When it comes to writing, I don’t really know how to write in a state of pure happiness. Looking at my countless diaries and journals, I tend to write more when I need something off my chest. My expressions of love and joy are usually directed to a person in a form of a letter or a notebook full of them. I realise how very wrong this is because it somehow ties the tongue of whichever tool I am using to express happiness.
Today, I stopped to think about what I love. Everything I wish to always be associated with and remembered by. Looking at the things I am passionate about, they haven’t really changed much since I was a child. My beloved things somehow remained similar throughout my life. Naturally, few things changed drastically to the point where I have to really recall if that was something I once loved. Chocolate milk comes to mind. How did I ever love chocolate milk as a child? The only chocolate I can have now is a proper chocolate bar. I don’t do hot chocolate, chocolate milk, or even chocolate ice cream. Did I drink too much in my childhood and used up all my limit? Perhaps.
Another thing that almost shocks me when I remember is how I used to buy specific equipment to “study” insects. I still remember the educational book that came with an attached box I bought. I remember it had vivid reds and greens on the cover. It came with small tools to catch and examine the bugs up close using a magnifier. Where did that go? I’d rather be that girl than the one who jumps to the other end of a room if some insect was flying around. What remained constant though is my indescribable fear of cockroaches. I classify it as a phobia. It was there since I was a child and until now, I would rather be attacked by a lion than to be near a cockroach. I remember an incident when I first joined the company I worked for until recently. I was in the ladies room and I saw a baby cockroach. I honestly do not know how I managed to pull my trousers back up and run out. One of my beloved managers saw me with tears in my eyes and I told him “If you don’t take care of that, I quit”. He was kind enough to take care of it and of course, I was teased about this for months and months.
Colours, what can I say about colours. I am fond of their endless hues and compatibility. I love that two, three, or ten together are still as pretty as one. They are intertwined yet independent. Even though I don’t know how to paint, and whatever I painted remains in a closet that no one sees, but I always have a supply of canvases and colours as an emergency therapy session. I love that they scream “feelings”. I love that people see them differently, yet equally. Colours and feelings are remarkable to me. What each colour means to each individual. Red screams love, but can scream danger too (which, let’s be honest comes with love sometimes). Blue triggers inner feelings of sadness or it can make you smell the ocean just by thinking blue. I don’t know the accuracy of Van Gogh’s yellow paint that he swallowed to feel happy inside, but I do relate to how he feels about yellow which will always make a part of the story true to me. His love of flowers is also something I connect with. It could be a cliche to say that I really love the blooming cycle and its constant reminders that it is okay to lose your spark and beauty for a while. I love that some bloom in winter, breaking the norm of spring blooming, that they come in different sizes and shapes that are all equally magnificent, and that each is unique in its needs of surrounding environment to grow.
Just like many others, I do have my mini rituals and habits that started off unconsciously. As I grew aware of them, I learnt to enjoy them and make sure I follow through with them. Like the “cup rotation” I do every few weeks. I have countless cups and mugs and I always feel bad for using a few more than the others. So I began this rotation habit to make sure I use all my cups equally. Some are used for coffee, others for tea, and some are used in special occasions, like my Santa cup that I only use in December. Associating films and series with specific times is a very common thing amongst people and I am no different. Home Alone for Christmas day. The Nightmare Before Christmas every Halloween. Waitress every time I have the flu, Gilmore Girls before bed and Frasier every morning on TV whenever I am in the UK. Music is no exception as Fairuz’s voice fills every winter morning, John Mayer’s guitar gutting my sleepless midnights, The Lumineers joining me for that moment of calm and peace after the first sip of red wine. Taylor Swift and Kacey Musgraves being a constant soundtrack to love and happiness.
My lifelong companion, books. I started reading at a young age. Not sure if it’s something I picked up from my father or simply because I wasn’t very social and preferred the company of my own imagination. Everything from the texture and feel of pages to that addicting smell of books, the magical worlds they unlock, and the atmosphere and rituals that come with reading. My favourite animated film now and as a kid is Beauty & the Beast. A part of me believes that I love it this much because, to impress Belle, Beast took her to his enormous and enchanting library. No wonder I chuckled like a child when my best friend and I were playing a game and she said that if I were a Disney princess, I would be Belle because I always carry a book in my bag. Playing that game, it was my turn to answer what superpower do I want and with no hesitation my answer will always be one of two: Ability to speak and read all languages, or the ability to heal hurt and broken hearts. Imagine being able to read all the great works in their original language, nothing ever lost in translation! This would even increase the joy of reading a book over and over, underlining different passages each time. Or even better, lending someone a book and checking if they underlined anything and feel like you opened a tiny window into their soul. This is the part of my life I could not digitise. It pains me to think of all murdered trees in my bedroom, but I cannot use a Kindle. I need to feel the book. But I have to admit, the most magical part about reading is the bonds you form with real people about fictional characters, the heated discussions about which was better, the book or the film and the constant yet revived astonishment that someone actually thinks a film is better. I remember I actually cried when I watched the film P.S I love you because my favourite character in the book was simply wrong in the film and did not match what I imagined he looked, spoke, or even behaved like.
I could talk forever about my love and affection for animals, late breakfasts, thunderstorms, sharply cold mornings that are still damp from the night before, Michelangelo’s David, long walks, lavender, the way the name “Christopher” rolls off the tongue, grinding coffee and feeling the air slowly fill with its aroma, pianos, cellos, and guitars, bridges, rivers, seas, lakes and any body of water, auroras, pinkish skies, the moon, stars and planets, and I will talk about them one by one sometime to remind myself that nothing is too insignificant or silly to love and add happiness to life.