I Love It When…
By Chelsea Chinedo & Olivia Jane Smith
A pandemic-era reflection on the things that bring us joy—things we may have taken for granted because we thought they would always be there. The little things seem much bigger now.
Chelsea Chinedo & Olivia Jane Smith
I love it when strangers are nice to me
A gift of kindness, with nothing expected in return
I love it when I see the full moon rising over city streets
There’s nothing like looking up and admiring the galaxy
I love it when it snows during the holidays
Softly falling, so quiet, pale and new
I love sharing food
What’s better than sharing something you love with people you love
I love listening to music from different countries
I may not travel everywhere but I can hear how the world sounds
I love trying new foods I’ve never tried before
The first mouthful like opening my eyes in a place I’ve never been
I love when my parents let me follow them to parties
A time to celebrate is whenever you are with people you care about
I love it when I get a package in the mail
Finally! The things I ordered arrived!
I love days when I don’t have to wake to an alarm
Sleeping in is so needed
I love it when it’s drenchingbonechillingblustering outside and I can stay warmsnugcurleduplikeacat inside
Ugh there’s literally nothing more comforting than that
I love staying in and watching my favorite shows on Netflix
Transported into a story, a perfect escape
I love it when I can be outside, at the park or in the garden, watching so many different people come and go
It’s so nice to see new faces, people you may never see again
I love the sound of children laughing, running down the sidewalk to catch up with their joy
Children are so full of love and light
I love hearing my family’s voices when they say hello
I feel loved when my family members acknowledge me
I love it when I make my parents proud
A debt of love repaid
I love feeling confident in myself
Bring it on, world, I got this!
I love it when people can relate to me
Feeling heard and understood makes me feel like I’m not alone
I miss getting hugs from so many people I love
Wrapped around the arms of your loved ones, a type of comfort you can’t find anywhere else
I miss going on spontaneous adventures with my family and friends
There’s no place like home but there can be too much of a good thing!
I miss ice skating
Gliding through the cold air, I feel light seeing other smiling faces sailing by
I miss dance class
Dancing the night away, without a care in the world
I miss seeing an outdoor concert and being surrounded by a crowd of strangers and neighbors
A time where you can just let loose and have fun, without worrying about your many deadlines
I miss eating at my favorite Japanese restaurant, watching the fire rise while I eat and watching the chefs throw the food in the air yet place it so nicely on my plate
A delicious spectacle!
I miss sitting in a cafe, reading and watching other people drink their coffee
A time to just sit back, relax and watch other people do the same
I miss meeting new people at events
The sparkle of conversation, taking in someone’s presence, makes me feel alive
I miss sitting on a friend’s couch, laughing at a movie or a funny remark, feeling the glow of being in their company, familiar and loving
What would life be without the company of our comforting friends?
I miss sharing a chocolate chip cookie with one of my favorite people after a long day of school
Spending time with someone you look forward to seeing is pure happiness
I miss chatting while walking to the subway and stopping for bubble tea along the way
Two of my favorite things
I miss spending time with my teachers after school
I miss school, friends, hallways crowded with students, hanging around after class
I miss subway rides into the city and sweet milky tea with chewy boba clinging slightly to my teeth as I dig for my metrocard
Crowded church pews and singing and my grandmother and gatherings with family friends (I imagine Chelsea saying)
What does she imagine are the things I miss most?
How does she picture my life from a double distance, now twice removed?
I miss watching plays, hanging out with my friends in person, traveling and eating at a cafe.
I miss iced coffee from Gregorys, long walks at the park when the weather is good, dancing my heart out with other energetic, lively dancers.
How is her life so put together?
What is it like constantly writing about a pandemic? I don’t know how she does it, but she does it with ease.
I didn’t know this would come
Me neither, no one did. The last time I saw you
we shared a cookie and talked and wrote and I drank tea
I had no idea I wouldn’t sit next to you again for more than a year.
Everyone’s lives changed
In a blink of an eye
In a single heartbeat
Blue of the out
I miss it
You never know?
You got it, Chelsea!
Our first idea was to focus on things we love and things we hate. But we decided we needed extra positivity right now, so the things we didn’t like fell away. As we wrote, we found we naturally drifted to things we miss during the pandemic, and that led us to a very important thing we miss—each other! We ended by wondering about each others’ lives and how they have changed. It is a meditation on what makes us happy and how we stay connected and appreciative of the good things, including our friendship.
Olivia Jane Smith loves all kinds of stories. In her current job she often writes about what people do all day and what they find meaningful about their work, seeking to inform, engage and inspire a diverse audience of more than 40,000 healthcare workers. She also does some executive writing. Earlier in her career she worked as a theater reviewer at the Gambit Weekly in New Orleans and as an online editor at the New York Daily News.
Chelsea Chinedo is currently a junior in high school and she loves to explore different writing genres and get out of her comfort zone once in a while. She is a driven student that is always willing to learn and improve in any way she can. She enjoys dressing up, doing makeup looks, having fun with family and friends and watching Netflix!