No one like to be sad. It’s even safe to say that we all want to be happy. Recently (since one year, six months and 23 days to be exact,) I’ve been going through a challenging time. Nothing traumatizing happened. I just lost my job. I’ll be honest; I also lost my life and dignity with it. I couldn’t enjoy even the simple things in life, and the heavy thoughts were clouding my days. Eventually, I realized that I needed to get out of this depressing state, and I started rebuilding my self-confidence (still a work-in-progress.) It’s so darn hard to maintain a positive mindset, but I’m improving. Feeling nostalgic and embracing the good memories in my life helped to lift my way out of negative emotions — well, sometimes!
In truth, going back to happy times using the “Method of Loci” strategy, can help uplift your mood. I know it is helping me. So, over the past few months, I decided to make a list of things I have done that have brought me joy. Whether it was when my Facebook memories remind me of the time I milked a cow in Upstate NY — and no, I didn’t drink the milk afterward. Or when I held a Koala in Australia and rode an elephant in Thailand. Or perhaps just when I soaked in a Japanese onsen.
Looking back, here are four of my most unforgettable moments.
1. NASCAR Race
It’s one thing to attend a NASCAR race; it’s another thing to get behind the wheel of a real NASCAR race car that gets your heart racing, your palms sweaty and make you exhilarated.
I was thrilled to buy my driving-experience ticket. But after meeting the crew chief at the 20 minutes instruction class, I took a step back for a bit. I realized the most powerful cars, drag race cars, are manual transmission – Go figure! And you’ve guessed it! I don’t know how to drive a stick shift. But I didn’t give up; instead, I opted for the ride-along experience (sigh!).
I was strapped into the passenger seat of one of these 800-horsepower beasts, next to a talented professional driver as we took a six-lap at a top speed of 173 mph. I am a thrill-seeker, I am often addicted to the rush of excitement, so I was high. It was five crazy minutes of pure adrenaline rush.
I never had an interest in holding a gun or obtaining one of my own, but here I was learning how to shoot at a range. My excitement spiked as soon as I chose a Range Officer 9mm firearm rental.
BOOMM BOOMM BOOMM
The first bang scared me. So did the second and third ones. Soon enough, I got used to the sound without jumping each time I heard it. It took me a while to get my posture, grip, and sight straight before I even could touch the trigger. Eventually, I got the hang of it. I was loading the magazine, one bullet at a time.
I was very focused, and I didn’t miss the target – not even once. After one hour of learning, loading, firing, and unloading my 9mm, I felt a strange sense of stress relief, power, and confidence that overcome my anxiety as I shot my last bullet.
Even though skydiving was on my bucket list, I never thought I would actually get to check it off. There’s was one problem: my fear of heights.
On the day of my jump, I was super nervous and scared. I mean, come on. Jumping out of a moving plane from 10,000 feet above the ground is very intimidating, and I was this close to bailing out of the experience of my lifetime. Breathless with my heart leaping out of my chest, I was the first jumper of that day. The rush and thrill of free-falling over 120 mph was indescribable and incomparable to any other sensation I have ever felt.
4. Running Half Marathon
I ran the Love Run Half Marathon, and it was stimulating and unforgettable race experience. Not that I finished the 13.1 miles (next to 10,000 of fast marathoners;) I finished it in a monsoon! I was very determined, motivated, and mentally encouraged to have something to remember for the rest of my life.
A few months later, I ran the Rock’ n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon on the closed lanes of the famed Las Vegas Boulevard. I ran both races with absolutely no training — you know what they say, old enough to know better, young enough to do it anyway. I ran, walked, jogged, and even I crawled. I didn’t care if I came last, I just wanted to say, “I have finished,” and I couldn’t be more proud of myself.
All I’m Saying Is Focus on Creating More Memories
Being nostalgic in the darkest times, and remembering the positive memories I’ve collected in my life is helping me to embrace life. So, here’s to living the best darn life I can possibly live despite my unpleasant circumstances, and I hope reading this will inspire you to start living again.
What about you? What do you do when you feel sad? Do you think back on your happy memories? Do you believe feeling nostalgic is comforting? Please feel free to share, like and leave a comment.