disease with a pill. Not a disease of emotions. We have to fight it with a brighter emotion. A more powerful emotion. Happiness.

penny collected on 4/10/2012 date on penny is 1978

Monday, April 2, 2012

#5: Books

It's absolutely breathtaking how many worlds we have the power to delve into when we look at our own home bookshelf or a library. It's absolutely mind-boggling how many stories you can escape to, how many people we can cry with, how many places we have traveled to, how many victories and obstacles we have overcome to defeat the bad guy. When you're reading a book, you're definitely not just taking in the letters stamped on a piece of paper. You are living what the characters are living.
People incessantly talk about how they wish magic were real or if things could be different than they are now. Well really, there's a way for it to happen. People just seem to overlook it.
One of the saddest things I have heard people say is, "I don't like to read." ...Why do you not like to read? "Oh, I don't know, I just don't like it."
I feel so sorry for those people, I honestly do. Every day they miss an opportunity to experience something that nothing else can do. When you open a book, a whole world unfolds itself into your mind. And even though millions of other people may have read that very exact book, it's as if that story is only yours. You imagine where the characters are, you imagine what the people look like. You get the feeling that everything in that story was made for you to witness.
I believe without a doubt that if teenagers and children enjoyed reading and read more, that they would be a lot more content with themselves and would fall less into things such as drugs and drinking.
There are other ways left to live, and one of the best, if you're tired with the world and want to forget where you are for a while, is by opening that dusty book on your bookshelf.