11. The feeling to be truly loved by someone.
12. The feeling you get when you are completely eclipsed by a landscape, skyscape, or even a city sometimes.
The feeling of joy that comes with recognizing how small you are in the grand scheme of the world is priceless and I wish I could experience the wonder and awe that comes along with it a million times over.
It’s in Redwood and Sequoia forest, the entirety of Alaska, the desert sky in New Mexico at night; it’s New York City when you step out of the subway for the first time.
Being in the middle of the ocean on a giant ship and knowing that it expands farther than you would ever hope to comprehend (beyond some measurements on Wikipedia).
You and the earth, alone together.
13. Being debt-free.
14. The complete silence in heavy snowfall.
15. Making something with your own hands. Could be art, could be a fire, could be a carving or a tool or clay or a shelter in the woods. Creating something that came from you, and you alone is a rewarding experience and gives one a true sense of pride. Just using your own hands and some tools to make something out of nothing makes me feel grounded, connected, and away from my troubles for a bit.
16. Helping someone in need.
17. Working in the customer service field. It forces you to practice empathy while trying to convince your customer why they still need your service or product. LOL
18. Old-growth forests. There is something humbling about seeing for yourself the life cycle of huge ancient trees and the incredibly lush and vibrant ecosystems that exist around them as they grow, fall, decompose, and grow again over decades. A week walking across cradle mountain in Tasmania was life-changing for me, as it has been for many others.
19. Seeing one of your parents get so excited about doing something with you that they’re almost crying.
My dad and I have always gotten along, but we’ve also bickered a lot since I was a teenager. But last August, he and I took a road trip to New Mexico and went to these really old Native American ruins called Gila Cliffs (I highly recommend everyone go there at some point too. It’s amazing!). He and I were walking up the trail, and then we rounded a corner and there they were: these 500-year-old Native American ruins built into the cliffside. My dad looked over at me with a smirk on his face and a little water in his eyes and told me “I’m so glad I get to experience this with you.” My dad doesn’t express a lot of emotion usually, so that was really meaningful to me. I think everyone deserves to have an experience like that with one of their parents. It’s so special.
20. Personal growth. Pushing boundaries is when I feel the most alive.