"You always told me I wasn't allowed to pet the strays!" my teen sister said, indignant. "What about all their 'diseases?'" "Sydney's lived a good life," my mom replied. And I have. That good life is made noticeably better by the presence of cats.
No one act of kindness will bring us peace on earth, and no one boxful of office supplies will cure your friend's depression. But the gift my friend gave me was more than just a Get Well Soon card in blue wrapping paper. It was a reminder that life is to be appreciated for what it is — even the temporary phases of transition.
When my non-depressed self comes back into my life as if nothing has happened, it feels disingenuous. She tries to connect with me by asking me playful questions like, “So, how’s the love life?” It’s a universal icebreaker, a way for her to learn something juicy about my life. But the appropriate response doesn’t exist for a person whose romantic undertakings have been abysmal. The dating pool is bleak enough to depress a normal person and dating while depressed is another enterprise altogether.
The January 21, 2017 March on Lansing marked my first experience protesting. I showed up without a sign, without a hat, and without a clue what to expect. I worried I'd feel out of place, that there'd be chanting and I wouldn't know the words, that I'd be questioned about my motives and wouldn't have a strong enough political education to know how to explain what I was doing there--none of that happened.
"Travel" has come to mean a very different thing to me since I moved home after my college graduation and started my first corporate job. I still daydream about sandy beaches, glittering city skylines, a backpack full of dirty laundry, and that rounded rectangular view out an airplane window. But for now, I settle for weekend getaways to old haunts that are within a reasonable driving distance.
When I first started college I found the whole experience somewhat perplexing. How do I keep up with all the coursework? How do I pretend to look interested in football? What even is a Student Union??? I attempted to track my progress throughout the year by listing my newfound knowledge in a Word document.