An artist has created a funny and heartwarming collection of pins to congratulate you on your small triumphs
2016 was a rough year by most measures, and there’s no guarantee that 2017 will be any better. Which makes it more important than ever to step back and recognize those little moments when something goes right.
Artist Emily McDowell is making it easy for you to do just that.
In an article on Mashable, Emily shared her motivation for creating a bunch of enamel pins intended to recognize “everyday bravery” and other seemingly small victories that are often deceptively meaningful.
“I realized that we don’t actually tend to celebrate or recognize the things that are actually our biggest challenges. Things like surviving grief or changing your thinking take a lot of work, and I think it’s cool to acknowledge it,” McDowell told the tech site.
She currently offers 24 pins on her website and if you’re allergic to sentiment, don’t worry. There are some cheeky options as well.
In fact, McDowell’s own favorite pin is of the slightly less-earnest variety: “Someone didn’t like me and it was okay.” Others include “Unfriended a racist,” “Kicked cancer’s ass,” “Chose hope over fear,” “Gave my last fuck.”
“In order to write our Empathy Cards, which is probably the product we’re best known for, I end up thinking a lot about the hardest parts of life,” McDowell says of her creative process. “[The pins are] all based around common human experiences that a lot of people go through.”
2017 may well end up being the year of tiny blessings.
If the two months since the election were any indication, weathering a Trump presidency is going to take a lot of work for a lot of disappointed and nervous people. Safety pins have already gained traction among those showing solidarity in the face of the rise in hate crimes, and now Emily McDowell is finding a way to encourage people to find the silver linings in their day-to-day lives.
“One of the most fun parts of selling them has been getting to see all the people posting pictures of the pins they’ve bought or gotten as gifts, and the stories behind them,” McDowell added.
If we’re going to get through the next 12-to-36 months, recognizing and sharing the small bursts of sunshine we experience every day is a great way to remind ourselves, and each other, that no matter how bleak it gets, there’s always something to celebrate.
This article was originally published on