Finding Joy and Hope in the Little Things

A beautiful life begins with perspective

Photo by Courtney Cook on Unsplash

I love Silver Linings, and people who plan surprises for the ones they love. Silky white sheets, last-minute plans, and Air-Dancers waving in front of pop-up mattress stores and used car lots. Laughing on car rides with wide open windows as my hair blows every which way.

I love witnessed grit, revered wit, banter, dad jokes, whispers, raw honesty, and daring to say *it*. I love someone I trust pushing my boundaries and challenging my thinking. I love being driven to improve because someone believes in me. I love the feel of skin-on-skin, and how when hungry for touch, we try to drink each other in.

I love the way summer slowly turns to fall, finding a lucky penny, wearing lace under my jeans, melting into a hug, and a shared moment of silence powered by smoldering eye contact. The sound of cars passing by on a rainy day, their tires splashing along wet pavement as you turn the pages of your favorite book.

I love the warm smile gifted to you by a passing stranger, and turning to watch them as they walk on their way. I love good deeds that are done in a silence that is driven by love and not reward. New socks, soft sweaters, and shiny sparkly things that glisten in the sunlight. I love getting lost in the moment — getting swept up in it — where for a second I get to forget all the things that I don’t want to know.

I love lips swollen from kissing and leaning in to kiss some more. My cheek against a fresh shave, and the overwhelming safety that I feel when being held down in those moments. The smell of baking cinnamon rolls late at night, the campfires I imagine in my future, and moody music that gives me a lump in my throat and maybe tears in my eyes.

I love second chances, pillow fights, peonies, hitting snooze, and spur-of-the-moment anythings. I love running to the car in the rain, stepping into a cool shower on a hot day, periwinkle Forget-Me-Nots, and fresh summer peaches. Fields of sunflowers, favorite jeans, plant stores, a purring cat, and simmering dinner all afternoon.

I love the rare and sultry combination of confidence and intelligence mixed with kindness and compassion… and fiery passion. I love unspoken understandings, inside jokes, sharing a secret, reading in between the lines, and feet touching under a table. The long and slow kissing that builds and then suddenly collides.

I love philosophy, botany, herbology, geology, biology, psychology, taking notes, and making lists with my favorite notebook and pen. I love the way elephants walk in (seemingly) slow motion, craft cocktails adorned with bright yellow lemon slices, apple orchard mazes, and historic architecture that comes with a story.

I love the sound of leaves rustling in the winds of a storm, well-done pizza with browned cheese, summer dresses, movie nights, Sunday football, estate sales, and the last chapter of a long book. The moment of peace just before waking, singing in the car, finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, a challenging project, a shared dream, being lost in thought together.

I love giving massages, back scratches, and meaningful gifts. Listening quietly as you tell me about your day. I love cooking for people, making someone feel special, and spoiling with attention whenever I am allowed. I love holding hands, brushing against each other when working side-by-side, and seeing the best in someone when they feel their worst. I love tight hugs and solid plans to see each other another day soon.

I love how the moon follows me on the car ride home, never-ending board games, salty butter dripping off corn-on-the-cob, a strong jaw. I love watching crashing waves on a cold day, talking loudly to hear each other while sharing a blanket for two. Learning something new, museums, travel channel documentaries, the way bees bounce from flower to flower, and the deep and rich tone of a cello.

I love deep and intimate eye contact when you can’t bear to look but don’t want to look away, either. Intellectual intimacy, emotional intelligence, and being pushed to share what I am too scared to say. I love reciprocity, spontaneous passion, a face filled with laughter or tears… and being brave enough to not hide the inner struggle — to share it on the outside — where I can try to love it away.

I love being so excited about the coming day that it is hard to sleep. I love having a reason to wake up extra early, armed with packed bags, a plane ticket or maybe a loaded up GPS. Early morning texts, being pressed up against a wall and kissing like it is the only thing keeping us alive.

I love blanket forts and last minute adventures, getting lost in the forest together, muddy boots, small diner breakfasts, soft snores under a starry sky, shared morning coffee, and sleepy sunny porches. Furrowed brows and deep dark eyes, quiet strength and a calm presence.

I love to imagine weekend getaways spent in fire-lit cabins, snowball fights that leave us with cold noses and warm flushed cheeks. Then coming inside to warm up as I make us hot chocolate while you build the fire. And I learn that ever-elusive feeling of being safe, loved, and enjoyed.

I love to imagine what it would all be like if it was just as I imagined. The could have beens, the should have beens, and all the surprises in between. The feeling of solidarity, the unconditional-ness, the strive to make room for each other in lives, in hearts.


I am working on choosing to only see the bright side. Finding gratitude is not hard, but I need to spend more time focusing on what I am grateful for.


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