We all need anxious puppies in our lives.

I'm in NYC today, where it is gross, rainy, and cold, but that makes for the perfect writing weather. I'm deep in the editing phase with the novel I've been working on and things are feeling good. I got some really great feedback on it and now I'm running in this new, fresh direction and making progress in a way that feels like I can actually tell people that I'm working on it. Before I used to say I was working on it and what I meant was that I was staring at it a lot. Now I actually am working on it. Yay for honesty!

In other news... Fiancé sent me this video today and it made everything instantly better than it already was. I hope it does the same for you, even if you don't have an anxious puppy.

23 things to make you smile. Right now.

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have noticed that I've been making more of an effort to spread cheer and optimism over there. I don't really know what started this, but for some reason lately, I've been trying to broadcast happiness on a grand scale. Maybe it's because the headlines lately have been exhaustingly sad and rageful. Or maybe it's just because I like happy things and I honestly don't think the world can have enough happiness. Either way, yesterday, I asked people on twitter to only tweet about the good stuff happening and using the hashtag, #HappyTweets. Now, I'm not a person with a ton of followers, so this didn't take off quite as much as I'd hoped it would, but that's okay. I still managed to tweet happy things, and I'm going to keep this going, even here on the blog. So... in the event that you just need a reason to smile, here is a list of things to be happy about in spite of what the news tells us:

  1. Puppies. I tweeted about this yesterday, but how incredible is it that we live on a planet on which puppies exist? Puppies, possibly the cutest things ever, happen all the time. They're just all around. And then, on top of them being cute, THEY LOVE EVERYONE. Have you ever met a puppy that didn't want to snuggle or play? Many books have been written on the love that dogs give us, but I think puppies deserve an extra boost right now because we are so lucky to live in the same universe as them. Just soak that incredible fact in.
  2. Artists. Okay, so I'm also floored by just how amazing it is that we are living at a time when people like Jenny Lawson, Hank Green, J.K. Rowling, Hannah Hart, Ben Folds, Rainbow Rowell, etc. all create stuff that we get to enjoy and learn from. Every day, there are amazing artists of all types creating things that we just get to sit down and be like "THIS IS A THING I ENJOY" and then we get to walk away feeling inspired by those people and things they do. Especially now. Now we are in a time when content is just constantly available to us - and often for free. This brings me to the next thing...
  3. The Internet. Okay, I know: The Internet can be full of terrible people, but you know what? It's also full of amazing people and amazing communities. Before the Internet, the only people available to you were just the ones physically surrounding you. If they weren't into the same stuff you were, that was just the pits. Now? Now you get to go online and log onto some forum or social media account and say "HEY, I'M REALLY PASSIONATE ABOUT FAKE LIZARDS MADE OF SAND AND WAX." and someone else could be like, "OH MY GOD, ME TOO!!" and now you have a new friend who is in a totally different country. The Internet is an amazing place for people in search of community and friendships. I met the love of my life because of the Internet. I'm able to write and have a small group of readers because of the Internet. I'm currently listening to music because of the Internet. All the jerks out there? They are nothing in comparison to the awesomeness that I find on the Internet.
  4. Books. THERE ARE SO MANY STORIES OUT THERE TO READ. FAIRY TALES AND REALISTIC FICTION AND MURDER MYSTERIES AND SCI-FI AND HISTORY. IT'S ALL OUT THERE JUST WAITING FOR YOU. HOW AWESOME IS THAT?
  5. Flowers growing through cracks in the sidewalk. This doesn't need any explanation. Tiny, delicate, beautiful things emerge and break through the toughest of materials. As cliche as it is, this metaphor is wonderful and we should all remind ourselves of it daily.
  6. Music. No matter your taste, music is out there for you to fall in love to and with. Perfectly timed melodies and beautiful lyrics come to us in all sorts of ways and we get to apply them to moments in our lives as though someone is building a soundtrack for us. I just love it.
  7. Coffee. 
  8. Your ideal weather. For me it's 77 degrees and immediately following rain. I love rain, too, now that I'm thinking about it. Sure, weather can be a pain in the butt sometimes, but when it's also kind of amazing. Just picture your perfect day, weather-wise.
  9. Details in architecture. This one comes from my bestbian, Leah. She loves walking around the city with her headphones in and just looking at buildings and trying to notice their unique details. She's the best.
  10. Having a best friend. Many of us can think of our best friend(s). That person is someone who we can call whenever and just vent to. Best friends are the people who like you anyway. They're the best.
  11. Riding trains. I'm sure many of us have different feelings about train travel, but there is something so very classic and, as Leah puts it, "British" about the experience. She and I love British things, so this is in our happy column.
  12. Good television. We are in an age of amazing television right now. Shows that are beautifully written and make us think. This is awesome. I, personally, love great dialogue. Great dialogue is great.
  13. Crawling into a made bed at the end of the day. Oh man, is there anything more relaxing?
  14. Wearing an outfit that you know you look really, really good in. Admit it. You know what outfit this is and it is the thing you feel best about yourself in. Because you are really ridiculously good looking in it and you can do anything in that outfit.
  15. Pajamas. Duh.
  16. Making other people smile. 
  17. Rivers, lakes, and oceans. Bodies of water always seem to make me happy. I don't know why, but they're lovely. I've always really liked that line from Pocahontas where she says "my favorite thing about rivers is that you can't step in the same river twice." That has always made me smile.
  18. I know I said puppies already, but let's just give a shout out to all baby animals. Baby animals are just the best.
  19. Hugs. Good hugs are great. Even if you're not a hugger, somewhere out there is a hug that you love. I believe in that.
  20. When everything is where it should be. I personally hate cleaning, but I love when everything is clean, so I force myself to go through the grueling process of getting it there because I know the reward is worth it.
  21. Checking off everything on your to-do list. I rarely get to do this every day, but man isn't it awesome when it does happen? Yes. Yes it is.
  22. Live shows. In an age of digital everything, there is something even more amazing now about seeing something live. Last night, Fiance and I were lucky enough to see Ben Folds in concert and I'm still on Cloud 9.
  23. Love. This will be my last one, because ultimately, it is the most wonderful thing in the world and it is everywhere. Sometimes we struggle to see it clearly, but at the end of the day, when you're feeling really crappy, I think it's nice to remember that love is out there. Even if you're not feeling it, I think it's nice to know that it's there. It's nice to think about what you love and who loves you in spite of yourself. I think it's nice to love yourself. It's nice to remember that there is a puppy out there who will love you. Love, as a noun and a verb, is something that constantly amazes me. The fact that we are able to love and feel loved is something truly remarkable. Random acts of kindness are random acts of love and if you really sit back and think about it, isn't that just the most lovely thing of all? I think it is.

So that's my list as of this very moment. It's incomplete and constantly changing and being added to, but I invite you to write about what makes you happy in the comments. Tweet at me with happy things using #HappyTweets. Don't let the crappy headlines win. Flood the world with joy whenever possible.

Ready? Go.

All the puppies.

This past Wednesday I was feeling really down for no particular reason at all. It had just been a weird couple of days, I guess, and the weather was crummy, and I don't know, I was just not doing so well. And then I logged onto twitter and I saw a picture of a random stranger who looked too similar to my friend who died almost a year ago, and that's when I just lost it. This upcoming Wednesday would have been the 26th birthday of that friend of mine who lost a battle with depression last March. So, understandably, I wasn't having the best of days. After all, birthdays are a reason so celebrate another year of a life well lived. He didn't get that year.

I knew that the first year would be the hardest, and I was as ready for that as I could be. I was preparing myself for the one year mark.

For some reason, I forgot to prepare myself for his birthday.

So, Boyfriend set me up on the couch with a West Wing marathon while he went to the grocery store to pick up dinner, which is incredibly nice of him because I tend to get really bad anxiety inside of grocery stores and my pants have a tendency to fall off outside of them.

And that's when I took to Twitter.

And then something miraculous happened:

I was flooded with pictures and gifs of puppies. I got puppies via text, via DMs, via emails. There were puppies everywhere. And suddenly I was crying and laughing all at once and everything was terrible and wonderful.

So, this is really just a blog post to thank you all for all the puppies. And to tell you that I love you all so much. Really. FullSizeRender IMG_3405

You're all so wonderful.

How Do I Adult?

Okay, so earlier this week, I went to go write my rent check and when I opened up my check book, there were NO MORE CHECKS. "NOOOOOO!!!"

Yes.

So then I was all "okay, this is fine. Time to refill my checkbook."

And that's when the problem really arose. I can't find my box of checkbooks. Anywhere.

"EVEN BIGGER NOOOOOOO!!!!"

Even sadder yes.

So, I figured they were at my parents house, so I drove into Suburbia to search for them. I went up to my bedroom and searched through my desk, my filing cabinet, and any other drawers I could find. I did not find the checks. I did find a DVD of the musical "Cats" and some other embarrassing mementos from my past.

Later at the bank...and by later, I mean at 9:15 this morning....

Me: Hi, I need to make a withdrawal.

Banker: Okay, I just need to see your license.

Me: Sure. Also, I have kind of a dumb question... I can't find my checks anywhere - like the box of checks - and I need to pay rent, and earlier this week, I opened up my checkbook to pay my rent and there weren't anymore checks, so I was all "Nooooo!" There's no way that you guys would have just sent me one booklet of checks, right? I'm not an idiot, am I?

Banker: ...um...I can check to see what the next check number would be in your order?

Me: Oh, that would be super!

And then a guy walked into the bank with a puppy that looked like this:

puppy

And that's when both the banker and myself lost our shit and couldn't really focus on how non-adult I am. Until the puppy pooped everywhere, but that happened later.

We regained composure and she was all "Yeah, you should have four more books" and I was like "Awesome! I'm so responsible!"

So, I went back to my apartment to give my landlords some cash and to turn my place inside-out - and I mean that quite literally. It looks like my life exploded in there. Except there are still no checks. Not even in the default "I don't know where to put this, so I'll just cram it in here" drawer!

How are they not in there?!?!

So... That's my twenty-something problem of the day, but at least I got to see a cute puppy poop in a bank, so I still consider today a win.

Enjoy the rest of your America Weekend! Yay!