Any way the wind blows.

Favorite TshirtI recently asked a friend about her favorite song— what was it and why? She couldn’t answer my question.

“I like a bunch of songs,” she replied. My husband, when I asked him a week later, gave me a similar response.

Yea, but which one, two, three, etc. is/are your all-time favorites? I consider favorite song/s to be a very telling trait of a person’s personality. Let me be clear, I don’t mean, “What’s your favorite song of today’s music?” More like, “What’s your favorite song/s of all time?”

While your favorite song may change depending on your mood, time of your life, or even day of the week, there most likely is an internal que — whether you realize it is there or not — of your most cherished songs. Songs that, when you hear them, create an almost magical effect and you can’t help but be 100 percent you. Everyone has a favorite song, or a few favorite songs, even if they don’t truly understand why or how.

I was asked on a job interview what my favorite animal was. My initial thought was, “Ok, weirdo.” But considering this was a job interview, I took a few seconds to give it some serious thought. I like dogs, but so do most people. I took into considering the fact that I don’t currently own one, and I normally only go gah-gah over cute, small dogs, which to me doesn’t mean I’m an all-around dog lover. Oh, and I’m slightly (kinda, sort of, like a lot) allergic to them. So there’s that.

In those few moments of silence, I thought, “What animal exists on this planet that I completely nerd out for? That I will scale the length of three kitchen chairs to quietly press my face to the window and internally squeal with excitement?”

The answer: bunnies.

I love bunnies. As a kid, I collected bunny figurines and stuffed animals. I read bunny books, like “Rabbits Rainy Day” (the first book I was ever given at the tender age of four) and “The Adventures of Peter Cottontail.” My favorite holiday was Easter. I say the word “bunny” as opposed to “rabbits,” because I grew up a Bugs Bunny fan. It just stuck.

When they asked me why, I had to pause again for a moment to reflect. I never owned rabbits, even though I secretly want to, especially now that I learned they can be house trained to use a litter box! I only ever experienced live-action bunnies in glimpses when my parents would drive down the road near our house or when I rode my bicycle. Specifically wild cottontail rabbits — I saw a puff of a tail here or a full body sight for two seconds before they disappeared into the grass, ditch, or soybean field across from our house.

Bunnies Chill under rose bushesIn Illinois, there was a cottontail bunny family that lived underneath a large grass mound at the edge of the golf course behind our house. Even now in Texas, we have a family of cottontail bunnies living underneath a large evergreen pine behind our house. There are three of them who enjoy our backyard in the evening, one of which can spend multiple days chilling underneath our rose bushes. Another chose to have her baby bunny nest in our backyard, which was not as fun of an experience as I hoped. I’m pretty sure at least one of the two babies survived. Both of which my husband and I stepped on. And our hearts broke.

To answer the question as to why I love bunnies: because they are cute, fast, smart, and can often go unnoticed. But even with all of their cuteness, they are still wild animals with the sole purpose of survival, which is to be respected. And if you don’t agree with me, read “Watership Down” and prepare to have your mind blown.

While I eventually didn’t get the job — I’m secretly glad I didn’t. It would have required me to write in a windowless room and not interact with people, which would have been a nightmare for me, even if it was only six minutes from my house. — I’m thankful to be provided the opportunity to reflect on the “favorite animal” question. Yes, in the moment I passed it off as a weird question. While it’s still not my preferred “favorite” question to ask, I recognize now in hindsight it’s far more insightful than I originally thought.

I find it funny that there are two different kinds of people: the ones who can easily recognize their favorite animal, but can’t recognize their favorite song as opposed to the ones who can easily recognize their favorite songs, but can’t recognize their favorite animal. So whichever question you find harder to answer, I ask that you dig in and really think about it — as seriously as I dug into the “favorite animal” question, even though I didn’t initially like it. Even if you think it’s dumb and meaningless, it can actually find some very valuable insights buried within yourself.

And while we’re at it, here is my list of favorite songs. The songs that when they come on the radio or pop up in my Pandora/Songza stations, cause me to totally lose my shit. I know the order of these songs will change depending on my mood, but they left impressions on my soul for the past 20-something years. I’m looking forward to, in time, adding songs to this list. Please keep in mind; I wasn’t able to immediately throw this song list onto the page. It’s been at least a week of my really grinding through it in my mind to create it.

  1. Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen. This has been my favorite song since the seventh grade. I’m normally singing it in my head at least twice a week for no apparent reason. Much like how I have scenes from “The Little Mermaid” or “Aladdin” playing in my head, which is surprisingly often.
  2. Lip Gloss” by Little Mama. This is my Friday jam! Yes, I know it’s a song written by a 17-year-old girl about her lip gloss. But how perfect is that?! It takes me back to when I was in middle school, and my only care was about my lip gloss. And yes, even as a grown woman, I still get excited over my favorite shade of lip gloss. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is probably why I’m an Independent Beauty Consultant. Shocker, right?
  3. Take it Easy” by the Eagles. It soothes my soul. And that’s all there is to it.
  4. She’s in Love with the Boy” by Trisha Yearwood. This was the first taste of a love song I could relate to as a child. I was four years old when the song was first released, but it played on the radio for years. It wasn’t until middle school, when I had my first real crush, that I truly understood it. Also in middle school, I witnessed what my sister experienced with her first boyfriend and our overbearing mother. I knew the focus of the song was most likely a struggle I would experience first-hand. Yup, a self-fulfilling prophecy even as Kindergartener I knew would come to fruition.
  5. Vidalia” by Sammy Kershaw. Can you tell I was raised in the ‘90s by parents who loved country music? Sammy Kershaw was a local to the small town in Louisiana where I grew up. My mother went to high school with him, she had his CDs on repeat in her vehicles, and he played a concert in our town every year. It just sounds like home to me. Plus, it’s a song about a woman as compared to an onion — you can’t get more Louisiana than that.
  6. Faint” by Linkin Park. This is from my dark and brooding years in late high school. Just the fact that I describe it like that makes me laugh out loud! But that’s a story for another time. This song just lights my fire! Believe it or not, I’m a pretty anxious person on the inside. I hide it very well. When I’m feeling frustrated, weak, or experiencing crippling self-doubt, I listen or even just think about this song, head-bang a good bit, imagine a lyrical dance to it, and I feel better. It’s how I roll.
  7. Slow Motion” by Juvenile. This song goes completely against my firm stance of disgust for society’s objection of the female form and women in general. But it’s so damn catchy! My husband was the one who pointed out to me how I can’t help but dance in the car when this song comes on the radio. Whether I’m driving or not, it doesn’t matter. I will do a body roll and wiggle my butt in the car seat. Every. Single. Time.

Other favorites include “Dirty Laundry,” by Don Henley, “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins, and “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” by Elton John (and the Sara Bareilles version). But who really cares what my favorite songs are, you know? In all sincerity, I want to know what your favorite songs are and why! And while we’re at it, throw in your favorite animal. You may discover something new about yourself, or you’ll discover what your next pet will be. Either way, it’s a win-win.

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