By Brianna Wiest

Happy people are interested in things. They’re interested in things that aren’t necessarily complicated or prestigious or aspirational. They’re interested in Grey’s Anatomy and their favorite books and their favorite author’s new podcast and the way their photo frames lay out next to a candle on a shelf. They’re interested in sports teams and those Twitter accounts that post weird jokes. They’re interested in online shopping and taking day trips and things that quell anxiety.

It’s become sort of uncool to be interested in things. To say that you’re interested is to admit that you care. To admit that you care is to leave yourself vulnerable. I don’t know why we prey upon people who express their emotions, but I imagine it has something to do with suppressing in others what we suppress in ourselves.

A really important part of living a generally good life is giving a shit about it. Which, most of the time, is actually taking time to care about things that are little and simple and ordinary.

What we usually don’t realize is that we’re going to take interest in something or other. Our brains need to be occupied by something virtually always.

There is so much more to spend your life doing than being interested in what people think of you. That particular interest drives most of the others: what we post about, how we create, what we wear, how “successful” we’re allowed to perceive ourselves to be. And this particular cornucopia of delusion tends to be at its worst when your life is void of all the stupid, beautiful little things that make a life a happy one.

So be interested in things.

If the things in your life do not interest you and you cannot think of anything else that you would find interesting, you are not looking hard enough. Or really, you’re not looking at all. There are so many thousands and millions of books and stories and apps and movies and photos and platforms and museums and cafés and people and things to do. Find dumb stuff you love and let yourself love it. You’re no less intelligent or realistic or grounded for enjoying the mundane. As Paulo Coehlo says, the simplest things are also the most extraordinary, but only the wise can see them.

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