My name is Millicent and I run this little space called Our Happy Notes. For several years I sat on the idea, reluctant to make it a reality for fear of failure. Then I was faced with a multitude of mental health problems that I will no doubt be dealing with for the rest of my life. To help me cope I took up writing a diary; I wrote in the most positive voice I could find within me and the more I wrote the more prominent the voice became. Through writing, the wonderful people around me providing kind words and motivation, and finding my passion in drama, I was able to make it through my worst depressive episode. Not only that, but I feel I came out stronger in character and wisdom. I still struggle, but I’m finding my way – and I wanted to do something that might provide hope to someone else through Our Happy Notes.
Our Happy Notes is a based on the idea that:
– small actions to improve mental health and make change matter
– even if you only make a difference to one person, that is amazing
– it’s ok if that one person is you
I’m a highly passionate and sentimental person. I look at the world around me and I cannot help but see the stories and beauty interwoven in the city crowds and countryside paths. I look at the world around me and I cannot help but feel a desperate desire to do something – anything – to make it a better place. I want to spread joy; stop global warming; end poverty; bring peace. But I can’t save the world. What I can do is make a difference, even if it’s only for one person, even if that one person is me. So, start small. Only what is small? What is small enough to be achievable, yet big enough to make a tangible impact? And so was born the idea of Our Happy Notes! Spreading joy to the receiver (hopefully) while simultaneously enabling the sender to feel better within themselves by encouraging them to consciously think more positive thoughts. And when we feel better in ourselves, we are better able to help others and do our bit in ‘saving the world’ – whatever that may be.
So I write little notes with positive messages on them, leaving them in public for people to find and sharing them online. I would highly encourage you to try making your own as well! However as I’ve continued to develop Our Happy Notes, my voice has been developing also, and I realised I wanted to move into mental health advocacy as well since it is intersectional with every other issue out there, and something we all have. I try and advocate for a better system present across all sectors of society, and better understanding of mental health, in the hope that no one has to go through such torment alone.
So that’s the story of how Our Happy Notes came to be, and to top it off here’s five facts about me:
1. I identify, broadly speaking, as gay – but I’m happy to be called queer, lesbian or not-straight. Also acceptable: ‘who-cares’ or ‘it’s-complicated’
2. I love reading. A lot. I read a lot. Old bookstores and libraries are some of the most underrated places on the planet
3. I once went to the wrong airport. Not totally sure why this is relevant, I just feel as though it is
4. I find playing the piano to be one of the most calming activities; my favourite piece to play is Bohemian Rhapsody, which I’m teaching myself from YouTube
5. I am learning Spanish because I love being able to communicate with different peoples
I hope this space might help to support someone else out there!
Do have a look around the website and get involved! If you’d like to publish an article, share a message or a note you’ve made, or just share some thoughts you can contact us here. We would definitely encourage you to make your own Happy Note for someone to find to bring a little joy into the day of both you and the receiver – we find happiness in all the little things in life!
Much love, Millie. X