Sometimes I accidentally turn this blog into a breeding ground of injustice and other dreadful news, simply because my mind is focused on those stories instead of new outfits or an eyeshadow tutorial. Of course, everything I share here is directly related to who I am as a person, so it’s not always glitter and rainbows (in fact, it rarely is) after reading the news. However, I don’t want This Is Noelle to just be a depressing outlet that strokes fear and anxiety (two of my greatest struggles), so in an effort to combat my latest string of negative writings, I’m sharing 5 moments in which I was the happiest. Similar to that of 5 things, these 5 moments are random, but made a unique impact on my life and my outlook on society and the world (seems like a exaggeration, but it’s true). I don’t remember everything about each of these 5 moments, but I know I was extraordinarily happy and I’ll keep that feeling forever.
The first of the 5 moments was when our band (The Kamehameha Schools Warrior Marching Band and Color Guard) went to Washington D.C. for the Presidential Inauguration in 2013. That trip changed everything in my life, but on this particular day, Brandon and I were fooling around while examining a hot air balloon basket in one of the Smithsonians, and we thought it would be funny if we pretended to be flying inside (hence the arm placements). I don’t know what it is about this picture, but it’s still my favorite we’ve ever taken together and one of the few times in my life where everything felt perfect.
I skipped a few years, but my next favorite moment was when Lo and I took Jonathan on a surprise birthday road trip to Fossil Rim (arguably his favorite place in the world) in 2018. Lo’s husband Jason made us these matching birthday safari shirts and we were ecstatic every time an animal came up to our car for feeding. We spent so many hours with the animals, ate burgers for lunch, and added more inside jokes that we still reference in our daily group text. This day was my favorite I’ve ever had with Lo and Jonathan, and I only wish we could repeat it annually.
The third of my 5 moments in which I was the happiest took place at my graduation from Baylor last May. My entire family on my dad’s side flew up for the occasion and I don’t think I’ve ever felt that type of relief and pure joy after an accomplishment. There were so many times I wanted to give up on academics, but knowing that I would one day graduate from Baylor University in the presence of all the people I love made me work even harder to accomplish that goal. Having my parents and sister next to me and cheering me on was just the icing on the graduation cake.
My most recent birthday party was the best one yet as I had all of my Hawaiʻi best friends, including my cousin Conor, right there with me. Conor hadn’t integrated into my friend group before (I only hang out with him and Parker on the side), but everyone got along so well, and the night became even better from there. We got sufficiently drunk at our destination following this picture, and danced for hours at a bar downtown before the boys sang karaoke at Conor’s apartment. It was my favorite birthday ever and I don’t think I’ve felt that excited to be surrounded by large groups of people.
My last favorite of the 5 moments in which I was the happiest was just a few weeks ago on my last three musketeers outing with Parker and Conor. We ate dinner, gossiped and talked politics and sports (aka just Conor and me going back and forth) for multiple hours, drank at the same bar as we attended on my birthday, and joined Conor’s friends at one of their birthday parties later that night. I don’t often share how grateful I am for this 3-person friendship, but it is one of my most treasured group relationships. I don’t think I’ve ever been happier than in this exact moment as Conor and I boasted about our best friend status as cousins, and the three of us were equally drunk when we reached our final destination!