FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: Show Me Your Unbridled Happiness

feature image via Shutterstock

Hello tiny rubber ducks! Welcome to the Friday Open Thread, a post where we all talk about our week and it’s like a journal that talks back BUT ISN’T A HORCRUX, it’s just other commenters.


^ not the open thread

Well then! I haven’t done a Friday Open Thread in a while because I’ve been busy — I’m writing a novel, going to graduate school, planning a wedding, teaching a class I designed myself and, of course, I am still your Geekery Editor. Despite my level of stress being at 1000000, I am the happiest I’ve ever been.


this is 100% how i see myself

That’s right — and I’ve continually been the happiest I’ve ever been for about two years now. Until I was happy myself, I didn’t know what a taboo topic happiness can be. Whenever I say something like that, that I’m the happiest I’ve ever been or that I’m generally a pretty happy person, my fiancée says some equivalent of “you realize that makes other people want to murder you in the face, right?” I really didn’t understand that, and to some extent I still don’t. At a point where I was unhappy with my life and my friends were not, I never wished unhappiness upon them. I always wanted to hear about their triumphs, their successes. Because happy moments and wonderful things deserve just as much support as the bad stuff.


But I’ve noticed an issue with happiness — that it’s somehow a less worthy emotion than other, more turbulent ones. What does it say about us as a culture that we value frustration and sadness more? I bet it’s a linked somehow to why we don’t take nearly enough vacation in comparison to the rest of the planet. We are allowed to have nice things. We are allowed to be deliriously happy — or not! So let’s talk about that unbridled happiness you’ve got, and if you’re not quite there with me, well here are a few gifs to cheer you up so you can take on this time in your life. I BELIEVE IN YOU!




What makes you happy? What did you do that was wonderful this week? Are you excited for school? For a new project at work? TELL ME EVERYTHING. ILU all, Happy Friday.

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A.E. Osworth

A.E. Osworth is part-time Faculty at The New School, where they teach undergraduates the art of digital storytelling. Their novel, We Are Watching Eliza Bright, about a game developer dealing with harassment (and narrated collectively by a fictional subreddit), is forthcoming from Grand Central Publishing (April 2021) and is available for pre-order now. They have an eight-year freelancing career and you can find their work on Autostraddle (where they used to be the Geekery Editor), Guernica, Quartz, Electric Lit, Paper Darts, Mashable, and drDoctor, among others.

A.E. has written 542 articles for us.


  1. I have been feeling very melancholy lately and I am hoping that my vacation I am taking next week will cure me of it. I am heading home to visit my parents and my friends and I really just can’t wait to walk my favorite trail and stand on top of the valley that over looks the city. I can’t wait to go out and do some night time long exposure shots and not be terrified that I am going to be murdered if I go by my self and most of all I really can’t wait to eat a pound of bacon!

  2. I am very stressed because I’m about to go on vacation but next week when I am in Santa Cruz allll weeeekkkk I will be so happy!

    • @queergirl Oh man, week before vacation week is never the best. But also the anticipation kind of makes in wonderful? I feel like there’s a whole spectrum of special feelings just for the week before vacation. Enjoy the emotional cocktail! <3

  3. Trying to reach that happy place after being in a somewhat unhappy place for quite a while now.
    Finally learning that rather than chasing some unattainable big happy I need to look for the little happys along the way… so trying to be present and be grateful.
    My happy moment for the week was scooting to work on my creaky flea-market bicycle through the backstreets of a trendy part of Frankfurt in the rain but feeling very alive and grateful that that is my current commute (esp compared to past commutes involving overcrowded public transport or traffic jams.)

    I’m the kind of person who (unintentionally) strongly associates a thought or conversation with the place it happened so every day since when I’ve ridden down that street I’ve had a little burst of happy flash in my thoughts.

    • I do this too! And often I’ll forget why such-and-such a thing reminds me really vividly of other x-y-z thing, because the two things become so inextricably linked that the cease to be individuals or of a moment in time, and then they are just joined in memory forever. Does that make any sense? Sorry, I got almost no sleep last night lalala.

      Congrats on small happinesses! Your commute sounds amazing.

  4. i bought a bowtie for my friend’s wedding tomorrow and it is making me have SO MANY AMAZING AND POSITIVE FEELINGS about my gender presentation.

  5. This is the perfect thread for me this week because I’ve been the happiest I’ve been in so long. I just started my new job as a costume design assistant, my new roommate is also queer and amazing, and I’m so all about being back in NYC.

    BUT MAINLY AND SO IMPORTANTLY Here’s the wall art in our living room my very best roommate gal pal and I made drunkenly out of too much IKEA cardboard and excess paint and glitter, while laughing the entire time. These are our two shining queer faces full of unbridled joy:

    (Yes the gal pals sign was supposed to look like the Autostraddle crop top design- yall are inspirational)

      • THANK YOU!!! So thrilled you’re at your busiest and happiest and we can share in all of the happy gifs together! Also inserting that photo was the first time I’ve coded anything, ever, and as the geekery editor, I just felt like you needed to know that.

      • Ahh thank you!! It’s a total joy to walk into my living room every day and honestly I just can’t wait until we have guests and that’s the first thing they see in our apartment

  6. I’ve been out of town all summer working at a summer camp in the middle of nowhere and I’m finally home and, after an exhausting week and a half, actually settled and relaxed. I wouldn’t trade my summer job for the world, but the transition week between camp and school always kicks my ass.

    Since I am a teacher and measure time through school years, I’m getting ready for the “new year.” This means I’m in a good mood about my job. I’ve been gifted a hand me down computer (I haven’t had my own computer in years), which meant I had to rearrange my entire apartment so the desk was by an outlet, so I used that opportunity to throw away tons of stuff I don’t want/need/like anymore. I just spent all morning at the laundromat too, which means all of my clothes smell wonderful and I’m getting ready to catch up on some TV….basically, there are a lot of happy things in my life right now!!!

    • @inthesky wow, this sounds so amazing! What sort of TV are you catching up on today, in your luxurious clean apartment with a computer in it?

      • I finished the Fosters and Orange is the New Black this week. Then I realized America’s Next Top Model was on Hulu, and there went all of my productivity.

        I’m trying incredibly hard to find season 6 of Pretty Little Liars somewhere if anyone can hook me up.

  7. I love this!

    I found for the longest time that I was pushing off happiness – a constant dissatisfaction with my present that prevented me from enjoying life in the moment. If I could only achieve X goal, I would be happy. I let the goals I had overshadow the fact that there is happiness to be found in even the smallest things in life.

    I like to concentrate on those now. I still have the same goals, but I can also let myself be happy in the process. I opened my eyes to see how damn lucky I am in life.

    I find happiness in the little forehead kiss my girlfriend gives me before she leaves for work in the morning, I let myself get carried away in a fictional character’s life, I take a second to look up at the sky – sunshine or rain. Life is freakin’ awesome.

    Lynn | This Rainy Life

    • @thisrainylife I feel like theatre really prepared me for being process oriented. Like, my undergraduate program emphasized process over product. I’m not naturally that way—I’m naturally more results-satisfied—so learning to value the path as much as the destination I think really added to my happiness as well. Kudos for finding the thing that works for you! <3

      • oh man, science is forcing me to do this too. 99% of what ppl attempt in the lab will yield negative results, which can’t be published. Shifting the definition of success to include being able to face near certain failure every day and still keep showing up and trying my best every day is definitely a milestone. Shifting from the product to the process, like you said.

  8. I’m not happy at all right now. But I am happy that I was happy yesterday, and probably will be tomorrow. Also that I feel like this is a place i can be a little non happy but still take part because Straddlers are awesome and won’t judge me for it.

    • @thecirrhosismachine Yes! When I wrote this earlier in the week, I was the happiest I’ve ever been! I’m still the happiest I’ve ever been! But man do I feel you—I spent five hours in the ER last night with a family member (don’t worry, everyone is a-okay!) and I’m just so bleh bleh bleh today. I think it’s totally possible to be big picture happy, but also to have a day that is just not your day. And the converse is also possible I think?

      Congrats on being happy yesterday, and on being happy tomorrow!

      • Thanks for reminding me that I am big picture happy at the moment. Also the phrase ‘MURDER YOU IN THE FACE’ because that really made me smile.

  9. I am trying really hard to be happier. But I am scared and I get in my own way a lot. I would like to be in a similar place to you Ali – can I ask how you feel you managed to get there? Maybe you weren’t as scared of failing / actmewally doing anything as I am in the furst place? Sometimes I think maybe I’m not meant to be happy or I’m not wired right – this makes me sound like I’m doing really badly, but I’m doing better than I efur have been. It’s just sad that that’s still way below most people’s level of happiness. I am really aware that I place too much impawtance on my goals, but I don’t know how to stop doing that and feeling inadequate if I don’t have / do xyz. I’m starting to feel like I deserve happiness and trying fur more, but feeling lost and confused. Have I accidentally flipped the theme on its head?

    • First off, your pun game is on point.

      Second off, I feel like figuring out what I wanted was the first step. When I graduated from college, I really didn’t know what would make me happy. It took a lot of trial and error—and I don’t just mean career figuring out either, I mean life things. Like I needed a girlfriend who wasn’t going to call me names (my fiancée does not call me names, so I succeeded here), I wanted to work from home and be almost completely if not entirely in charge of how I spend my time and who I interact with, I needed to not be in my hometown or in my home state. And the only way to figure out those simple things is by trying a lot of things that aren’t those things first. Perhaps trying to shift your paradigm during the trial and error phase is key? As soon as I stopped seeing everything as as a binary fail/not fail and starting to see that literally every experience I was having was contributing to success. For instance, if I hadn’t worked an IT job that I hated, I wouldn’t be teaching university students this coming semester, and teaching at university has been my dream for years. I needed the experience of what I didn’t want before to have the experience of what I do want now. Understanding that, I think, super contributes to my feelings at the mo’.

  10. I just moved in with my fiancée and while I’m dead tired from driving to my job, now an hour away, and my roller derby league, now almost two hours away, I think I’m the happiest person on the planet right now. We’ve been long distance for FIVE YEARS. I kind of got used to the resulting heartache, but I was also on the edge of just slamming my fist into a wall over and over. Apparently that’s how part of my brain wants to deal with missing the most important person in my life.

    BUT NOW WE GET TO LIVE TOGETHER. AND HAVE CATS TOGETHER. AND HANG NERDY POSTERS ON THE WALLS. If you held a stethoscope to my chest right now, you would just hear my heart emitting this high-pitched whine of joy. Like the sound dogs make in those soldiers-coming-home videos.

  11. This is a cute/happy story: The teen and her friend didn’t scoff at me yesterday when I suggested they take a break from a Bob’s Burgers marathon to go swing in the hammock and eat ice cream in the sunshine. They ended up being out there for hours, didn’t come back inside until it’d been dark for awhile and meanwhile I just wrote and wrote while they giggled and occasionally squealed and ate an ENTIRE THING OF PEANUT BUTTER AND CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM, because summer. So awesome.

  12. Happy thing: I’ve been playing Crypt of the Necrodancer and it’s absolutely fantastic.

    • Oh! I’ve been playing this a little with my brother and it’s so fun!
      I’d like to try it out single player too, although playing it with him is hilarious

      • Yeah, I bet it would be fun with another person too! idk, rhythm-based games are just deeply satisfying to me. I could play them without end.

        • Did you ever play Elite Beat Agents? It’s nothing like Necrodancer, but it is rhythm based and hilarious, like dancing stage but using a stylus. Basically it’s amazing haha

  13. I have found a very new happiness and comfort in something that is (in theory) super simple but has been for me one of the greatest challenges: Saying NO! I like work. I like being a busy person. But this summer I bit off way more than I could chew. Now that things are starting to calm down, I’m wrapping up my final commitments and have already started saying the beautiful word: NO! No to making more wedding videos, no to doing things I won’t be paid for, no part-time work that leaves me exhausted and isn’t worth it, no to travel that would be cool but I know would take up too much time/energy. I’m going to have ONE (maybe two) job(s), and have a life where sometimes I’m the one making dinner instead of my wife, and I’m going to fucking stay on top of doing laundry. There is freedom and happiness in NO!

  14. Hi guys, I need some advice. I want to run for the president or vice president position of the LGTB+ society as my college but I’m nervous too as my parents don’t support my queerness, I came out to them over a year ago and it has never been brought up again since and I was forbidden from telling my siblings. I go to college in a different country but I’m still scared they’d find out through facebook and address it with me. Everyoen else in the world knows I’m gay so that’s not a concern haha. What should I do?

    • My gut reaction is to tell you to DO IT!! So there’s that.

      MY second reaction is to ask you to identify exactly what happens when/if your parents do find out? Are you nervous about that confrontation? Can you prepare for that conversation by writing a script and/or role playing with a friend? Are you parents in a position to restrict your access to people or things or funds? Can you isolate yourself from their influence?

      Or is it their approval that you’re afraid of losing? That’s tough. But I would offer that it’s better to lose it doing something that you’re really passionate about than to gain it through your silence.

      Either way, you GOT THIS and you’re gonna be a great president or vice president. You’re already so thoughtful!

      • Thank you so much for that! I don’t know, I think it’s that I’m close to my parents despite everything and that if I keep my gay life and personal life out of our relationship our relationship works really well and I don’t want to risk upsetting the balance…

        • That is super hard. Comfort and balance are so important, especially since they help you shelter the other storms in your life. It sounds like it may certainly be possible to continue to keep that balance. But thinking about the possibility of change is a good first step. Keep thinking and talking about it and if it does happen, you’ll be braced, if not totally prepared.

          • I think at this point maybe it’s just time to embrace it and hope they stick around for it. We’ll see. It’s just such a terrifying idea it would change so much! But you’re right, preparing for it is the best way forward.

    • Do it!!! I briefly ran my high school’s Queer Straight Alliance back in high school when I wasn’t super out to my parents. It did suck having to sneak around, but it is totally possible. Facebook has really complex privacy settings these days, and you can exclude your parents from the audience of posts you’re tagged and posts on your wall if you think it would help. I just think that you shouldn’t stop yourself from doing something you’re passionate about that will be a great learning experience for you because you’re worried about your parents seeing it on Facebook. If you don’t think the fear of your parents finding out will make you unsafe, I think taking the risk is worth it. Best of luck, I’m sending supportive vibes!!!

      • Aw yay thank you so much for your support! I think I’m going to do it, and become the master of Facebook’s privacy settings! Ultimately they do know they just don’t want to… So it shouldn’t be that big of a shock, I’m just scared of upsetting my relationship with them but it is something that I really want to do.

    • I had this EXACT same problem last semester. I had gotten involved in the Queer Student Alliance at my college, and everyone sorta knew that I would be president the upcoming year. I had come out to my mom, but we NEVER talked about it, and I hadn’t come out to my dad or Catholic stepdad. I was afraid that with me doing this big thing they didn’t want to hear or talk about, it would harm my relationship. I’ve (finally) told them that I’m president this year and about all the work I do. I wouldn’t say it’s a major conversation topic, but they’ve definitely gotten more used to the concept, and it hasn’t hurt our relationship like I thought it would.

      Ultimately, there’s going to be something that forces them to acknowledge your queerness, whether that’s a girlfriend or picture on Facebook or your wedding, etc. It’s really just a matter of what will be first. If you think this organization is the right life-move for you, then maybe this is the thing, or the time. Your life is your choice, and I hope for you and your family that this will be okay and that eventually everyone will be on behind you. Good luck :)

      • Thank you thank you thank you, it’s so great to hear that people have been in very similar positions! I just really want them to have to find a way to accept that it’s a huge part of my life and therefore at least some part of their lives, I’ve had serious ish relationships when I was still living at home and they never had any idea and I don’t want to put that sort of pressure on any future girlfriends. I love being gay and the community and everything that surrounds it and I wish it could feel as normal when I’m at home as it does when I’m with my friends, maybe this will do that for them. Maybe maybe.

  15. Some happy things for me:
    I skim-read over five years’ worth of scrapbooks and just seeing how much I’ve grown reminds me that things are always gonna get better and I kinda just want to go back and hug Past Me so hard and let her know everything turned out okay?

    Also, I’ve wanted to visit Seattle for almost 10 years now (!!) and I had been planning to visit alone once I graduate, but it looks like I may get to visit earlier because a friend and I have randomly started planning a trip there and I’m so so excited, it feels like the perfect culmination of all the crap I used to scrapbook about?
    I dunno. Life is just treating me well at the moment, finally! :D

    • that’s a great feeling when like 20-year-old you (or whatever) realizes what a badass 12-year-old you actually was! :)

  16. I am looking for a job right now. And that’s sometimes stressful because I like to be able to pay my bills and writing cover letters is just the worst. So far I’ve been optimistic, enjoying the little things — like I’m basically having the longest holiday I’ve ever had. And the highlight of my week was that some company rejected me because I wasn’t “commercial” enough (I’m a designer), so I’m happy I’m still showing some integrity.

  17. I’m happy this month after 8 months of being depressed, and I attribute that to finding new goals that I had control over, instead of grad school mess that I had no control over. I’m an ambitious person and I needed somewhere to put my motivation and ambition besides grad school. So I started training at the gym harder than I’ve ever trained in my life. And unlike all the other things I’ve tried to make myself feel better, this is working really really well. I LOVE ITTTTTTTT.

    I actually look forward to getting out of bed every day because it means I get to flop around in the pool like a lazy otter, or see if I’m any closer to being able to to a pull-up (not yet!) or bike around the waterfront.

    I made a Strava account to sort of keep track of my thoughts and strategies. I finally figured out how to vegan. I started keeping track of macros to try and pack on 15 lbs of muscle by the end of my doomed semester. And when I finish my workout, I’m pleasantly physically drained and mentally .. bored? so I just naturally groove into whatever work is waiting for me at the office, without the massive anxiety depression procrastination pit that usually happened every single day.

    It kind of makes me think about this quote that’s been with me for a long time, ‘When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.’ I always thought that meant that if you work hard enough and are patient and keep looking, eventually you will find the person who can be your mentor. But after all my grad school failures and struggles and all the many things I tried in order to get a handle on feeling so depressed and anxious all the time, I think it means that the student becomes the teacher that they need. I mean, the student learns stuff on the internet and becomes the teacher, I guess.

    Anyway Ali hi it’s great to see you on the Open Thread and rad you’re doing so well and happy! I would totally read your novel. Sometimes ppl think that showing happiness is like shoving it in unhappy people’s faces (I don’t think you’re doing that!) but the way I look at it is if I’m unhappy, I’m gonna spread that negative energy around and I can’t offer as much compassion and positivity to ppl around me. It’s like in Buddhism, we have to practice maitri or benevolence towards ourselves before we can practice tonglen, sharing benevolence with others. So I think it’s good you’re celebrating happiness and sharing it around.

    • “It kind of makes me think about this quote that’s been with me for a long time, ‘When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.’ I always thought that meant that if you work hard enough and are patient and keep looking, eventually you will find the person who can be your mentor. But after all my grad school failures and struggles and all the many things I tried in order to get a handle on feeling so depressed and anxious all the time, I think it means that the student becomes the teacher that they need. I mean, the student learns stuff on the internet and becomes the teacher, I guess.”

      ^ I love this! I feel like this is a really grand interpretation of what can sometimes become watered-down common wisdom. I’m going to keep this in pocket!

      And thank you, for the hello and the “I would read your novel.” Hopefully someday it will be published and you can! Until then, I’ll just be over here at Autostraddle, ridiculously and relentlessly joyful.

  18. Happy Friday Everyone!!!! I really needed this thread today. And I’m excited to read all your responses as well!

    What makes you happy?
    The fact that I am steps closer to leaving North Dakota. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Especially for me, having been in a deep depressive and anxious state the last 9 months, and drastically got worse the last month or so. I’m actively doing something to change my situation. Woo go me!!!

    What did you do that was wonderful this week?
    I signed with my first agent yesterday and have been contacted by a few news directors across the country who are interested in me. When you work in a toxic environment, it’s hard to remember what you love about yourself as a worker. But this week really changed that.

    For a new project at work?
    I am excited that a project that I worked on for 4 months is now starting to be recognized through various awards. I am currently nominated for, and one I already won! #theworkisworthit

    Happy Friday Everyone. Hope you all had a valuable week. I sure did.
    If anyone is currently bored or interested in randomly having a conversation with a random lesbian feminist in North Dakota who is free the entire weekend… I want to listen and or here your stories. email me [email protected]

  19. Technology make me happy, like going out and using tech, or discussing tech, like the future of tech, or equipment discussions. Like I’m that person who’s asking the camera person what they shoot with personally for fun, and what not. Also, live music, expensive whisky, and Mexican food from a place I’ve never tried before.

    Sometimes, I think I’m better off being alone, because I set my self up for confusion. There a 2Pac song, where in the first verse he says, “Lord have mercy, father help us all. Since you supplied yo’ phone number, I can’t help but call.” Like I would be supplied the various medium to contact a person I dig, and I just can’t help, but contact them frequently at first. I think that ruins a lot of the charm I have. I dunno, I just like talking to new people, specially those I dig.

    On a positive, Aja thank you for the bourbon tea recipe. I made a version of it using mandarin, and red African tea mixed with southern comfort following the directions best as I could. It came out nicely & two of the people at the bbq, besides me, commented that they liked the taste. Autostraddle does it again. Speaking of the bbq it was really nice day last Sunday just to relax and have a drink or four(sent a few too many pics to people of me dancing & drinking before 1pm at the beach, which goes back a bit to the previous paragraph). I did look good in my swim top, so there was that.

    And finally, I think I found Humpty Dumpty. He’s being more cautious about walls now, & he seems a bit grumpier now too.

    Thank you for reading & viewing my post. Have positive weekend friends!

    • Hi friend! I think your image is set to private. Try sharing it on a more public platform and let me know the link? I’ll fix it up for ya!

      • Weird, it is shared publicly, like all my pics I have been sharing weekly. Here is the corrected link, thank you.

    • I always like your posts Al; the pics of street art and your stories of living in LA and stuff. It’s cool.

      • Well thank you friend. I’m just fortunate to be in an interesting area, full of life and stories I guess.

  20. I watched this on Wednesday:

    It was SO GOOD!!! It made me super happy this type of movie was made – it’s about loneliness, queerness and abuse, and it takes every damn trope and flips it on it’s head. The lead actress (Doona Bae from Sense8 and Cloud Atlas, amongst others) is INCREDIBLE!

    Plus the fact that it received a 3 minute standing ovation at Cannes makes me also very happy.

    Go see it if you can – you may want someone with you (obvious trigger warning in regards to abuse), but overall it is a really positive (and handled deftly/lightly considering the subjects) movie.

    I cannot recommend this highly enough!

    Also – if anyone else has seen it, I would love to hear your thoughts.

    • I’m so bad at movies! this is totally going on my list—I need people to tell me what to watch or I watch nothing.

  21. I have been on vacation these past two weeks and it’s given me a lot to think about and that blessing of perspective:You know, when you enter back into the situation you’ve been in for a while from the outside.
    Be that as it may:
    I (hopefully) brought a couple of pictures from Barcelona!

    Both of them were taken on Mount Jüic, and even if they don’t show, it doesn’t matter, because my friend and I just kept stumbling over one amazing view after another on a random day, and sometimes, it’s just good for the soul to remember that beautiful things exist.
    On another note, we talked about traveling or quests or whatever on here a few months back, and I decided to just take the train with some stops in between to Barcelona, instead of the plane a few weeks later,because of this thread.
    I can only ever recommend this. This way I spent an amazingly beautiful day on a swimming platform on Lake Zurich,watched an incredible sunset in Montreux (after my messenger bag with laptop, wallet, keys, ipad,etc, got stolen in the train, but at least the sunset was very nice,lol), stood underneath the breathtaking thousand year old arches of the Cathedral in Montpellier,listened to a “What’s Going On” cover on the steps of the Sacre Coeur in Paris and watched the sun rise over the Pyrenees.
    I feel like I’ve been gone for months instead of a couple of weeks, and all on 40kg of CO2 and maybe 200 bucks more than a plane ticket would have cost me.
    So, right now, I guess I’m feeling thoughtful, and a bit fuller of purpose.
    I do recommend purpose for those of us,cynics, mostly, that are too to cowardly to dare hope.

    • Barcelona is one of my favorite cities on the planet, and Paris is perhaps my one very favorite city on the planet. Your trip sounds so wonderful, and I’m so happy you’re happy.

      • Well, thank you! Honestly, I hate Paris.
        No trees, lots of places that are wildly unsafe at night and the French scoff if you don’t speak the language to perfection and they refuse to speak English.
        I love to visit places there that are just full of stories and history, like Notre Dame or the Louvre, and the food, of course is exceptional, but apart from that, still not a fan.
        Give me Barcelona or London anytime over Paris.

  22. Reasons why I’m happy:

    1. I’m in love with the sweetest human in the world!!! For the first time ever, I feel really secure in a relationship; it feels steady and like it’s going to last. Plus, my mom likes her, and my mom has never really shown distinct support for anything related to my queerness before.

    2. School is starting and I get to study two things I love full-time (dance and gender studies). I’m taking a feminist theory class and I’m so psyched to dive into all of the reading.

    3. I’ve petted like 10 dogs in the past week.

    4. I’m slowly but surely teaching myself to enjoy cooking fresh food for myself and I feel like it’s already having an impact on my health.

    5. Harry Potter re-read. Again. Enough said.

    • I’ve just decided to reread HP again too! I used to do it every summer, I’m not whether or not to start from the very beginning though or skip to OotP which was always one of my favorites.

    • These are f*cking AWESOME reasons to be happy, I’m just a little happier reading the list. :D

  23. I’m feeling positive and hopeful today for the first time in… quite a while. I was very, very sick for three weeks, but even before that life had thrown me so many traumatic events that I had been having trouble coping. And I’m not sure that I won’t again, but today I feel better than I have in ages.

    The close call appendix rupture I had two weeks ago was followed by 8 stressful days in the hospital and two weeks on horrible antibiotics that caused me insomnia, ceaseless heart palpitations, extreme anxiety, and crushing depression. Many times I felt like the fight was too hard, life was pointless and I wanted to stop existing. I stopped taking them Wednesday night and I feel like an entirely different person today.

    Now I’m facing back spasms from being sedentary for so long, oral thrush from the antibiotics, and the fear of potential future complications if the infection flares up again. But today at least, I feel like I have the mental energy to cope. And that makes all the difference.

    • Hi friend! I feel like everything sucks when you’re sick, because your body is essentially telling you to fuck off—but it sounds like you’ve totally got this! And you’re through the worst bits. Mega congrats on feeling positive and hopeful today. I’m thinking healing thoughts in your direction!

    • Wow it sounds like maybe you had some kind of side effects from the antibiotics! I hope your doctors are excellent and answered all your questions about that b/c woah.

      A tiny suggestion from a not-doctor (but I am a microbiologist): if you think it’s a good idea, take some probiotics or yogurt or whatever sounds good to you (I can’t handle kombucha but maybe you can!). To re-establish your gut microbes for a happy digestive system. It can get thrown off after a course of antibiotics and sounds like your antibiotics were doozies.

      • Yeah, it was definitely the antibiotics. Metronidazole and Ciprofloxacin. I wasn’t sure at first what was causing it – if it was an anxiety spiral from the lack of sleep and the trauma of what I went through, which was a terrifying thought – but two days out from stopping the antibiotics and I’ve bounced back to normal, so it seems pretty clear.

        Thanks for the suggestion. I have totally been downing the probiotics – yogurt, Bio-K, acidophilus pills, miso soup, sauerkraut, whatever I can get my hands on. Hopefully it helps my gut get back to a good balance soon.


    I’m pretty good actually! Last day at a wonky job (where everyone is being nice and buying me tea), getting married in 8 days and I have to keep being like GIRLFRIEND. NO MORE CRAFT PROJECTS, but it’ll be fine, and I’m reading a cheesy lesbian romance novel about baking and coaching t-ball, because I love that kinda junk. And my outfit today is a cute cobalt and mustard yellow contrast.

    Oh! and not like, happy, but we watched the Nina Simone doc last night on netflix and it was in.credible.


  25. What makes me happy is that I shaved the side of my head last week and I absolutely love that it makes me feel edgy and sexy and closer to looking as queer on the outside as I feel on the inside, something I’ve been struggling with for a long time.

  26. I’m riding a jet lagged happiness high having returned from a week hanging out the other two gals that make our string trio. We met last year and you know when you find soul mates well it was like that.

    Not only do we gel as an ensemble we all have the same wacky humour and are so complementary that we can complete the Sunday NYT crossword if we work together. Crying with laughter until we are almost sick. Drinking wine and eating ice cream like pre menopausal Golden Girls in the middle of the night. Jamming with others in our rehearsal shed strung with fairy lights and lit by the flickering shadows of a bonfire.

    The road trip down state singing the indigo girls with harmonies at the tops of our voices and making up stories about Siri being a tea party activist when she interrupts our singing with irrelevant map directs.

    And then the tears as we play together because as adult learners it’s hard to conceive that I can experience such joy in our messy complex lives from the act of making music.

    We all have had our trials: mental health problems, divorce, work nightmares and awful stage fright but boy do I love the week I spend with my dear little trio. And we are all introverts at home but together it’s like the Fourth of July.

  27. I love my job! I love my girlfriend and I feel so fortunate to be in such a healthy relationship. My happy places include stomping through the woods doing research (my job) and cuddling with her. Right now, they are exactly halfways across the world from each other, but we are going to make it work.

  28. I just spent five days filling my days with more unbridled happiness than anything else because I was in Denmark seeing my best friend/potential soul mate for the first time in three years. It was far to little time, but if anything is #worthit, cracking open the can of worms labeled “potential relationship” is! Of course, I had to leave, and now I feel all sad and far away, but let’s focus on the good, shall we?

  29. I guess I could be glad the week is basically over? Because it’s been stressful from the start.

    First I got sick for two days, then we thought we finally had a dog and he was so sweet, but the next day we found out we couldn’t keep him. I still miss him, he was such a sweetheart and calm and :( That same day I went to the viewing for my friend’s dad. A group of us got dinner afterwards and on the ride home there were a bunch of jokes and i was glad my friend and her brother were able to have some kind of levity. The next day was the funeral and burial, and I cried seeing my friend cry as she looked at her father for the last time. Today i had to drop off a painting for my high school’s alumni art show, and the woman in the office chastised me for forgetting my ID. At least she let me in and I got a hug from my old teacher. I didn’t stay to help hang, just because I’m so drained over this week.

    Now I’m just kinda holed up in my room, feeling blank and not really doing anything. Wish I could go swimming, buuuuuut I cant. And my sunflowers are dying.

    • I’m afraid a cute animal gif would be insensitive, I’m not the best at human-ing, so here’s something ridiculous looking and hug related:

    • That does sound like an intense week. My herb windowbox garden is dying. This is discouraging as I somehow kept them alive all summer up til now. I hope your sunflowers rally; they are mighty plants.
      Maybe this weekend you will get to pet some rad dogs or cats. I’m invested in the family dog story you shared; dogs are just so great.

  30. Greetings to all you hamsters in plastic bubbles,

    A friend in grief told me, sad is easy. Sad is comfortable. I agree, yet have never really understood it but have also lived with plenty of sadness. I prefer happy. Being around the extremely happy is unbearable when i’m unhappy. It’s not that i dont want joy for them, it’s just, this overwhelming desire to punch them in their face.

    I got off the phone with my recruiter this morning. I have hoops or formalities on my to do list. On a fun note, i made a PowerPoint on slip trip and fall outlining Judo breakfalls and rolls.


    Today i’m editing to create the real presentation, with no judo. I’m studying Japanese management techniques for my next meeting.

    Jane and i celebrated our 1st meetaversary and dateaversary.

    the memories

    i stopped by her work for ramen noodles and to exchange gifts on my way to San Diego.


    I spent my day off with friends but tortured Jane on Facebook. She hates the word moist…

    hey girl…

    We went to the county fair with my mom. My favorite was the camels.

    something in the water

    CAMEL milk chapstick demonstration

  31. I am the happiest I have been in a while and I just want to tell everyone I know but I can’t because that would mean coming out and bragging and that isn’t an option. But I am glad I have met the human who is all I could ask for. I think I am in love.
    I am finally a senior. Yay!! School starts in September so I’ll be finishing my course and I am soooo excited about that because i’ll be done with college. I am glad for the little break before that begins.
    Also! This project I have been working on has been chosen as a finalist in this competition. I am mostly nervous about this but if we win, that will be huge for us. I am hoping for the best.
    I just hope this feelings last forever.

  32. This week I was happy because I passed my Maths GCSE with no revision, 17 years after I failed it, with no revision, and told teachers I didn’t need it, which I haven’t – I took it so someone didn’t have to sit it alone. I may have also suggested the need for an overhaul of the education system on one question which I couldn’t answer, and made some other slightly non mathematical smartass comments. So there’s that. – Don’t try this at home kids!

  33. What made me unbridled happy recently was a trip to Gulfport, Mississippi and Bay St Louis before fall term started up and seeing how strong some things came back when 10 years ago certain people were all Game Over Man Game Over just running to the hills and pulling out. Swearing doom and nothing there could possibly ever come back and anyone who was trying was clearly off their rocker.

    I can’t describe all the things with clarity to someone who’s never been to the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The usual oh they rebuilt the pier, and built some public bath houses at the beach and marina doesn’t cut it you gotta know what it was before and see it now. Maybe I can tell you things before Katrina were wooden and aged, but now those things have been rebuilt to withstand the test of time and storms to come and they look beautiful too. Not like a stark, humorless fort or tomb

    But the thing that made me all gooey, really gooey were the carved trees. The first one I saw was a sea turtle, then a soaring bird and then the angels.

    That one is too give you an idea of how close these trees are to the water

    And this is one of the angel ones

    I don’t want to be that person who’s all Katrina this, Katrina that but fuck it. That was an event that affected my whole region and possibly changed the course of my life.
    An event people outside my region don’t understand, criticize and critique with barely any of the facts.
    Those “idiots” on their roofs that didn’t evacuate is one of the things that really sticks in my craw. The ability to evacuate is ability of privilege.
    You need a working vehicle, money for gas, money for a hotel stay and money to come back. If you don’t have any of that and don’t want to get stuck someplace else, want to see home again someday you don’t evacuate.

    You stay and hope that as usual the weather folks are exaggerating, that all you’ll have to do is board up, that the power won’t be off for too long, that the water in tub’ll last, that the most strenuous thing you’ll need to do is cook all the things in the frigidaire and find some neighbors to give your excess tuh.

    The Mississippi Gulf coast got Katrina at her hardest, they got the full brunt of her. New Orleans didn’t.
    What New Orleans got was a levee system that was built by the lowest bidder with the likely the cheapest materials so that bidder could keep some of that money and little upkeep. A natural protection system (our wetlands) that had been ripped to bits, sacrificed on the altar of the petrochemical industry. Our state bird is the pelican and it was once mistakenly believed that mama pelicans ripped their own flesh off to feed their young. Imagine that is true though, think of the infection that mama bird could get from such open wounds. She could go septic and die, who will feed her babies then?

    Oh Jebus that’s dramatic….think of kittens and pretend bad thing don’t exist?

    I was trying to stick with happy and light, but I don’t think I’m capable :P

    The way American society devalues happiness is probably some Puritan heritage thing. And only lil children and puppies are naturally unbridled in their happiness, lacking the turbulent, complicated emotion older human and just plain humans have.
    We have some sort of mythic suffering is or makes dignity thing that will never make sense to me. But I feel a bitty bit disconnected from the “we” part from growing up someplace that was once upon a time very undignified and not at all mistakable as Anglo.

    Laissez le bon temps rouler, because you never know when suffering will come calling. Embrace the happy while ya still gotta it is still an attitude felt down here.
    Also that phrase is one of the few things I can say in French without concern I’m butchering or chiding that I’m tainting it with a Spanish accent ect.

    • Oh dear I forgot to mention how beastly huge a storm Katrina was, what storm surge is and that hurricanes aren’t like targted drone strikes with your standard explosive ordinance. They’re more like a moving atomic bomb minus the radiation.
      Someone I met during the week of Essence fest a couple years ago seemed to think they worked like drone strike or something, once central target affected.
      And that if the Metro of a Greater Metropolitan Area somehow the Area is not affected.
      It was a surreal conversation, on both sides I’m sure.

        • I know!
          An’ there’s bunch of them dude.

          They’re made (in situ) from trees that were killed by the salinity of storm surge waters. And not all of them are in sight of the beach, some of them are way far away from sand.
          Just google ‘Bay St Louis carved trees’ or ‘mississippi gulf coast carved trees’

  34. I am trying so very hard to be okay. I don’t do this – spilling my guts on the internet. Well, apparently.

    I left the woman I am head over heels for beause she cannot see a future for is. She needs someone; I want her with my whole heart.

    It is my favorite time of year, it is a beautiful day. All I can think is how I would rather be with her.

    • You’ll get through it, not saying it’ll be immediate.
      But it will happen, one day you’ll look back and be relieved you got free. That you didn’t burn yourself out for someone who didn’t give their whole heart too.

        • You’re welcome cher, sometimes we need to spill our gut and be offered support from other humans rather than keep it all in.

          Those kitties are like a fuzzy line dance of so cute I’m gunna die, forget the bad things because the cute will kill you and the bad things.

  35. Hello!! I’m pretty happy that i’m off of work now ;). Also pretty excited for finishing the fourth book in the series of Harry Potter.

  36. Personally, this has been my hardest year of the 27 I’ve lived. Don’t ignore your mental health! With that said, I have realized how to be me without the approval of others. (I’m still closeted to my family but only because I don’t think they deserve to know). I’m making new friends and living my life finally. Anything else will be the icing on the cake!

  37. Oh my god! Happiness is so my thing! I don’t even know how to feel bad about it most of the time; because although I am incredibly empathetic, and I certainly want to honor people’s moments of sorrow and despair, I can always find something good there and I will probably point it out. Even when I am a wreck I have been known to stop crying long enough to look in the mirror just to look at my eyes because they are a pretty green when they cry and it must be acknowledged. No one else has seen it, but it doesn’t matter, they look good and that kind of makes me happy no matter how solemn the circumstance. I’ll carry a mirror to my next funeral.

    Even now when my life is kind of a mess, I can’t not be happy. I’m old (almost 41), incurably single (have been for 10 years), unemployed (laid off 3 years ago), and a full-time student who doesn’t really know what she wants to be when she grows up. I even lost an almost good friend from A-Camp a few weeks ago because I realized that I’m probably a really crappy Gal Pal; and I’d rather be an ex-friend than a bad friend. Most people would be questioning their entire lives and feeling pretty depressed about how miserably they have failed at this grown-up thing—but not me. I’m still pretty f*cking happy. I’d bottle it and sell it if I wasn’t so busy indulging in it.

    • you’re like an actual Muppet! I will think of your comment and use it for trying to inspire some happiness next time I need it.

      • You just compared me to a Muppet! When you’re in need of a reason to feel happy, you just let me know and I’ll invent something joyous! Thanks!

  38. The end of my summer has been very up and down. Getting everything back in order for school has been stressful, lots of family health issues have been stressful, my fridge stopped working and my food went bad and WOW that was stressful, but this past weekend I became a Godmother!

    Sunday was an insanely long day that I got to spend with my friend who was completely duped up on pain medications and her epidural which resulted in some hilarious conversations that she probably doesn’t remember (one of them she kept telling me that the name of her anesthesiologist was named “Anastasia” and she was confused because she found it to be an odd name for a man).
    I cried…. A LOT. There were happy tears, overwhelmed tears, exhausted tears… But I cried the most when the nurse came out from the delivery room and we all heard my friend’s baby crying. There were LOTS of tears and hugs and happy feelings.
    Now, I’m still on the fence about weather or not I’d ever, EVER want to be in charge of another human being’s well-being in a parenting sense…but after I got to hold my tiny goddaughter for the first time, I finally understood why humans want to make other little humans.
    I’ve now spent my week showing pictures of my goddaughter to anyone I can hold hostage long enough to shove an assload of adorable pictures in their face. I have become that person and I don’t even care.

    (why yes, I AM wearing an A-Camp hoodie)


    Making it to Friday and also my day off makes me really really happy already. How’s everyone here?! Christine and I are processing her paperwork and I’m so excited that I can taste her being here some time next year. She and I really trying to make it so that she can maybe make camp IDK.

    A sad thing happened 2 days ago. She lost her phone! Like lost it out in the world lost. And we lost all the pictures of Jessy and Andy when they were little tiny babies who couldn’t selfie =( You guys we cried. SIGH. Anyway, we take comfort in knowing I have some/a couple of the pictures that she’s sent me.

    PIZZA MAKES ME HAPPY. I was seriously wanting pizza for like 3 days and TODAY I GOT TO EAT PIZZA. Proof:

    Also anything Game of Thrones right now makes me pretty happy. I’m really into the series now since I’ve finished the books. It’s only a slight addiction. I only bought this history book to accompany it. HAHA. Some of the artwork is really really amazing.

    I also finished this Bird of Prey from Star Trek! I thought I was done with it months ago but then I saw it and said oh cool I have something to build with my hands!!

    And this is just a really really cute picture of Christine and Andy McFlufferson when he was a tiny kitten baby in January. AWWWW <3 Also Christine told me she found him outside her room after she forgot to leave it open poor little baby. HE'S COMING WITH HER YAY!

  40. I am incredibly happy today because of a couple of bigger-than-today things, like the fact that I have a girlfriend and my friends know and they’re all excited to meet her. Also that I am super busy but it’s all winding down and soon a lot of my stuff will be finished with and I can concentrate on other things. Also I’m reading Harry Potter again (which I noticed a few other people were too), which always makes me happy.

    But mostly it’s FINALLY WARM TODAY! I can’t believe it, winter here (I know, I know, it’s Australia, it doesn’t get that cold) felt like it took a whole year. I’m in shorts and a t-shirt and it’s almost too hot! I’m so happy :’)

  41. If I had so much going on I’d be entirely too stressed and/or freaked out to be happy so kudos to you on your mad coping skills, Ali!

    As for things that make me happy… these dopes probably take the #1 spot.

    It might sound silly, but I honestly don’t know what I would have done if they weren’t here when my Mum died. I’m thinking it might’ve been something along the lines of “curl up in a corner and weep until I die of dehydration”? Of course, having to feed and care for these numpties made it impossible to do that (I’m not even kidding, they’re world champions at nagging) so here I am, alive and hydrated enough to type the story!
    They’re also super at cheering me up in general. Despite being older ladies now they both still act like pups, and if they ever decide I’m being too morose they like to dogpile me and slobber on me profusely until I start laughing again. :)

    I also find video games are good for boosting my mood, but maybe that’s just me? Also lots and lots of comedies, but that kinda goes without saying.

  42. I’m happy because I was able to pull off a sheath dress…

    I’ve been shopping for my first female-style interview clothes, and I was worried about my shape (trans-girl here).

    But it worked out in the end. It managed to be very flattering on me, which ofc made me jump for joy. I was going to just wear it all around the house all night because it made me feel as comfortable as I’ve ever been in clothes, but I figured I should try and keep it clean for it’s future business use. Lol.

  43. my galpal got me a copy of Rubyfruit Jungle for my birthday without realizing it has an inscription in it…Petra/Lesley, if you’re out there, i have your book, and who is kd?

  44. I wasn’t sure if this was relevant here. It’s somewhere along the lines of, I’m-happy-even-though-i-don’t-want-to-feel-good-about-this. For the last two years I’ve struggled with my wife and her alcohol problem, our abusive relationship, and the possibility that i could be living on eggshells for the rest of my life. Then something amazing happened…she got sober, real sober. Being around her after that was almost like seeing an old friend after years of distance. We reconnected in ways i forgot we were connected at all. Something was missing, though. No matter how crazy in love, or wildly head over heels for her i am, i could tell something was still really hard for her. She just wasn’t saying it out loud. So this week i sat her down for one of those, “we should talk” things and i said you know everything has been amazing, i don’t know how we got to such a great place after all the shit we’ve been through. Can i ask you something? Do you just want to be my friend? At first i was met with anger, yelling, annoyance, but she didn’t deny it. Upon calming she finally said, “Yes. You’re my best friend in the world. I don’t know where i lost the intimacy, the desire to kiss you, be affectionate with yo–.” And i just stopped her and said it’s OK. I’m sad, it’s not how i pictured my future with her but she’s happy, and that brings me unrestricted joy. I couldn’t be happier.

    • You know, that sounds like a beautiful way to end a romantic relationship and start anew as friends. I’m so impressed at how healthily you seem to be dealing with it all. Best of luck to you both!

  45. i got this new planner this week and it has a daily space for daily gratitude and like, i’m busier than i’ve ever been, but filling that in every night has made me so much happier! also, i went to whole foods today and spent less than $100 which always feel like a win.

  46. So it’s no longer Friday but there are lots of things in my life that are pretty great right now: I’d been under lots of pressure at work but I’m currently on holiday with my family and some friends and it’s really sunny and wonderful. And so many things feel like they’ve fallen into place lately, strings of good coincidences that make me feel like I’m exactly where I’m meant to be and as though things are actually going to be fine.

    There are lots of scary things for me to deal with over the next two weeks in particular but I’m so excited for everything else coming up.

    What’s also weird right now though is that I’m not out to anyone I’m on holiday with so I’m having to censor myself a lot and it’s way more difficult than I thought! I’ve gotten so used to my life away from my family where everyone knows I’m queer.

  47. I am way late for Open Friday.
    Because I have a girlfriend.
    And am deliriously happy. And keep talking to her on the phone instead of spending time on the internet.

  48. This article made me happy!

    Happiness, the definition of and how others perceive and feel it, has been under my scrutiny these last two weeks. I have been trying to become more aware of other peoples happiness and how I can better encourage it, which has lead me in turn to have many more positive conversations with close friends and total strangers alike.

    (The first step I took toward beginning an open awareness of others’ happiness whom I don’t know well enough to just openly ask, is to complement them on there statement piece, whether that’s there necklace, shirt, shoes, hair, make up, the item that stood out as what they directly chose to wear that day. So many easy and insightful conversations started this way, as well as being able to identify what I like about others.)

    This week has been a round house kick to the vagina with my partner and the ultimate slipping away of our feelings for eachother, but has also been the happiest week with my coworkers! I have been pushing harder at work and engaging with more priority with my immediate peers, and it has been awesome. I am so happy and grateful to have the coworkers I do, and to be able to say I like my job at all!

    Keep the hella positive vibes coming!

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