Apparently, I've been tagged by my wonderful friend Tumbleweed; which means I am obliged to present you with my ten favorite things.
And here, in no particular order, they are:
1) My friends and family. Walking into my parents' house and feeling the distinct sense of home. Entering a bar or restaurant where my friends are gathered, hearing their excited hellos and collecting hugs and kisses on the cheek. Knowing that there are people, three of whom who happen to bear my last name, who would give me anything I needed; To whom I would give anything as well. The feeling that no matter what I do, I'll have people who love me.
2) Long car rides. Endless interstate, 65 MPH. Cigarettes and Dr. Pepper there for when I need them. Turning on the radio to catch the very beginning of a good song, and getting to listen to it all the way through. Cranking the volume up as high as it will go, drowning out the sound of my tires on the road, the swoosh of the wind through my open windows, my thoughts. Singing as loud as I please, knowing no one else can hear me.
3) Music. Pop, blues, country, rap, hip hop, latin, dance, jazz and even a touch classical. Being carried by it where ever it chooses to take me. Feeling the thump of the bass beneath my legs in the car, in my room, in a club. Knowing all of the words to a good song. Singing along. Feeling like the singer is belting out those lyrics for me. Finding a song that fits exactly how I feel.
4) Summer nights. Crickets and lightning bugs. Going out without a jacket. Warm air, the sexy kind, thick with humidity, licking at my limbs. Beads of sweat resting in the spot just above my lip. Candles on outdoor tables at restaurants. Looking up to see the moon, and seeing a million stars, too.
5) Spring days. The first warm afternoon after winter finally breaks. The impeccably blue sky stretching out behind the foreground of Milford. Lifting my face to the sun to catch its warm rays with my pale cheeks. Taking a deep breath and smelling lilacs and freshly cut grass. Hearing lawnmowers in the distance. Seeing a park full of kids and adolescents on my way home from work. Knowing that summer is just around the corner.
6) Shopping. Finding a fantastic sale. Being able to exclaim "I got these at 50% off!" Trying something on, looking in the mirror and feeling fantastic. Walking into stores whose merchandise I will never be able to afford, just to touch plush fabrics, costly purses, finely made shoes. A pair of stilettos that makes me feel incredibly sexy. Purchasing something without succumbing to Buyer's Remorse.
7) Saturday mornings. Waking up without an alarm, and not having to be anywhere anytime soon. Staying in bed well past a reasonable hour, watching VH1's Top Twenty Countdown and Best Week Ever. Feeling completely and totally relaxed. Getting up and separating my laundry into their respective piles. The sound of laundry tumbling in the next room. Fresh cups of coffee.
8) Reading. Getting lost in someone else's words. Finding inspiration in the aged pages of my favorite novels. Loving a book or a character so much that I don't want the book to end. Wondering, after I've finished reading it, what that character is doing now. Hoping for a sequel. Reading other people's blogs, and feeling like I know them.
9) Writing. Blogging. Recording my thoughts in a journal. Composing emails. It doesn't matter. If the written word is involved, I am happy. Exorcising my demons, ridding myself of agony by just getting my thoughts out of me and onto paper. Feeling lighter, freed, after I feel I've accurately described my thoughts, my state of mind, my actions in a post. The indescribably wonderful feeling of having a stranger write to me and say they liked what I wrote, or that they identified with it, or that I captured their feelings completely. Feeling like I have one thing that I'm actually good at.
10) Love. The idea that it exists. The love I feel for my family. The love I feel for my friends. The love I feel for good music, good books, good pizza. Platonic love. Love given and love received. Romantic love, even if I'm not in it right now. The wonderful, horrible, crazy, insane, irrational, and amazing things one will do in the name of it.
Tumbleweed broke the rules and passed this on to more than three. I'm breaking the rules and passing it onto two: Pollo and Melanie.