List: Minuscule Volcanoes Erupting all over my Heart

  • When you share a piece of music and the recipient struggles to reply out of sheer stupefaction
  • Getting a second wind
  • When the state of your cappuccino’s foam is both plentiful and high-quality
  • When you develop a positive habit and it becomes second-nature
  • When you and someone else simultaneously feel something so deeply that it incapacitates your speech but you just know that the other person is experiencing the same phenomenon
  • Experiencing a paradigm shift (of neutral or positive nature, hopefully!)
  • Finding out you were wrong about something negative you unconsciously accepted as truth
  • Noticing something you didn’t realize before: an instrument in a song, the facade of a building above the first storey, a new tasting note in a drink or food, etc.
  • The instant you finally feel sufficiently warm or cooled down in the case of inclement weather.
  • That moment of understanding when that string of unintelligible words suddenly looks like poetry. Or, when your perspective changes and everything that was old now looks new.
  • When all the thoughts that use your head like an airport, landing and taking off ceaselessly, pause for a moment and leave you with a nearly empty and totally peaceful mindset.
  • Being able to think back to a years-ago memory and compare it to current circumstances. For instance, the other day at klezmer rehearsal, as my three zany senior music-major fellow bandmates and I danced around in a circle, I was reminded of our very first rehearsal as freshmen in a subterranean practice room. Matt had a man-bun (before it was in vogue), I thought Angus was super cool (still do), and Matthew was doing his best to get us through pieces (still does, but he’s a lot more confident now.) I was much more timid, too. Blast from the past!
  • Finding a nugget of joy that comes out of nowhere and pushes all of your humor buttons at once, like this:
I crack up EVERY TIME.

I crack up EVERY TIME.

And now I’m just gonna pop some hilarious pictures here because laughing is good.




It’d be challenging to live without canned beets, arduous to compensate for a lack of motorvehicular transportation, and downright preposterous to forego late night collaging sessions. However, it would be absolutely impossible to maintain a vibrant, inspiration-filled life without communities.

I’m still unsure of how I optimally function socially, but now that I’m 21, I can say that I’ve tried out a plethora of systems. I’ve had best friends, groups of best friends, groups of mostly acquaintances, few friends. I feel love from my blood relatives and families that I’ve chosen at camps, through sports, classes at school, temple, all over London, and more.

Now that I’m on my last year of college I’ve begun to understand a big change that few talk about when you transition to life with your parents to without: When you submerge yourself into the college bubble, you oftentimes exclude elders.

By elders, I’m talking about wise, older people who aren’t necessarily old. I mean it in a very respectful way similar to how post-middle-age people are treated in Eastern and Native American cultures. I guess I’m referring to level of knowledge versus chronological age (because we all know the two aren’t always correlated!)


But let’s move on, shall we?

It’s easy to get caught up in everything me and questions about almost everything. Speaking with an elder about those questions or something unrelated like the name of that pretty flower over yonder often calms me down. I adapt to their disposition by unconsciously mimicking it. My physical composure leads my mind into a correlated transition. Life looks different for a second: the world stops spinning around me. I regain perspective. This is critical.

And just because I’m me, let’s also remember that we can’t live without the communities inside of us! We (our bodies) are composed of 90% non-human cells! We are deeply devoted to our little gut microbes in a symbiotic relationship: they break down certain substances for us to digest and in return, we give them a cozy home. That’s just one relationship. When was the last time you thanked your bacilli with a cup of yogurt or kimchi-topped dish? (Especially if you’ve taken an antibiotic recently!)

I think one of the downfalls of the Millennial generation is their lack of interest in participating/volunteering in multigenerational communities. Belonging to these communities quells selfish urges and reminds us that we are obligated to serve others even if there’s no specified requirement. When you expand your worldview beyond your personal bubble, you’re more sensitive to the world’s pleas for help.

Another wonderful thing about being a member of a community is the oft-felt feeling of belonging. It’s good to feel welcomed and wanted 🙂