1. Cell phones.
The ability to pick one up, and in seconds, be connected to someone else across the country, even across the world. The ringing dial tone and anticipation before I hear the man I love’s voice on the other line and how that fills my chest with warmth, every single time. The way I feel so close to the people who are really far away, and how strange and beautiful is it that time and distance no longer bear weight?! That I can fall asleep to someone’s voice on the receiver. That I can ring in a quick moment find safety. That no matter where I am, I am never really alone.
2. Dogs with good breath.
3. The way my boyfriend says “I love you,” when he rolls over, half-asleep.
4. The first sips of ice water.
5. Non-humid afternoons.
When the sun dips just behind the clouds and the air is still warm, but soft, not heavy.
6. Men that value me, my heart, and my friendship.
And ones that I can genuinely speak to, lean on, and confide in when I need someone who understands me, or to give me a male, unbiased, honest, heart-in-the-right-place perspective.
7. White wine.
And the bitterness it leaves on your tongue with the first sips.
8. Nailbeds that are no longer bitten down.
9. Raindrops in Southern California.
Because the soft pitter-patter on my skin is so greatly missed.
10. My hair, slowly gaining its curl.
11. The sound of my sister’s laughter.
12. The sounds of the city.
That no matter where I am, will always remind me of home.
13. People that understand my overthinking.
And both encourage me to let go, but also understand this intensity of care and emotion has been, and always will be wired into my veins.
Over mountains, or on highways facing the beach, where I’m reminded, again and again, that this is my life. That I am here. That I am so damn blessed. That sometimes beautiful moments cannot be captured, or put into words, but felt.
15. Outdoor fairy lights.
Because they just bring such an unconscious warmth.
16. When my boyfriend’s son says, “I love you.”
And how those words so mirror his father’s that my heart physically aches.
17. My adventurous nature when it comes to food.
18. The fact that after twenty-five years, I have finally learned to love the process of loving myself.
And my understanding that no matter how much I grow and change, this acceptance will always be a process. And I will always be shifting. And that my body, even in its imperfection, is beautiful.
19. Being in a new place, and yet, feeling right at home.