finding happiness

photo strip

“When you pull a card and draw a heart, you and your beloved will never part.  You are a strong believer in fate. You feel that you have no control over your destiny. Fortunately, you are destined to be very happy indeed. You’ve had some trouble, mostly caused by inconsideration of others. But fate will be kind to you, and you can expect your life to run on a smoother pattern. You are somewhat irresponsible and that has caused you some hardships. You have a neat and tidy nature, and can’t tolerate slovenliness around you. Sine you demand this of yourself and others, you will always live in a tidy atmosphere.

Your lucky numbers are 10, 12, 13, 3, 2, 1″

*

“What a joy to look ahead to read into the signs of your future. So much happiness is in store for you that the most brilliantly lighted stars will be put to shame by the brightness of your life. Ah, this is not all caused by sheer good luck. Nay, nay my friend, your perseverance, your clever ways of handling your domestic problems, and your sincerity in dealing with others are pointing the way to their reward. Some strangers will urge you to get into a gambling proposition. Avoid this, and you will be forever grateful. ‘Oh happiness, what an elusive thing you are/But thank God you were born under its star’

Your lucky numbers are 11, 30, 31, 42, 12, 9″

*

“A new relationship is about to blossom. You will be blessed.”

Happiness is important. I need to have my moments of unblinding, unabashed, childish unbridled joy. Sometimes it happens, usually in the form of a massive smile breaking on my face and I can feel my face lighting up and feeling lighter, while in other times it creeps up on me like a wave crashing on a beach, in the form of a sense of calmness washing over me, a sense of satisfaction that in that particular moment, I’d choose nothing to be different. I like these moments. I like remembering them.

For years I’ve been wondering when I would get the opportunity to take photos at a real photobooth; one that would give me a strip of four photographs in monochrome or sepia tones. I’ve wondered who would I take these photos with. It’s kind of funny how your expectations stand against reality. Well, I found a photobooth by chance, and nearly overlooked it in the kitschy store I walked into at the Seattle Farmer’s Markets. I was with my dad, and he refused to join me for these photos, for some strange reason I still don’t quite get. In my head, I was always going to take photos in a photobooth with someone else; a friend, a partner, an acquaintance – taking the photos alone never really occurred to me as a possibility. The happiness of actually having a strip of photos from a photobooth? That’s something I’ll remember for a long, long time. (And if you’re interested, this is the closest I’ve come to ‘photobooth photos’ in recent times. I didn’t even realise there was more than one photo being taken.)

When I was a kid, I was fascinated by fortune-telling machines. You know, those silly machines that take your weight for twenty cents, and you’ll also get either an inspirational quote, or a ‘fortune’ with it as well. My mum taught me from early on and it’s not really a fortune, it’s just a gimmick, but part of me always liked to believe them anyway. It’s the same thing with horoscopes, isn’t it? If it says good things, you don’t mind believing in it because it seems to make sense. When it doesn’t match with reality, it’s fine, but on those few moments where it says good things, it just feels like a moment where the world is on your side.  I had my first fortune cookie on this trip of mine, in little cafe in Union City, CA. My fortune from the cookie is the third quote above. The first two are from an old school, Zoltar-type machine, where I decided to just indulge in some childish happiness. My dad got a fortune for himself, and when I put in my quarters for one for myself, I ended up getting two cards! I thought that was some kind of nice sign. One card focused on love and relations, while the other basically goes on about how much happiness is in store for me, and honestly I don’t need to take what it says seriously, but it’s just the feel of it all. For those few minutes, it’s as though the world wants you to succeed, and that’s a nice feeling to have. One of the best ones. 

Lately I’ve been thinking about where I find happiness, and how it finds me. This summer has been a whirlwind of crazy random happenstances, some really nice moments with friends, some great movies, and there have been so many little bits and pieces that have given me so much happiness. And about five minutes ago, I just learnt that iTunes is streaming John Mayer’s new album Paradise Valley for free for a week. That makes me happy. 

There are so many reasons to smile, so many reasons to be happy. Sometimes I just want to bathe in all it’s laughter and glory. And you should too.

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