Friday, December 19, 2014

Blogmas Day 19: Feeling Alive

Happy Friday! I hope you all had a great week and your weekend is off to a good start. If you're me, your riveting Friday night entails drinking gin and tonics (not really, Mom! I'm not stealing your alcohol while you sleep in the room across the hall! I love you!) and listening to Ed Sheeran. It also means recounting the first truly good day in while, spent having good conversations and eating good food with good people. The day I had was surprisingly ordinary, but it made me feel particularly alive. You know those little things in life that make you feel really in your element and in love with the universe? Those moments are the best.

Moments like driving while blasting good music. I'm talking about the country songs that you usually only listen to during the summer months or the Fall Out Boy songs you haven't heard since middle school. As the iTunes shuffle gods would have it, those forgotten favorite songs come on right when you're driving a little bit above the speed limit with your headlights illuminating the pavement. And you're singing louder than your horrendous voice should allow for, but it's okay because the music is loud enough that your screeches are drowned out by the sound gyrating through the speakers. And it's 30 degrees in December, but you roll the windows down anyway--just a crack--because it makes the experience feel so much more authentic. And you're wearing a coat anyway, so you're barely catching a chill. The people in the next lane over think you're crazy or drunk on teen angst, but really you're just reveling in this moment, because soon you'll pull up in front of your parents' house or the perfect song will end; whichever comes first.

Or moments like a night spent with close friends, talking about your passions and your dreams and your favorite inside jokes. You're recalling embarrassing moments and laughing so hard your stomach hurts, and someone just has to bring up the way you used to dress in middle school. And your insides are threatening to escape, because that's how hard you're laughing, and you feel content with these people. You decide there's no place you'd rather be than with those people--the people you grew up with, who heard about your eleventh grade crushes and willingly sat in the passenger seat of your first car, even though you only just got your license and you're not that good at switching lanes yet. The people who wore the same mass-produced cap and gowns at your high school graduation and cried when you left for college. The people who are plastered all over your freshman dorm room walls in four by six pictures you printed off at the drugstore. The people who never left your side even when you mentally wandered and became jaded.

Moments like that concert you've been eagerly anticipating for months. When your favorite singer comes on stage and you're screaming along to every word because this very moment is what you were practicing for in the shower and in the car. Dancing like an idiot with people who are just as unironically enthused by the sensation of hearing that music live. Embracing your screams and whoops and hollers because you can't help but be that excited. And you can feel the beat of the song in your chest and you could potentially go deaf at any moment, but it's summertime and somehow it's really nice out for a night in July, even surrounded by strangers' bodies.

Moments like hospital waiting rooms that don't end in heartbreak and airport terminals that bring loved ones home. Moments like weddings and birthdays and parties thrown just because it's Saturday. Moments like love and life and excitement and euphoria. Moments when you wonder if your blood has always pumped with this much vivacity. Moments that make you wonder why you spent so much time being desperately sad and alone. Moments when you feel more alive than you ever have.

"I don't believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive." -Joseph Campbell

Before I return tomorrow, go do something that makes you feel alive. That's an order.

x,
Lauren

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