Two weekends ago, I had the pleasure of embarking on a 4 hour journey from Boston to Port Authority in New York City. As the bus took off, I took one last sip of my soy latte (thank you Starbucks at South Station) before putting on headphones and bunching up my sweater to use as a makeshift pillow. I leaned against the window and closed my eyes. Then, a terrible thing happened. My phone did that classic thing where it tries to be funny and drops from 40% to 1% right before my eyes. It’s okay, I thought. I’ll just use my handy dandy phone cord. After plugging my cord in, my phone screen remained black. No apple logo, no “please plug in” warning. Nothing. Nada.
This was no longer fun and games. Of course, I had chosen to sit probably in the ONE seat where both outlets were not working.
How will I Instagram this #nofilter worthy sunset? How will people know I am currently eating a spinach wrap? How will I keep the people informed??? These are the questions I pondered.
Not one to give up that easily, I whipped out my computer and opened up iTunes. With 30 percent charge left (PSA: always make sure your devices are fully charged before traveling) and no wifi connection, I decided now was as good of a time as any to clean out my files. I sifted through various folders and documents, which were named in all kinds of ways.
Some were very specific, getting right to the point:
“Fortinbras Paper? More like FortinBRO Paper (first draft)"
“a compilation of phrases that are nice”
“hey it's your resume!”
While others gave me no insight as to what I would find once I clicked the document:
My personal favorite was simply titled:
As the sun finally set, the bus continued on its steady path on I-84, and I continued scrolling. Twenty minutes later, I looked up, realizing my fellow passengers were slowly drifting off. Even my new friend, a Tufts freshmen I had encountered, had put away his GameBoy and was leaning his head back with his eyes closed (s/o to Stanton Cope!).
My computer was about to die when I stumbled upon one particular document, aka the reason why you’re probably reading this blog post. It was titled rather simply and clearly in three words: “Writing Supplement: Tufts.”
Alone, in the brightness of my computer screen, I clicked it open. Suddenly, I had transported back to one particular night. I pictured the senior year version of myself, sitting cross legged at my kitchen table, my hair up in some kind of messy bun, cradling a warm cup of my old pal Mr. Earl Grey.
The lights dimmed, I recall staring at the very same computer screen I was looking at now, eyebrows furrowed, willing my mind to come up with an answer to what seemed like such a simple question: “What makes you happy? (200-250 words). “What makes me happy?” I said out loud. “Everything...nothing… I don’t know ugh."
Being me, I opened up a new tab to procrastinate and google searched “funny puns.” At one point, I started laughing out loud so hard that I literally choked on my tea. I truly wish I could say that I recall exactly which pun got to me, but it was probably something along the lines of this:
As I cleaned up the tea that I had spit out from laughing so hard (ah, now there’s a cute image!), I realized that there are so many little things that add up to my happiness.
There isn't one answer. There isn’t a formula. And you know what? That’s more than okay.
So, without further ado, here is part III of my writing supplement. Here are exactly 249 words that made (and still make) me happy:
Making people laugh (with puns- a rare occurrence. People really don’t appreciate puns as much as they should).
Comfy, oversized sweatshirts.
Playing Hide-n-seek in Target.
Coming up with life stories for random people we see at JFK with my dad.
Re-reading a cherished book.
Painting my mom’s nails.
After school naps with my cat.
Long car rides (at least I didn’t say long walks on the beach).
Worn out shoes that fit just right.
Doodling on notebooks.
Toe socks that make people’s toes look funny.
Having nice conversations with waiters at restaurants.
Telling everyone that I will only answer to the name “dancing queen” now that I’m seventeen.
Teaching myself things via youtube (i.e. The Parent Trap handshake).
Late night story telling with my sister in the summertime.
Waking up at night and realizing you still have more time to sleep.
Listening to music and pretending it is the soundtrack to my life.
Sleeping in on a Saturday morning, particularly in the winter time.
The sound of laughter that fills a classroom after a teacher tells a funny story.
Learning new words and finding ways to incorporate these into my everyday vocabulary.
80’s Romantic Comedies (I’m talking “The Breakfast Club,” “Say Anything,” “Pretty in Pink,” “Heathers”- this one was a little on the darker side)
Singing along to Disney’s “Tangled”
It’s the little things.”
What makes me happy, this question always be heard inside of my mind then in a hurry I try to think about my own happiness. Absolutely, there are so many things that can make me feel happy such as traveling, shopping, playing with kids, etcetera . However there are three major things that make me feel so happy; spending my time with my family, doing something for society as my voluntary work, and hanging out with friend.
The first is staying together and spending most of my time with my beloved family. I want to enjoy every single time that I have with my father, mother, and sisters. They are the reason why I stay in this country. They are so lovely, they always accompany me and give me warm smile when I'm down or I do something wrong. I remember one nice day it was ten years ago when my family and I had a trip to a beach. We stayed in a small inn then my sisters and I played the ball, made a sand palace, and ate coconuts with my mother and my father. At night we sat together on the sand talked about our dreams someday. That was an extremely wonderful memory of that I have, I really miss that moment. So for me their laugh is my happiness and I promise to may self will always fight for them, to make them laugh and be happy every single time.
The second thing is doing something for society or be a volunteer in voluntary work. It's really great thing that makes me feel happy, in Satoe Atap I join to teach poor children for free, accompany them in learning something such as lesson or life, and listen up to their story of life. Even though I didn't be paid but I feel satisfied inside of my heart. Then I become a volunteer of exchange student election, it is called AFS (American Field Services). It's amazing since I join in an incredible organization of the world. Here, AFS holds an election for Indonesian students of high school to get a scholarship to study abroad such as to US, European countries, Australia, or Japan. And I am one of the judge of AFS who do personality interview for students of Central Java Province. The election usually be held once a year in the middle of April so that day all volunteers of AFS will come and give some tests for students who wants to study abroad. Moreover as a returnee of AFS Japan, I give my contribution both to my society and also for my organization. And I absolutely like this activity.
The last thing is hanging out with friends. Since I love doing something together especially with friends, such as talking each other, telling stupid thing, searching for food, even running under the rain, those all are unpredictable moments that I always do with my them. Moreover now we are at the same organization, so we usually go for having dinner together after finishing the meeting or our business. For example we went to Baviere spot, we talked about our organization project and shared about our activity during the day. Sure,