18 of the Best Things in Life

Very recently, I (finally) turned 18, and I found myself reflecting back on what life has taught me these past 18 years. I have definitely learned quite a lot about life. About people. About myself. About living. But, out of all the life lessons, the one thing that stands out to me is this: It is so incredibly important to find happiness in the little things in life. So, without further ado, here is my list of 18 of the best things in life (in no particular order) that bring me joy and make me smile every single day.

18 of The Best Things in Life

1. Family

I have definitely grown to appreciate my family even more after coming to university. Being so far away from them has made me realize how much I love and miss them. The best thing about family is that no matter how much you may argue, or however long you go without talking to them, they’re always there for you, no matter what. And when I'm with them, laughing so hard that my stomach starts to hurt, it is the best kind of pain.

 

2. The Moon

The beauty of the moon is truly unparalleled. Even though it does not have any light of its own, it reflects the Sun’s light to illuminate the Earth even in the darkest of times. The following quote by best selling author, Tahereh Mafi, fully encapsulates the significance of the moon.  

“The moon is a loyal companion. It never leaves. It’s always there, watching, steadfast, knowing us in our light and dark moments, changing forever just as we do. Every day it’s a different version of itself. Sometimes weak and wan, sometimes strong and full of light. The moon understands what it means to be human. Uncertain. Alone. Cratered by imperfections.” 

― Tahereh Mafi, Shatter Me

3. Sleeping in

During the week, I always wake up to an annoying alarm, loudly ringing in my ears when all I want more than anything is a few more minutes of sweet, blissful sleep. On the weekends, however, I get to sleep in, and I don’t have to wake up at a set time. And that is truly very liberating.   

4. Pizza

Pizza is probably one of the greatest gifts to mankind. It truly tastes like heaven. The crunchy crust. The fresh tomato sauce seasoned with Italian herbs. The delicious toppings: olives, peppers, onions, and pineapple (Yes, I said pineapple. Hey, don’t judge me!). And finally, the best part. The gooey and stretchy mozzarella that is melted to perfection. Dang it, I want pizza now. 

5. Sunsets

Sunsets make me realize the beauty of our universe. Watching the sun dip lower and lower as it disappears into the horizon is mesmerizing. The best part is that no matter how bad your day might have been, a sunset is a beautifully perfect way to end it. 

6. Puppies

Do I even have to explain this? Puppies are literally the cutest! Goes on Instagram and watches a compilation of adorable puppy videos. Then whines about wanting a puppy.

7. Chocolate

Whether I am in a crappy mood or just craving something sweet, chocolate is my friend. It heals me like no other medicine can and turns my frown upside down! Do I sound like a cheesy chocolate commercial yet? 

8. When the Plane Touches Down in Bangkok

I, like many other International students, only visit my family during winter break and the summer which really sucks. As soon as it is the last month of classes, I start counting down the days until I get back home. But, it’s not that simple. I have to sit through three flights, one of them being two hours long, the other fifteen, and the last one eight, before I can reach home. Not to mention, the annoyingly long layovers. After some thirty-six hours of travel, even though I am exhausted and extremely sleep deprived and on the verge of jetlag, as soon as my plane touches down in Suvarnabhumi Airport, I feel such a rush of joy and satisfaction because I know that in only two more hours, I will be reunited with my family. Gosh, I miss them.

9. Burritos

Like pizza, burritos are a divine gift that I occasionally have the privilege of indulging in. Because my obsession with burritos is so unhealthy, I have given myself a limit of only one burrito a week. It is torture, I tell you! But, nevertheless, each week, I look forward to that one heavenly meal and that feeling of happiness I get while I consume this exquisite delicacy is indescribable.

 

10. Music

The power of music is phenomenal. No matter what mood I am in, or what emotions are flooding me, I can find a song that resonates with what I am feeling at that moment. Music is, in a way, universal because you don’t always need to understand the lyrics. The melodies and beats themselves can evoke all sorts of emotions in you. 

 

11. Unexpected Holidays

Back home, we got days off because of flooding or pollution. Here, we get days off because of the snow. I mean, those are serious environmental issues are nothing to be thankful for. But, whenever I get a day off from school, unexpectedly, it is the greatest thing ever. It is even better when you have an assignment due or an exam which gets pushed back. It feels like the universe is listening to you.

12. Traveling 

That feeling I get when I first step out of the airport in a foreign country, that surge of curiosity and excitement, is such a rush. Roaming around the streets. Stumbling upon interesting buildings. Meeting cool people. Snapping away with my camera. It makes me feel like a nomad.

 

13. Ariana Grande 

Ariana is the QUEEN. Her music gives me all the feels, and it is something I can relate to on a whole ‘nother level. When it came out in August 2018, I was in love with Sweetener. But then, because Ari isn’t already so incredible, she went ahead and blessed my soul with Thank U, Next, and I don’t even know how to handle that. 

 

14. Crossing Things off a List

This is probably one of the most satisfying things ever. Crossing items off a list as I slowly, but surely, complete them gives me a sense of accomplishment, and it makes me feel like I am actually getting stuff done. 

 

15. Night Time Walks on the Beach 

Beaches are beautiful during the day. Walking on wet sand. Wind blowing in my hair. The sun glinting on the flowing blue waves. But, beaches are equally as beautiful at night. The moon is out and as bright as ever. The stars are scattered across the wide expanse of the black sky. I am filled with peace as I stare at the dark waters, left with my thoughts.

16. Phoebe Buffay

C’mon, let’s be real. Phoebe was hands down the best character in Friends. Her wacky songs were the true MVP of the show. And, Smelly Cat? ICONIC.

17. Good Hair Days

I grew up in a very humid environment which meant that good hair days were a rare occurrence. In Kent, however, especially during the winter, my hair is usually tame and doesn’t make me look like I have been electrocuted which is pretty nice. And those days when I don’t do anything to my hair, but it somehow still looks good? The best days!

 

18. Finally Turning 18

Of course, turning 18 and legally being considered an “adult” is a pretty neat thing. Not going to lie, I was dreading this milestone for months because I loved being 17. At that age, you’re old enough to be taken seriously, but still young enough to get away with anything. On the bright side, I can now vote or buy a lottery ticket. I can sue or be sued. I can donate blood or buy fireworks. I could even get a tattoo without my parents’ permission (Don’t worry, mom, I will do no such thing). The point is, THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS.

We often get so caught up in our busy lifestyles that we forget to stop and appreciate all the little things that bring us happiness and help give life more meaning. I hope this encourages you to find those little things that make you smile.