1. The gratifying sense of relief that washes over you after you finally find an important belonging you thought you’d misplaced — such as your keys, wallet, cell phone, or Epi-pen. This feeling intensifies exponentially with each additional hour you spend searching for the lost item.
2. The realization that you get to relax after a long day of work, several cups of coffee (most of which ended up on the front of your blazer rather than in your mouth), and a frustrating commute home via a Subway train that arrived more than forty minutes later than you thought it would. There is nothing more gratifying than kicking off your shoes, slipping off your business casual for a ratty pair of sweats and a Slanket, and crawling into bed with Seinfeld and a carton of Chinese food after a dreary day.
3. That sudden, soothing release of tension from the lower half of your body when you get to use the bathroom after searching to find one for what seemed like ages. During one moment of particularly low desperation (read: the chances that you might defecate yourself were overwhelming high), you even went to the coffee shop two blocks away from the intersection you were supposed to meet your friend and bought a cup of overpriced coffee so you could use the bathroom. Eagerly anticipating septic relief, you locked the door and turned around to realize that some buffoon before you had clogged the toilet. Shit. Shit, shit, shit.
4. The ecstatic giddiness that comes with receiving that text message, email, or phone call bearing news you’ve anticipated for all too long. When you finally hear that your boss wants you to take the assignment you’ve been lusting after or that guy you like too much for your own good wants you to come to his party in Flatbush on Saturday, you feel as though someone spiked your drink at dinner — but, whatever, it’s your party now and you can’t stop.
5. The intensely satisfying satiation that sits heavy at the bottom of your stomach and arteries when you’ve just stuffed yourself at a delicious meal (with Thanksgiving rapidly rounding the corner, this is particularly apt). The zipper on your jeans feels like it could pop off at any moment and you ate so much that you feel slightly queasy, but every single bite of that meal was worth it — especially if it involved your grandmother’s signature pecan pie.
6. The bubbly rush that goes straight to your head — as though you’ve just power-chugged three glasses of champagne without coming up for any air — when someone steals a kiss from you when you least expect it and after you’d spent quite a while wondering if they even had any romantic sentiments toward you. (Life is not a movie, but this rush is enough to make you feel like Meg Ryan in a cheesy 90s romantic comedy when, for example, they kiss you in the middle of Grand Central station — so unexpectedly that you accidentally drop your suitcase on their feet and so powerfully that you don’t even care about the horde of Japanese tourists that have suddenly gathered to gawk at the two of you)
7. The childlike wonder you experience when an event that feels more like magic than reality makes you realize that regardless of how old you are or how jaded you claim to be, you are still capable of the same glee and unadulterated joy with which you regarded the world around you at 11 or 12 years old.
8. The excitement that sends adrenaline coursing through your veins when your most well-thought out plans, researched with precision, twist and turn in unexpectedly pleasant directions. Take, for example, last Thursday night, when you and a few friends were supposed to go to a bar near Times Square but a communicative deficit with your cab driver caused him to drop you off in front of a random club in the Meatpacking District, where you had never ventured past five. Maybe your plans were not shaping out how you’d imagined (that bar received five stars on Yelp, after all!), but later — after you and your friends somehow crashed a miscellaneous group of rappers’ birthday party at that club — you learned that the best evenings come as total surprises.