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Love Note to the Small Moments

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I am so grateful that sweaters are soft.

 

Life is a little overwhelming.

 

I have moments when I hear a song and everything else disappears. Good music is the sensation of intoxication. The right Chance song in the right moment is like tasting sugar for the first time: I cannot quite handle it.

 

At other times all I can hear is the rushing sound of internal panic. The slightest thing can set off a soundtrack of doubt in the basement of my brain. It is sort of like when I bump my headphones, and iTunes decides to play whatever weird flute or budget meeting recording it finds first in the background of my YouTube que. The sound is unnerving and alien at first, but my internal confusion quickly transitions into the laughing recognition of something inane and embarrassing.

 

The difference is that my internal soundtrack is not explicable. It is set off by something just as stupid as iTunes, but does not come with a built in pause button. To be honest, I am a little afraid of it. I am afraid of the despair that comes in tsunami-sized waves that leave me searching for a corner to puddle in. I am afraid of the ever-running negative commentary aimed straight at myself that jumps off the figurative hamster wheel whenever I face something that tastes bitter or like rejection. It is amazing how one word or one facial expression or one homework assignment or one text message can send me spiraling,

 

Which is why I am grateful that sweaters are soft. The small, tactile things in life are so powerful, and I think we naturally underestimate them. It is weird to write a newspaper article about sweaters, or to have an entire conversation about something as simple and beautiful as a well-crafted sandwich, but it should not be. These are the beautiful details that make everything else worthwhile.

 

My little brother once called me because he was making a ham sandwich, and he wanted me to know about it. I had been living apart from him for several months because it was my first semester at college, and we had not talked for some time. Out of the blue, I got a call from him, and all he wants to talk about is his sandwich. He did not have anything to say about school or his life. He did not want to know about how I was doing, and he certainly did not call to gush about how much he missed me. All Noah wanted was to share a singular moment of glorious anticipation with me, and when he was finished, he hung up. He left to go eat his sandwich, and I left to go brag to all my friends, because to this day I do not remember ever having a better conversation.

 

I think love is made up of lots of beautiful small instances in time when I am suddenly aware of the softness of my clothes, the richness of my food, or the musical high of a good song, and all I want to do is share it with someone else. I learned that from my brothers. We do not really say I love you, and we never really have. Noah is especially nonverbal when it comes to expressing his emotions. He is shy, something he has to patiently remind me of every time I try to show him off to my friends, and he is not one to invest in excess words. But Noah’s shyness does not mean he loves any less, he just expresses it in a different way.

 

Noah’s my rock. He never needs to say that he loves me or that he misses me, because as long as he’s still trying to share some little part of his life with me, I know. And he is absolutely right: nothing is worth discussing more than a good sandwich. It may seem mundane, but when life is put into perspective by some small, essential detail, it is difficult to freak out. If I can stop thinking long enough to appreciate what is in front of me, then I can make it into the next moment without exploding or panicking or dying, and before I know it, time has passed, it is a new day, and I am ready to start fresh.

 

So as finals loom ever nearer, do not let your life be consumed. Do not submit your incredible, talented mind to the torment of internalized inadequacies, but remember to appreciate how chips crunch or how rain splashes or how silent dance parties in Phi Gamma feel. Those moments make up a lot more of who you are than Financial Accounting ever will, regardless of your career projections, because what is enjoyable in your life and who you share it with describes your love.

 

Love is everything; it is what we live for.

 

So if you are down, wear a sweater. The point is not to be happy, but to be cognizant of every moment and its worth. If you can fully appreciate something soft now, even if now is scary, then you will be OK later. And when you arrive at later, pass the sweater on. We all deserve a little love to call us back to the present and remind us of something better.

 

Live every moment, even when those moments suck, because those moments make up your life, but remember that the struggles you may be facing are only temporary.

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Love Note to the Small Moments