I’ve written two previous posts about the things I cannot stand (aptly titled The Hate List – Parts I and II). What I don’t like, says so much about the sort of person I am, but so too does the list of things that I absolutely love, love, love. I have not included the obvious – my family – because it is a given; they don’t make the list because they are the list. Below, in no particular order, are twenty things I just adore, for a number of reasons.
1) Getting into bed, exhausted
This means I have had a big day. It also means that I will fall asleep without the cogs in my brain ticking over and driving me to distraction. I prize my sleep. It is often light and interrupted and difficult to fall into. Hence, when I have got to the point where I am absolutely spent, I sigh big and dramatically – from the very depths of my soul – and I relish the speed with which I am out for the count.
2) The sound of my brother’s laugh
Josh has always had a great laugh. It is big, it is infectious and it is intoxicating. I don’t hear that laugh enough because baby brother lives interstate, but in the brief moments of time that I get to see him each year, his uninhibited chuckles take me back to our childhood, effortlessly.
3) The smell of raisin toast
Someone at work cooks raising toast in the staff kitchen at least once a week. The overwhelming scent drifts into the corridors and my stomach growls enviously. It’s strange, because I loathe sultanas (or pretty much any other fruit) that has been bedecked in chocolate, but I would down a slice of raisin toast at any time of day or night.
4) Midnight Bailey’s sessions
Every December, I spend a night at Phillip Island with my parentals and my aunty and uncle and cousins. After we have left the main festivities, we sit around the kitchen table, with a bottle of Bailey’s Irish Cream, to debrief. We listen to chilled out tunes, laugh, and reminisce. I’ve learnt more about my family (from before I was born) from these gatherings, than I have in any other conversation. These sessions have helped me to learn my heritage – the good, the bad and the ugly.
5) Belting out a tune on a solo road trip
I’m not a dancer – and I can’t sing well – but I just love turning the stereo up, winding the windows down and blissing out with a tune. I do this for the benefit of me and no-one else and it makes me very, very happy.
6) The many ways people say ‘I love you’ without using the words
My dad says it when he calls me “Katie-Kate”; Greners does so when she laughs like Mutley at one of my ludicrous stories; Hamster makes it clear when she says, “Shit you’re a funny bitch, Ginners!”; and the boys at school say it in countless ways, every day – be it with a gentle bump in the corridor, or a wink, or a secret handshake, or a subtle nod of the head, or a call of “G BANG!” across the quadrangle, accompanied by a big grin and a little wave. I haven’t had a partner tell me they love me for over seven years, and yet I still feel very much loved. I don’t need to hear those three little words – the actions of others say plenty.
7) Carl Barron
What’s not to love about Carl? He is insanely funny…which makes him insanely sexy – even though he is a scrawny bald man in his mid-forties. Yep, I’d definitely marry him. Or Ryan Gosling. Or Keanu Reeves. Just putting it out there – you never know who’ll come knocking…
8) The multitude of life experience gained through travel
I don’t care if it is New York, or Edinburgh, or Dubrovnik or Istanbul, I love travel. LOVE IT. It’s the people, it’s the culture, it’s the cuisine. It’s everything. Sure, I can’t stand the long, lonely, tired hours at airports between connecting flights, but the knowledge that I will return to reality different, better in some way, cancels out all the stressful elements. If I had the coin, I’d travel for six months of every year.
9) Unplanned awesome
Be it a wild night on the lash that was initially penned as a sedate affair, or a liberating goss-fest with a beautiful friend in pyjamas on my couch, the unexpected fun is always the best.
10) Music and how it shifts my mood
This is a no brainer, really. When I’m flat, I want sorrowful blues that allow me to wallow; when I’m heading out and about, I want big, bold numbers that get me a little too carried away; and when I’m trying to be a gym junkie, I want motivational songs about pushing through the pain – all with a tidy little beat that allows my unco-limbs to keep pace.
11) Starry, starry nights
If I’m rugged up and toasty, I don’t care how frosty it is outside, I want to lay back and watch the universe orbit overhead. Star-gazing makes me think of Ginnagully and the lights from the oil rigs at Barry’s Beach that wink at me from a distant shore.
12) The thrill of the chase
There are a number of reasons I am not in a relationship; the fact that I am a total contradiction is probably one of the most significant factors. I am contradictory because:
a) I hate “the game” and the ridiculous unwritten rules we are expected to follow and yet I follow them nonetheless;
b) I can’t flirt to save my life and it makes me squirm uncomfortably, but I also get a real kick out of those first few dizzying weeks in the lead up to whatever it is you want to call it.
Analysing the content and length of time between text messages, finding the balance between responding coyly and seductively, appearing keen enough but not too keen, I really enjoy this part of the courting process. And then it gets to a certain point and I lose interest or expect too much or am disappointed that he is not the man I have built him up to be inside my head. Hence, I keep looking…
13) Dozing in the afternoon sun
Sun on my face, an interesting story unfolding behind my eyelids, lilting tunes playing softly through my headphones, what’s not to love?
Be it on live television, the highlights reel from a favourite television show, the fail compilations of YouTube, or in real life via the comments of my students and peers, bloopers are awesome. They make me laugh and I love nothing more than a laugh…
15) Seeing one of my students have a light-bulb moment after battling for such a long time
Not all my boys are book-smart. Many of them are amazing athletes, but I notice their frustration when they “just don’t get it”. Therefore, when there is that moment – a mere flicker of recognition and a smile because they have figured it out and they are really proud of themselves – I can’t help but smile too.
16) When people realise I’m not what they thought
When we went over to Canada for Amy’s wedding, I spent more time with my little brother than I have since I left home at seventeen. To Josh, I have always been his nerdy eldest sister. For the first time in his life, Josh saw me as more than that. He said to Greners that he “couldn’t believe how cool” I am. I don’t know what I did differently – oh, how I wish I did! – but I want to keep doing it for as long as I live. Similarly, when Ames came home for Christmas, she told me that I have changed so much for the better. I didn’t know I needed to change, let alone that I had, but if it means my sister and I are no longer wanting to claw each other’s faces off, I’ll roll with that.
17) When my house is as neat as a pin
I hate vacuuming and ironing and cleaning the bathroom and putting clean laundry away, but when I do it, I experience this great sense of accomplishment.
18) Online shopping, shoes and sunnies
So as boyo as my brain is – what with my love of football and swearing and smart-arses and the like – I am still a girly-girl at times.
19) Rambling, rustic homes
I’ve been hooked on Pinterest lately. Shit. Talk about food for thought. The floorboards, the French shutters, the galley-style kitchens…you name it, I want it. The dream home in my head is going to cost a lot of money. One day…
20) Watching the world go past
Be it at a football game at quarter time, or sitting on the Spanish Steps in Rome, or even waiting for my mates outside the cinemas at Southland, I love to people watch. Sometimes it’s noisy and frenetic and garbled, other times it’s heaving or even solemn. Regardless, I love the potential I see in the world walking past: there are stories of despair, of splintering, of struggle, of exhaustion and frustration and anxiety; but for every one of these stories, there is also one of love, of possibility, of chance. This is the world I look for; this is why I watch.