I woke up with a new idea.

I am bitter about my unhappiness. I am cynical and sarcastic and a little mean. I’m not evil, but I’m not a nice person. I don’t care about animals really, I don’t smile at strangers, I’m constantly irritable.

I jump from the couch. My friend L has been having panic attacks and a hard time in general at school, and sometimes he sneaks off to the public library to see me during the school day. So I write little notes—Have a great day, L! I love you! or I know this is tough, but be strong, you can do it!—and put cute little stickers on them, and stick them all throughout his books where he’ll find them.

That feels good.

It’s my friend’s birthday. I’ll make him a card. In fact, I’ll make everyone an unbirthday card about how great they are and how much I appreciate them. Handwritten and decorated cards, bursting with puns, have been passed around.

That feels really good.

I buy flowers and give them to strangers on the street, to my tutor, to my therapist, to the librarian.

I make biscuits from scratch as a thank-you for my boyfriend’s mother because she always lets me stay for dinner or stick around at night when I know how much she values family time. I write her a letter, too. I love your family. Thank you for giving me a home away from home.

I smile at people and listen to people talk. I try not to be as overbearing as I usually am, and be a good listener.

I make and decorate little cards that say things like You have a great smile, pass this on to someone else who has a great smile! In fact, I make about 30 variations, and pass them around. An endless cycle of pre-made compliments.

All of this feels so wholesome and I am beginning to love myself.

I love this.

I’ve found a key to happiness. Feeding off of that of others, like the most benevolent parasite. ♦