Dirty Dishes ...
There is no bad time to start. This is my mantra, lately. I have had a shit storm of events this past year, that has allowed me to slide into an unhealthy mind space. I have been working diligently to unfuck myself. In less vulgar terms- I am trying to heal. The hardest part has been being compassionate and forgiving to myself. Everyone has seasons where they slip, and self-love is a great steppingstone out of the heaviness. By self-love, I mean actually being nice to your own mind, body, and soul! Tonight, I did a great work out with my roommate+soul sister, Sidney. We have been trying to hold each other accountable to be less garbage people. I know that some of you read that sentence and think “Libby, that wasn’t a very nice sentence to yourself”, but sometimes you have be honest with your situation. Sidney and I recently recommitted to working out, eating cleaner, and keeping our apartment in better shape. Easy tasks for most, but we are notorious for not doing any of those things. For a while we ran with it like it was a little quirk in our make-up, but then we had a discussion about how this was more of a choice we were making to not to be our best selves. Which is ok! Everyone has times in life where they aren’t their best selves. We grow from them. We had a event recently-ish, that I like to think triggered our “we gotta change some shit up around here” conversation. A family friend of Sidney’s was stopping by, and our apartment was a mess. We had friends over a few days prior, and we were still living in the filth. I keep it real with you guys, so this next part is both unflattering and potentially embarrassing. I have very little shame, because I am who I am, but I do know this is worth mortification. In the rush to get things semi-decent, we grabbed armfuls of dirty dishes, and trash bags of garbage and shoved them onto our balcony. As I watched Sidney do most of the work, I looked around the apartment. The lights were off, which added to the darkness of the moment. Ew! We had just hid our filthy cups, plates, pots, pans, and a plethora of garbage outside on our deck. It felt like a gross secret. As the family friends arrived, I hid in my room. My mind was on the hidden mess. When the friends left our apartment, I walked back out to the deck and took it all in. I looked up to check if my neighbors were witnessing our downfall, but to my surprise no one was outside. As I scanned the neighbor’s balcony’s, I noticed the people directly across from us had boxes of garbage on their deck as well. Aha! They had a secret too! I imagined who they were hiding their mess from and speculated if they felt as ashamed as we did. In the neighbors defense, they didn’t have any dishes stacked on their patio furniture. That one was all us. I find a lot of humor in the situation we had created. My coping mechanism for stress is laughter. When I find myself in moments of uncomfortable tension, I feel myself cracking smile, which turns into half hearted giggles, but eventually pours out of me in gut busting-uproarious laughter. The people closest to me either laugh along in these uncomfortable laughter moments, or they shoot me daggers with their eyes as if to plead with me to control myself. I respect that some people can’t handle humor in stressful moments, but once I start, I truly can’t stop. The laughter invades me, until it takes me over from head to toes. At times, this sort of coping mechanism has gotten me into trouble. People can perceive it as me not taking a situation seriously, but if anything, it’s a hell of a marker that I am very aware of the predicament. Luckily, or maybe empathetically, Sidney has a very similar reaction to stress. We sat in our living room and started laughing at the absurdity of what we had just pulled to conceal our filth. The imagery of us scooping up dishes and scurrying onto the balcony was absolutely hilarious. After the moment of humor passed, we both agreed we needed to live life with a higher standard. We began listing some areas we could improve upon. I had just eaten goldfish crackers for dinner, so I knew that nutrition was an area that needed some tender-loving-care. Reilly, our other roommate is a hell of a cook, so between us three we knew we were capable of eating real meals. Reilly is the queen of mushrooms and cilantro, which makes her true royalty in the kitchen (in my book), because I love both of those foods. Reilly is also the kind of person who listens to good music (and slightly sings when she doesn’t think people are listening), while she cooks. The music and vibe she puts out in the kitchen makes her food full of love, or so I think. The three of us have been cooking more than ever, and it is kind of fun trying new recipes and using what we have in the fridge. I guess this is what adulthood feels like; using up the last of the radishes in the veggie drawer before they go bad. An awareness of what we have to cook with and making the choice not to order pizza just because it is easier. Growth! There is no bad time to start!
P.S. On an unrelated note, enjoy this picture of my sweet golden doodle, Flossy Blue!
Earth Day, Everyday!
Today is Earth Day. I spent most of my day in the office, but when I did step outside, I smelled the fresh and lively scent of rain. The smell of rain makes me feel alive. I don’t know how to describe it, other than it feels so fresh and clean. The smell reminds me of my childhood, running out onto the street in front of my parents’ house to feel the rain, or the aftermath of a storm. I loved running onto the street bare foot, so I could really feel the rain. It has always felt electrifying, to me. I heavily identify as a PNW gal, so loving rain is a part of my identity. For picture day my sophomore year of high school, I wore a dark red sweatshirt, that was almost a belly shirt because it was too small. My hair was curled and ratted to the heavens, a clear sign that I was back combing my way through teen angst. my eye liner was a thick-black-smoky eye, that I thought made me look older. The red sweatshirt said something along the lines of “Seattle girl. Rain loving. Coffee drinking. Does it look like I belong in a grunge band?” AND I LOVED THAT SWEATSHIRT. I felt like a badass, who demanded to be seen and heard with that article of clothing. In hindsight, I probably looked like a poser. BUT we all grow into the version of ourselves we wish to be. Hopefully. Or maybe not, because I also envisioned some really bizarre fashion choices that I am GLAD didn’t come to fruition. I AM BLESSED that my mother confiscated my bedazzle machine in junior high, after I tried to bedazzle my volleyball spandex. I cringe at the haunting thought of me bump-set-spiking my way through out the season, in glittery orange shiny-hiney spandex. PURLEY BLESSED (thank you mom). Although I dodged the bullet with the bedazzler, I made plenty of horrendous fashion choices that occasionally wake me up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night when I remember them, vividly. I try to tell myself that we all have to go through the bad clothing trends, sometimes. Bad fashion choices perhaps made me a gentler version of myself. I can assure anyone reading this that I am INDEED nicer/humbler when I think of my sparkly-pink-pumps that were several inches too high for a 14 year old Libby to be strutting into church, or the skin tight-soul sucking-zebra print dresses (yes, multiple) that hung in my childhood bedroom closet. See? I feel so humble as I type this! When I envision myself as a little old lady, I kind of like to think that I will revert to some of my flashier/sparkler fashion trends. I think I would be a fun old lady, with a foul mouth and glittery eyes. F-U-N. I am currently typing this in my bed, wearing a Patagonia fleece and black yoga pants. My style at this moment is comfort, and I am happy with that. The outfit I am wearing is perfect for this rainy spring evening. I cracked the window in my room, and the draft is both brisk and welcomed. As this pandemic has stretched on, I have found a lot of beautiful moments in the spring weather. As crazy as the world seems, and is, we have nature to ground us. When I feel overwhelmed, I try to breathe in the fresh air. Earth Day is a great reminder to take care of this MOTHER earth, and each other. I had coffee on my balcony the other day, and the sunshine revived me. Sunshine is medicine for my soul. I hope everyone had a moment today, to sneak outside and enjoy a moment of mindfulness with nature. And to end this wordy blog, I just did a full body stretch and yawn in my bed, to look down and notice I am wearing mismatching socks. Some fashions choices live on forever! Namaste to everyone who can’t wake up enough in the morning to notice what socks they pull on!
Waving goodbye from mountain peaks,
I see crocus kissing the garden after months of slipping on ice,
Golden-light warms my face,
I crave the changing of seasons,
My heart will always echo this winter,
Even when spring dances into blooming crocuses.
-Thank You Note-
I am sitting at my kitchen table glancing out of my balcony window at the little rabbits that are running through the brush of the hillside, outside my apartment. They are such a symbol of spring, to me. It feels so brisk and fresh outside. I feel like after months of freezing winter I can finally breathe in the spring. My seasonal depression is drifting away, slowly. Sunshine always heals me. As I sit here typing away on my laptop, I am snacking on left over goat cheese bruschetta I made for dinner last night. I adore a good slather of goat cheese, on anything really. It is one of my favorite additions to any foods. Don’t like a salad? Add goat cheese! It is my key to surviving bland meals. Although, I try not to overeat it and ruin the magic for myself. I let my hair do its natural thaaang today. My hair is a gift from my mother. We both have long brown hair that curls and waves, but only on certain parts of our heads. We both have cowlicks that demand to be respected, honored, and worked with. We both have to wake up and listen to what our hair wants to do that day. We don’t make that decision- the hair does. I get many traits from my mom, so naturally it is easy for me to write about. I also inherited a great deal of personality from my dad. I recently visited with him inside his shop, and we laughed and talked about our dynamic. We are both Taurus’s, stubborn as hell. I don’t know if I actually believe is astrology, but I DO believe my dad and I are bull headed, at times. My dad is tall and skinny, whereas I am NOT. My brother Dillon and him look so much alike. Side note- Dillon got a lot of the good genetics. I think I would be so much nicer if I was tall and skinny. I would be more graceful? (kidding). I did recently do one of those genetic testing kits from 23 and me and guess what!? I have 63% more Neanderthal DNA than the average 23 and me costumer. Dillon hasn’t taken the testing, but I KNOW that asshole probably doesn’t have the extensive Neanderthal DNA I do. Just my luck. He probably got all the cool shit, like the ability to match musical pitch. My testing showed I was more likely to be bit by mosquitos. Ahhhhhh genetics. I am just kidding; I like me. It just felt like a HAHA moment worth sharing. I don’t share many physical traits to my dad, but we act very similar. We love laughing, and making other people laugh. We excel at making each other crack up at really inappropriate times. I cherish the fact that as a child I could give him one of my razzle-dazzle-ham-it-up laughs and he would melt away from whatever trouble I was in, and just smile at me. He is the only person that smile works with, and his smile can ground me in midst of any anger or uncertainty. We both have crooked grins, which look nothing alike- but carry the same playfulness. My dad has a slight crookedness to his nose, a sign of a previous self, who perhaps got into one or two fist fights. I love his nose because it is HIM. He is beautiful in the way only genuine and flawed people are. My dad has dark hair that has peppered with age but has always looked the same otherwise. He carries with him a sense of healing others- which I can only hope both my brother and I inherit even a fraction of his selflessness- because the world needs more people like him. Dad has always been a mender to my worries, it is like gravity pulls me to him when I need help. We may not always agree on everything (maybe that is the Taurus in us), but he listens earnestly and loves me through life, completely. He taught me all of my favorite swearwords and could care less when people tell him MY swearing isn’t ladylike. He likes me the way I am. I am lucky for that. When I was a kid, I told people I wanted to be a mechanic when I grew up, because I loved watching him with his cars. We found out when I was a sophomore in high school what a very shitty mechanic I would be, when I had to take apart and rebuild a small engine. Easy enough task for most, but it turns out my brain doesn’t understand that sort of stuff. For our final, our small engines had to run. Mine wasn’t working out so well. My partner Travis did most of the work, but on days he was absent I’m sure I forgot to put some parts where they belong. I don’t know that for certain, but it sounds like a reasonable thing for me to do. My dad came up to the high school shop and sprayed the engine with carb cleaner so it would run. Don’t ask me why that works, because I have no fucking clue. I do know my dad showed up, as he always has for me. He is wise in ways I never have been; he understands how things run. In cars, life, people. I love that about him. He is a wise soul who has bailed me out time and time again. My dad has told me wild and entertaining stories of his youth. He, like I, is not perfect. He told me about when he would get into real trouble, his dad, my Grandpa Dallas, would not lose his shit with him, instead he often asked him to remember a bible verse. I think those moments of grace from his dad heavily influenced his parenting. He never made me feel small for my wildness. He often just reminded me to pay it forward someday. AND OH BOY WAS I A WILD CHILD. I take partial credit for his gray hair, Dillon owning the other half. He has loved us through all the stages of life. As I said- I am lucky for that! Love you, dad!
Libby Anne Groseclose