About 10 days before I bid farewell to temperate San Diego, Roommate #1 and her husband drove down for a visit—a day of sunny patio lunches, shady afternoon teas, and a few hours spent slipping from exhibit to exhibit at the San Diego Natural History Museum.
We started in the chocolate exhibit, which smelled amazing and was, cleverly, set up to exit through a small chocolate shop full of maroon-colored cherry chocolates and light blue blueberry chocolates and loads of other chocolates of varying shapes, sizes, and colors.
In typical fashion, we were delighted by the more ridiculous facts and histories of cacao and disappointed when none of the plaques pointed out that chocolate also happens to help you feel better after a Dementor attack.
We also managed to make a Harry Potter reference in the skulls exhibit, which featured, yes oh yes, a basilisk.
But it wasn’t the museum or even the Harry Potter references, that made the day wonderful. It was, of course, the company. My best friend and her husband. Two really good people. People who enjoy their lives and work toward their dreams. People who love to laugh. People who are really good at loving each other.
That’s really what I want to talk about. Dinosaurs are cool. Chocolate is delicious. The Natural History Museum was interesting. But friends, love—those are the things that make or break us. Those are the things that make simple days at a museum unforgettable.
One of the most beautiful parts of this trip to southern California has been seeing my best friend one year into her marriage. She’s always been a happy person with a ready laugh and a penchant for costumes. She’s always been strong and motivated, ever pursuing her dreams. But now there’s something else. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but it’s a deeper sort of contentment, a security in being with someone endlessly kind and planning a future together.
It’s really beautiful.
So often the relationships we see and hear about are dramatic, explosive, exhausting. It’s not that often that you see people being truly kind to each other. And that’s why I think happiness and self-love are so worth pursuing. Because when you’re happy, well cared for, at peace with your life—be it a life of travel, a life of building a family, or something else altogether—it’s a lot easier to love everyone around you, to inspire the people in your life.
So, fight for your happiness friends, whatever it may look like.
And believe in and practice kindness.
Oh, and take lots of cheesy pictures in front of fake clouds.
Cheesy headless horse picture in front of fake clouds.
A big thanks to San Diego’s Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. My visit to the museum was complimentary, but all Harry Potter references and sappy love talk, as it were, are my own.