I was listening to a podcast recently where they were talking about joy/bliss and they used this video as an initial reference point:
You’ve probably already seen it – it’s from 2012 and it’s that guy finding his cache of snacks in the snow after 86 days of trekking across Antarctica. He’s REALLY EXCITED.
This podcast went on to discuss joy and I got to thinking about how much I love how much I love things. I’ll say that again so you won’t think that was a typo: I LOVE HOW MUCH I LOVE THINGS.
I have experienced extreme levels of excitement and joy too many times in my life to even count. And I think it’s quite common in some circles. Have you ever been a loyal sports fan and seen your team finally do the thing they’re trying to do? (Me: Tennessee Volunteer fan 1998.) Have you ever been to a midnight release of your favorite book or movie? Have you ever met someone you admire? Or gone to a show you’ve been anticipating for a long time? I know I’m not alone because I’ve seen plenty of people screaming at the same things I’m screaming at in those examples.
I remember that 1998 Tennessee Vols Football season very clearly, although it was probably the SEC Championship game that year that made me squeal the most. I SCREAMED LIKE A CRAZY PERSON. And while I might not have screamed as loudly when I saw John and Hank Green live on the Turtles All The Way Down tour? I was DEFINITELY crying I was so full of joy. And don’t even get me STARTED at the midnight release of the last Harry Potter book. OR WHEN I WENT TO HARRY POTTER WORLD! I mean, I remember the joy in those moments to be very close to what this guy is experiencing. It was bursting through my heart and I was dancing or screaming or crying…you can ask anyone with me in those moments. THERE WAS OVERFLOWING JOY. And the best was being with other people feeling the same joy like at the midnight release of the Twilight movie…WE WERE ALL SO VERY EXCITED WHEN EDWARD CAME ON SCREEN.
This is why I love finding new things to obsess over. For some people it’s finding new musicians they adore and the resulting joy is discovered at the concerts. I love musicals so I could ever afford to see Hamilton I’ll feel it there. But I also feel it at live events of podcasts or even when my favorite show returns after summer hiatus. (Magicians is currently the only show giving me those kind of feels.)
I guess that’s the wonderful part of being an unabashed fangirl. John Green has a great quote that I have on a poster print in storage:
Nerds like us are allowed to be unironically enthusiastic about stuff. Nerds are allowed to LOVE stuff, like, jump-up-and-down-in-your-chair-can’t-control-yourself LOVE it. When people call people nerds, mostly what they’re saying is, ‘You like stuff,’ which is not a good insult at all, like, ‘You are too enthusiastic about the miracle of human consciousness’John Green
Not only do I jump-up-and-down love stuff….but I love to jump-up-and-down love stuff. If that makes sense. I’m 100% open to finding new things to obsess over every day so I can open myself up for opportunities for that excitement and joy. For every new podcast I fall in love with I have a new opportunity to be swept away at a live show. For every new author I love I have a new chance to excitedly show up at a book store the day of a book release or even better – to attend an author signing event. For every new TV show I become addicted to I get another chance EVERY WEEK to get excited for a new episode. For every new musical I discover I love I get to see it performed live…and if it’s an older musical I get to see it performed live OFTEN and LOCALLY. This summer our community theater is doing Bring It On and in the fall they’re doing Matilda and I’m desperately excited about both.
I just love to love things. And yes – maybe some people stop loving things that much at 43 – but not me. I’m still desperately thrilled about sitting down at some point in time today to watch last night’s Magicians. (IT WAS A MUSICAL EPISODE.) E said some of his friends have watch parties for the show and I was trying to get invited because no one in my house loves the show as much as I do so I don’t have anyone to be joyful with.
How about you? Do you love things as much as this guy loves cheese doodles? (Or just ANY food after 86 days in the wilderness?) Is there an age-limit to enthusiastic joy over ANYTHING? Do we all lose that in time? Or will I still be the 90-year old in the assisted living facility counting down the days until my favorite show returns after summer hiatus?