a. Intense and especially ecstatic or exultant happiness.
b. The expression or manifestation of such feeling.
2. A source or an object of pleasure or satisfaction.
You would probably only have to spend approximately three minutes in my company to discover that I am a big fat pessimist. Actually, probably two would suffice. I’m THAT person, who will always be the first to focus on the worst case scenario, the first to take a moderately bad situation and turn it into a potential disaster. It’s true that I’m not entirely unconvinced that this is not, in fact, a pretty awesome skill. Prepare for the worst and you’ll never be disappointed…right? The only issue I have with this model of thinking is that it uses (some would even say wastes) a gigantic amount of time, head space and mental energy, and I don’t have an abundance of any of these things to begin with.
And so here I find myself wondering if I, pessimist extraordinaire for 31 years and counting, can go for a whole 30 days concentrating solely on the good. The positive. The joyous. We all know how easy it is to get stuck on the bad (ask yourself how many complaints letters have you written in your life, and then how many letters of praise. Quite). I feel I should first admit that when people remind me of this fact, with a certain amount of condescension, I generally want to punch them in the face (see the positive side of that, mo’ fo’!!) and so I will endeavour to lace this project with a minimum level of cheese and a moderate level of sarcasm. All whilst remaining very optimistic. Obviously.
See you on the other side…
Day One: travel
Now obviously by travel I don’t mean using the bus everyday to get to and from work or a taxi ride home from a debauched night out. I’m talking quit your job and buy a one-way ticket type travel. I can honestly say that the times I’ve done exactly this I’ve ended up in the happiest of all happy places. Sure, it’s shit scary. Sure, you might hate where you end up and have to come home a week later with an embarrassing sunburn and your tail between your legs. But the most likely outcome is that you will change – for the better – forever – and in ways you never knew possible. Whoever said “the world is a book and those who do not travel see only one page” certainly knew their stuff. There is no better way to expand your mind, throw out your preconceived ideas of the world and find out things about yourself you would not under any other circumstances be privy to. You will learn that as long as you have a decent sleeping bag you can pretty much sleep on any surface, at any time, and in any place. You’ll learn that you can quite easily cope without shaving your legs for a whole month whilst living out of your car, but that you can’t go the whole of said month without an Indian takeaway. Your priorities change. Your mental state shifts. You become used to hearing wildlife trying to break into your car whilst you sleep (beware ducks). There’s nothing wrong with being a homebody, not at all, but it’s so very easy to get caught up in the rigamarole of taking out the rubbish and paying the gas bill that you forget to look up from time to time. Whole months, even whole years, can roll past without you ever really paying attention. Every now and then, just stop. Stop. Look around you and let the wonders of life sink in. See that? Isn’t it beautiful?