Decades: Anna, Age 25
Anna lives in Colorado, where she teaches kindergarten.
1. Think of a specific time you felt joy. What was going on, and why were you so happy in that moment?
I get that warm, fuzzy feeling of joy frequently. As a kindergarten teacher, my students say and do some of the sweetest things. Some of the time. The moments when they leap for joy with what we are learning or walk to comfort a friend who feels sad give me a true sense of joy. That is when they aren’t whining and poking me for my attention. I feel pretty lucky that joy doesn’t only appear in one aspect of my life. Any time I’m outside climbing, skiing, or hiking, I alternate between feelings of frustration, or bone chilling cold, and joy. When I place a toe onto the rock and step up, or find a crack for my fingers to crank into, I get a rush of adrenaline and joy. I don’t have specific moments of joy because I’m lucky enough to feel it often.
2. What are some of your favorite sounds?
If you could bottle the sound of snow falling, when you take a break from skiing to rest, I would pay one million dollars. That’s the sound of true peace.
3. What makes you feel upset or angry? Why?
Unfortunately, I feel upset more often that I would like. Finding peace with the small things like dirty dishes around the house can be difficult at times. However, what truly upsets me is ignorance. It comes in many forms: Facebook posts by some friends that neglect to understand the state of the world (or at least those that disagree with me), the news in general, obnoxious men in bars that won’t take no for an answer, and Donald Trump. That man has a special way of making me feel disheartened with just about everything.
4. What is something in your life that feels hard for you these days? Tell us about it.
The one thing I’ve struggled with recently has been making friends, or at least friends that measure up to those that I left behind in Minnesota. I know it sounds sad and like a 5th grade problem. Entering your post college years and moving states (away from your home state that you’ve lived in for 17 years), has put friendships under the microscope. I’m meeting plenty of people here in Colorado through climbing and mutual friends and that’s wonderful. Moving away from Minnesota, I left friends that I have known since I was in the 2nd grade and friends from college. There is a difference between new friends and those that have known you through every awkward phase (including round Mickey Mouse glasses and braces). It will take time, and luckily everyone I have met so far shares my interests in beer and climbing, so that’s some solid progress.
5. If you were to recommend a book, author, movie, tv show, or musical group to readers, what would it be? What’s so great about it?
Don’t tell my parents, but the amount I read has drastically dropped in the last few years. I wish I had the motivation to read more when I get home from work. Instead, I just started watching Jessica Jones on Netflix. Any superhero movies or shows are right down my alley. Maybe I’m secretly wishing they can fix the world we live in. I don’t want to raise kids in the current state of the world, and I fear it will only get worse. So let’s all raise our glasses to the fictional superheroes of the world, and hope that we can find a more realistic way to make this place we will a little more inhabitable.