Remember that classic scene in When Harry Met Sally where Meg Ryan is faking an orgasm in a diner? At the end of it, this fellow patron turns to the waitress and says “I’ll have what she’s having.”
And you know what? I want what Rachael Nedrow is having.
Rachael Nedrow is better known as SpeedStackingGirl on YouTube, where she uploads videos of herself attempting to break her own records in Speed Stacking (a sport where you stack cups really quickly). Whenever she breaks her own personal records, she EXPLODES into fits of joy and enthusiastic cheering. Check this out:
HOW HAPPY IS THAT? I mean, that is just pure joy right there. There’s no bragging or boasting here; she is just genuinely proud of herself and her achievement, and she’s not afraid to show it.
Now I know there are tons of comments saying “Oh it’s just stacking cups… there’s not that much to be happy about” but does it really matter? She is over the moon. She has enough positive energy in her to power a rocket to the moon. If you bottled all her exclamations of “YES!” and “OH MY GOSH!” you could probably blow up the moon with that.
Sidenote: If you listen to dubstep, you might recognize her initial “YES OH MY GOSH” as being the sample in Skrillex’s Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites… which was how I initially stumbled across SpeedStackingGirl’s videos in the first place.
Anyway, why would anybody wants to feel that kind of joy and happiness? You could be happy, but how often in your life are you going to be that happy? Ask yourself: “When was the last time I was so overjoyed that I ran around screaming gibberish for the whole world to hear?”
Check out this other video:
This was uploaded a year after the previous video. At this point, SpeedStackingGirl already knows that she’s got millions of people watching her YouTube videos, and she is completely unfazed as she leaps around proclaiming her joy. She doesn’t care if she looks uncool or unglam – she’s happy. Really fucking happy.
How often in your life are you going to feel like that?
I’m happy when I finish a cool animation that I worked hard at, when a YouTube video that we made gets more than a handful of views, and when something I wrote gets uploaded onto 9gag by a random person and gets a ton of likes. But not quite jumping around screaming happy though… I need something really explosively awesome to incite me to such levels of exuberance.
Truth be told, I have only felt like that maybe three times in my life.
- Finally unlocking the Perfect FreeFlow 2.0 achievement in Batman: Arkham City – a feat that requires you to integrate almost every special move into one unbroken combo attack, and one that took me a month of constant playing to finally achieve.
- Finally defeating Shao Kahn in the 2011 version of Mortal Kombat, after repeatedly fighting him non-stop for almost two hours.
- When I married my wifey (I put this last because while I was genuinely ecstatic, I wasn’t able to really explode and run around punching the air… because that’d be inappropriate in a church).
The closest I’ve come to feeling like SpeedStackingGirl was after getting the Perfect Freeflow achievement. When that Xbox notification popped up and beeped to let me know I’d done it, I tossed my controller aside and danced around our room yelling “yes yes yes!” and “I did it! I finally did it!” while punching the air. If I could backflip, I would’ve done about 50 of those right then, give or take a few broken vertebrae.
I ran straight to wifey to announce my achievement, and she put her hand on my shoulder before giving me an extremely condescending “congratulations, I’m really proud of you.”
After that, my air-punching and jumping kinda died down, and my cheering went down a few notches to just tweeting and Facebooking about my big news.
And that’s why I don’t think I was as happy as SpeedStackingGirl when she got her 7.00 record. If I was as happy as SpeedStackingGirl, there wouldn’t be a thing in the world that could’ve rained on my parade then.
Or maybe it’s not just about the level of happiness… maybe it’s about how happy we allow ourselves to be. Maybe we restrain ourselves from letting go and really celebrating the moment.
Just before Jerry Maguire said his often-quoted “You complete me” line, he said something else that is just oh-so-true.
“We live in a cynical world. A cynical world.” – Jerry Maguire
I’m equally guilty of that. I can be a pretty cynical guy who frequently makes sarcastic remarks because I don’t have anything better to say, and I hang around equally cynical friends so that we can feed off each other’s cynicism while we mock everything. If I saw some young girl cheering because she stacked some cups really quickly, I’d probably have some snarky comment to make.
I think it’s because there are tons of other cynics like me out there that I’m afraid of letting go and screaming “oh my gosh!” repeatedly. If I’m listening to a song that makes me really happy on a mostly-empty train, I’d be afraid of dancing or bopping my head too much in case some guy yelled at me to sit my whore ass down.
And I’m sure I’m not the only one with such reservations. Maybe if more people in the world were to be less cynical, then people wouldn’t be as reserved about showing their happiness. And if more people are walking around outwardly expressing their joy, then that joy could spread and then everyone will be happy!
I started writing this post thinking that I wanted to achieve something to be as happy and excited as SpeedStackingGirl, but now that I think about it, maybe I am already have that. I just need to throw off my cynicism, be as unreserved as her, and allow myself to be as happy as that!
So yeah, SpeedStackingGirl (aka Rachael Nedrow). Watch her videos, get inspired by her exuberance, and don’t be afraid to be as happy as you can be! Because you don’t need to win the lottery to be that happy; you just need to let yourself be that happy.
Do that, and maybe your happiness can be sampled and put into a dubstep song too.
PS: SpeedStackingGirl really reminds me of my little sister back when she was younger. She was just as prone to be happy and excited over little trivial things. But when my brother and I were in our gothy angsty teen years, we kinda infected her with our cynicism and now she’s pretty snarky too. Oops… sorry, Mainey!