Prepare yourself, this one is lengthy..
Besides being a brilliant writer, my mom was huge advocate of being grateful for the things we have in life. She encouraged us to keep a "gratitude journal" and to write two things down every day or every week of something in our life we were grateful for. Although I don't keep up with this very often, I'm pretty sure my sister does..
Over the past several years, I've developed my own sort of version of this. I have an on-going list of the most perfect moments in my life. Although time changes viewpoints and feelings on things, I try to keep the mindset I was in whenever it happened.. And here it is--something I've never shared with anyone else before:
1a) July 4 2008: Spending the 4th of July in London was amazing. I was working for Paramount Pictures and had the day off to do as I pleased. A friend and I went to the Texas Embassy for lunch to drink margaritas and eat the most God-awful queso I've ever had in my life. After lunch, we laid in Regents Park for hours--reading, talking, listening to music, and just enjoying the moment. Then we met up with a big group of people to go to TGIFridays (in London, mind you). Then it was off to Walkabout, an Australian dance club, for an American-themed foam party. We screamed the National Anthem at the top of our lungs and danced all night. To date, it is the best day of my life.
1b) July 13 2008: Sitting in front of the Eiffel Tower with my best friend from high school, staring at it in amazement. I took French for four years, and had been obsessed with the language, culture, art, country--everything, and it was so magnificent to FINALLY be there. It was Bastille Day and the Tower was sparkling blue and white. It was the most beautiful, perfect, content moment.
1c) March 2005: I am embarassed to admit this one, but even though times are so drastically different and feelings are non-existent now, I have to remember my 18 year old self and the passionate, all-consuming feelings I once had. I have to remember how beyond perfectly happy I was for that moment to finally happen after thinking about it for 6 years. The whole story is way too long and complicated to tell here, and even though every day it gets harder to remember feeling what I felt, I think back on it and it seems like a scene from a movie because it was so perfect. Although I will admit that I do tend to remember only the good parts. I think my mom would've loved to know that we finally met, even though she never knew about him, but she, above anyone else, would understand.
2) Two words: Spice. Girls.
My childhood was complete when I saw them in concert in December 2007. I cried. No, I'm not kidding.
3) June 2006: Seeing Cinderella's castle at Disney World for the first time.
4) Laying in front of the University of Texas Tower, underneath the Texas flag specifically on countless, gorgeous, cloudless Austin days.
5) Driving fast down backroads in Denison, Dallas, Austin, Sherman, etc--windows down, music blaring, shifting from 4th to 5th gear, sipping a big Diet Coke from Sonic. Add a gorgeous Texas day, a pina colada air freshener and a newly washed car and this is my HEAVEN, and yes, it is very specific.
This is mostly a mental list, and I'm sure there are many more, but it reminds me of what a fabulous life I've had. I've had so many adventures--most of which people will never know about. I have seen so many things and experienced even more.