I’m kind of an elitist when it comes to cultural or consumer tastes, so I’ve made a lot of list in my life. But, I think this is the most important one. A lot of things on this list might seem silly because people always say “money can’t buy happiness.” I would argue that money can buy things that make you happy, at least long enough to hold on. The “its gets better” people tell teens that things get better in college. Well, they don’t. College students are the highest demographic for suicide and mental health issues. These people also say to talk to friends and family. But, what if you don’t have any one? You put importance on things instead. The professionals told me I would have friends in college. I don’t, but I still have the important things that saved me in high school…
The zines that I read changed my life at 12 years old. It was my first introduction to feminism, socialism, anarchism, GLBT & queer studies. The DIY and rape support zines made me think for the first time that people could be in control of their own lives.
Plan-it-x records is an independent record label. As a kid with no money and a love of music, this was the greatest. I would send a few bucks in the mail and happy wait around for a few weeks . Every time, something would come in the mail I would get so excited and hide in my room blasting music for hours.
3) Food not Bombs.
Food not Bombs is a peace organization that fights poverty and hunger. They provide food shares for the community. Every weekend, I would cook and serve food in a park and give it away for free with a bunch of peace activists.
4) Vanguard Series formerly on current tv.
This made me want to be a journalist. It was real stories that affects every one. Of course, it got cancelled because most people don’t care about real news. But, it saved me because it showed that some people do. That’s better than none.
5) Bike riding
Do I really need to explain this one? It’s amazing flying down the street on your bike in the middle of the night when no one is around.
6) Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert
They taught me to laugh at the things that make me want to die. The world sucks but if we can make people laugh at it until they think about it and it becomes less funny, it means they are aware of it now. That’s a step in the right direction.
7) Any of my books.
I can look at any of my books and remember what I thought of it, how it made me feel, what my life was like when I read it, ect. I feel closer to my books than any person I’ve tried connecting with.
8) Darleen Conner from Rosanne
I know, she is fictional. But, it was like watching myself on tv. We were both moody, smart, sarcastic, and the black sheep in the family. She had her problems, but in the end she turned out fine. It was hopeful.
9) Hair dye and hair cuts.
Its superficial, but its helps. I’ve had my hair every length and color. I liked changing my hair because it felt like I was starting over. I’ve out grown this one. But, its fun to remember going to school with blue hair and having every one freak out. Come on, its just hair people.
10) My black zip up hoodie.
It just made me feel safe when I had it on. I had it for 7 years, but it doesn’t fit any more. I have a new one, but it does not feel the same.
I like to think of this list on my bad days because its a nice reminder that happiness does come in waves.