Athena in Progress

The key to a meaningful life is to live one filled with joy

The key to a meaningful life is to live one filled with joy

Despite the surly demeanor that I’m known for, I think of myself as generally joyful. I’ve always been happy-go-lucky. It’s just not a side that I advertise to others often.

Oh, this thing isn’t going your way? It’s cool; find a fresh way to pivot and make it into something that works for you. I was doing that before it was cool. So I’m glad the rest of the world finally caught up!

What fills you with joy?

Lizards climbing up a cement block fence. My dog burying her rawhide bone in my blanket. A bowl of hot broth. Ice in my lemonade. My mom’s perfume. My dad’s laugh. The laughs of my niblings. An afternoon nap. Completing everything on my to-do list. A night drive with the windows down. Finding the string of words that starts my next poem.

What lights you up?

The perfect song. But the perfect song changes every time. The perfect song is the song that hits every note in your heart at the precise moment that you’re listening to it. Sometimes, it’s a song you’ve heard a million times before. Maybe it’s a song you haven’t heard since childhood. Perhaps it’s a song that your mom used to sing to you. I’m constantly searching for that endorphin hit, which is probably why I maintain an obscenely huge iTunes library.

What are 2-3 activities that nourish you?

  1. Resting between activities. I work best when I can spend 10-15 minutes doing nothing. Sometimes, doing nothing between activities is looking at my social media notifications or playing a quick game of Garden Tails. But permitting myself to do that has done wonders for my mental health.
  2. Photography. Before social media became a curated shitshow, I loved sharing photos of my activities. But, after a while, it became another noise source, and I posted less and less until I finally quit. I didn’t stop taking photos, but I did stop pursuing the public side of it. I have a lot of great pictures that capture memories of a moment that no one has ever seen. I guess I see photography as my connection to something in the past, even if it’s my past. Does that make sense?
  3. Cuddling. “Love language” is thrown around a lot, but for someone who hasn’t read up on it beyond the definition, physical touch has to be it for me. I love cuddling my dog. I love cuddling my boyfriend. I love cuddling my plushes.

Published by Guilliean Pacheco

Guilliean Pacheco (she/her) is a Filipino-American full-stack writer by day and raconteuse by night. She earned her M.F.A. in Writing from the University of San Francisco and is an Anaphora Arts poetry fellow. She's also a member of AIR, IWW FJU, and Uproot. She’s a misplaced California girl who lives in Las Vegas normally, if one could call living there normal, on Southern Paiute land.

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