I don’t have a lot of favorite sounds. In fact, I’m easily distracted by chewing, clicking, beeping, tapping, and more. I find myself agitated at the sound of dogs barking or babies crying if I’m at all trying to concentrate. And the bulk of classical music makes me anxious. All of these sounds are incredibly loud to me. So loud that I sometimes can’t hear myself think.
I’ve read that this is actually a disorder called misophonia. I do my best to stretch myself when it comes to these sounds, exposing myself to them in doses just to see if I can adapt. But I usually just end up making myself crazy.
That said, there are at least nine sounds I love.
For starters, I love the buzz of a busy cafe. I like all the hustle and bustle and the fact that I can usually never hear only one conversation. There are a lot of things mentioned above that can ruin the coffee shop vibe, but decent headphones can drown out a lot. They’re survival gear in an open office and great for the coffee shop, too. The buzz of a busy cafe? Definitely a fave.
Trains. I love the sound of trains in the distance just as much as I love the sound of a train I’m traveling on. When I lived in Sacramento, I would fall asleep at night listening to the trains (and the search helicopters, some nights, but that’s another story). I love the idea of hopping on a train, meeting a bunch of strangers, and stepping off into a new city somewhere along the way. And I think the other thing about trains that’s especially good is the pace. They’re fast, but they’re not that fast. Flying is nearly always faster, but you don’t take the train if you want to get somewhere fast. You take it in part for the journey itself.
Let’s talk about winning and unwinding for a minute. Popping a champagne cork and the sounds of penny slots at the casino both mean I’m taking a break and having some fun. These sounds remind me of the summers we spend in Lake Tahoe sometimes with friends and family and other times with just family. It’s one of my favorite places to go to relax. I also love the sound of silence. They have that there, too.
In the winter, I love the sound of a crackling fire. I’ll seek out places to go where I can sit by a fire and read when it’s cold out or raining. Combine the crackling fire in the fireplace with the sound of thunder and rain outside and a warm drink in my hand, and I’m beyond thrilled. Sometimes I buy candles that make a crackling sound, and sometimes I sit in front of my TV watching and listening to an artificial fire. Sometimes desperation for a particular ambiance calls for a little improvising.
As for the most human of sounds I love, I can’t get enough of a room full of friends laughing, singing, and enjoying one another’s company. The laughter, especially of people who love one another, is an incredible gift we probably don’t stop to appreciate enough.
My final favorite sound is church bells. This recording doesn’t do any justice to the sound in real life, which is glorious. And every sound is different, too. When I lived in River Forest, IL, I remember hearing church bells just about every day, and I missed it when I left. I still miss it. One of these days, I intend to live by a church that rings the church bells every single day. Mark my words, internet. Mark my words.
What about you? What are your favorite sounds?
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Beka is the Director of Lifecycle Marketing at a hypergrowth startup serving churches and nonprofits. In her free time, you can find her gardening, crafting, reading, traveling, throwing dinner parties, writing, playing board games, watching films, building LEGO cities, and/or drinking fancy bourbon cocktails.