I love rainy days when I can stay home. I love making desserts just because I feel like cooking. I love having a big stack of books I want to read. I love waking up early on a day I have no plans and getting out of bed anyway. I love having a clean house and being able to sit back and enjoy that. I love having newly painted toenails. I love getting a notification from the library, telling me my requested book is available and just waiting for me. I love going to the movies by myself. I love driving by myself and singing loudly along with a favorite CD. I love grocery shopping as soon as I’ve finished in the produce section. I love being home alone in the afternoon. I love the Bellagio fountains in Las Vegas, especially when they play a song I know. I love riding the bus and being able to read the whole way and not using any of my precious gasoline. I love getting the mail and wondering what might be in that box. I love throwing things away and seeing the emptiness left behind. I love going to the bookstore just to wander around. I love movie trailers, to the point where I’m sad when the actual movie starts. I love daffodils. I love getting on an airplane and knowing when I get off I’ll be in a different place. I love chocolate soy milk and feeling both healthy and indulgent when I drink it. I love writing a good academic paper and knowing it was a good one even before I turn it in. I love sweaters and skirts. I love growing plants in my kitchen window and watching them tilt toward the sun. I love my iBook with an unreasonable love; I love being a Mac person. I love reading magazines of any kind. I love wearing sunglasses. I love going to a musical and falling in love with the music and the dancing. I love Thai and Indian food, and I love being the kind of person who likes those kinds of “exotic” foods. I love being thin. I love finding a good spot in a crowded parking lot. I love how sun looks on wood floors. I love houses full of personal pictures. I love that I have dark eyes and light hair. I love that my house has five bookcases and still can’t hold all the books I own. I love roller coasters and short lines for them. I love getting an email that’s a blog comment or a long letter from someone I love. I love nice blinds, rather than those flimsy plastic ones that get bent and look dusty after ten seconds. I love the way my legs look in high heels. I love finding a good bargain on anything. I love seeing the red light on my phone when there is a new text message. I love seeing a bookshelf and realizing I’ve read most of the books on it. I love finishing the laundry and having it all put away. I love finding new blogs and reading months of archives. I love the feeling of being healthy after being sick. I love buying plane tickets and then planning for the trip. I love being in a good classroom discussion and having something to contribute. I love fry sauce. I love having my inbox completely cleared out. I love the feeling of being happy with who I am, even if who I am isn’t perfect.
The challenge from She Likes Purple: make your own list. The only catch? You can’t include a single person you know on your list. No “I love the way my husband laughs” or “I love hearing my little girl call for me.” It’ll be tough, I know. But this particular little exercise is about stripping away everyone who defines you and figuring out what you (not his partner; not their mother/daughter/sister/friend) love.