Sunday, February 9, 2014

What it Takes to Make a Person Happy

I have a very unsettled life right now.  I spend my week days living with one friend who has a seven month old and is a fourth year (is that right?) in graduate school.  On Friday nights, when her husband comes home, I transfer to another friend's house who is a fourth year undergrad.  My weekend consists of teaching fluid mechanics to kids (only some of them are happy about it) and then being exhausted the rest of Saturday.  Sunday morning finds me carrying all of my stuff back to attend church with my married friend and her baby and husband to begin the cycle again.

It has its hard moments, definitely.  There are very few answers that I have about my life right now.

But it has its great moments too.  For instance, because our weeks fly by in a dizzy blur, my married friend and I have started a tradition in which Friday evening dinner is breakfast food.  It's our way of celebrating the end of a successful week.  It feels celebratory.  Sure, she has to go back to work the moment her husband walks in the door.  Sure, I have to go finish lesson plans.  But in that moment, it's Friday.

The weird thing is, my friends have started to use means to make me happy when they see me stress about my very uncertain and unsettled life.  I didn't really notice it until the past few days.  Comments like this: "I love listening to you so happily munching on that doughnut."  "I love how easy it is to make you happy;  I suggest we go to the Asian market and you perk right up."  Last night, when I was stressing about my lack of job prospects, one friend sat down beside me and played "Love is an Open Door" from Frozen on her iPhone.  "Are you doing this on purpose to make me cheer up?"  I asked, somewhat skeptically.  My friend smiled.  "Yep."  I smiled, "I love this song."  

These are the smallest things in the world.  They are so minor that it's almost laughable how simple it is to make me happy that I marvel at my transparency.

But you know what?  It also shows me that I have good friends who know how to cheer and buoy me up during the hard moments.  And just knowing that I am not in this alone, knowing that I have friends who are true friends, makes me happier than all the doughnuts or Asian markets or happy songs in the world.

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