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!
The Gods Eye Blanket
Today is a windy, slightly rainy, but none the less lovely, Saturday afternoon. I’m sure my excessive use of dashes and comas is hell for any English major, but it feels right to me. My apologies if it makes anyone cringe to read my messy writing. I have always known that I could improve on the technical side of my writing, maybe that is something I could look into while I practice social distancing. Or maybe my poor grammar is endearing? I hope. I am lounging around my little apartment in Moscow. I forced myself to put on makeup and style my hair today, to counteract the fact that I am in sweats and my bathrobe. Balance! Spending more time at home has led me to restlessly stare into my closet. Every time I walk into my room, I think about how this quarantine time could be such an amazing opportunity to organize. It takes very genuine effort on my part to keep my life organized. Organization has never been a strength for me, but I always feel less anxious when I simplify. I don’t quite understand how feng shui works but I definitely feel shifts in my energy when there is too much clutter in my living and workspace. My creativity and contentment feel blocked with clutter. Staying home could be a really useful time to rid myself of the useless shit I have accumulated, and maybe I will even take down the rest of the Christmas decorations in my living room! Does it make me an awful person that I have decorations celebrating Jesus’s birthday still up in March? Or perhaps it makes me a devoted Christian? Probably just an awful person, but that is the thing about perspective- it just depends how you frame it. Perspective is a great thing. I have been trying to control my frame of mind while I self-isolate, looking at this time to get shit done. I have been writing every day. I asked my mom for a good topic to blog about, and she sent me a whole damn list (hats off to Jillian). One thing on the lengthy list was “The Gods eye blanket”. Anyone reading this has no clue what I am talking about. UNLESS you are my mother or brother. The two people involved in this on-going ball game. Let me start with the origin of the gods eye blanket. When I was 17 my mom and I went to the Oregon Coast to take a few senior pics, but mostly just to spend time together. The trip was sweet and relaxing. We stayed at a little inn that was ran by an older gentleman, who woke up early every morning of our stay to pick up fresh pastries from the bakery in town. The inn was a short five-minute walk from the beach, and we could hear the waves from our room when we would leave the window cracked at night. One of the most heavenly sounds. Waves rolling into the shore. I have always felt a wholeness when I am near the ocean, and if there were ever a time genetics were at play, I could almost guarantee it was passed down from my mother. We love the ocean accompanied with early morning coffee, and late night bon fires. I can almost smell the aroma as I type. LOVELY. Staring into the vastness of the ocean with its deep blue’s makes me feel whole. The Oregon coast has always been my favorite place to fill my cup. Manzanita Oregon is my heaven on earth, with its beach hugged by the rocky cliffs. On this trip my mom and I were spending our nights by a bonfire on the beach. We drove into town one of the days to pick up essentials for the ocean (cheese and wine) and stumbled across a shop that had everything we would need. In the shop was a large black fleece blanket that had native American designs across it, and according to the sign it was called the gods eye blanket. We snagged it to help keep warm against the windy coastal nights, when we stayed out late by the fire. It was warm, beautiful, and a special reminder of our trip. My mom brought it home to spread across a bed in one of the guest rooms. The blanket was just my brothers style. Dillon has always had a very PNW style to him. For anyone who doesn’t know my brother Dillon, this is how I would describe him to you; Dillon is a tall, lanky creature with dark brown hair and mischief in his eyes. He is the worse liar I have ever met, and his honesty is like an aura around him. He looks like the kind of early 20s man you would find in Portland or Seattle because he wears flannels and cool sneakers. Dillon’s style is true to his nature- chill and fun. When he saw the blanket, he wanted it. My mom and I both told him in no uncertain terms- NO. This blanket was a fun little accessory to a trip that was precious! Dillon had other options! If he really wanted to steal a blanket for his new apartment, I would have gladly lent him my old-ratty orange and black (our high schools colors) tied together fleece blanket. Or even the old denim jeans quilt (yes- it’s as funky as it sounds) that someone’s grandmother made for us when we were in junior high. He could have had one of those! But he insisted that he needed the gods eye blanket. So, the ball game began. Back and forth we would steal the gods eye. Eventually it just ended up at Dillon’s apartment, where I suppose it must have truly belonged. Now when I think about it, I like to think that we brought the special blanket back home to its true owner, which turned out to be Dillon. I would occasionally see the blanket when I would visit him, and one night it was thrown across me when I crashed on Dillon’s couch. It is rightfully his now, because he fought long and hard for the gods eye. As I was writing this blog I began to wonder, does he still have it? I hadn’t seen it in a while, and perhaps he grew tired of it. I just texted him “Do you still have the gods eye” and within a minute he sent back a picture of himself on his couch with the blanket draped over the back. The text said “I don’t know what you’re talking about”. Smirking. Knowing damn well what I was talking about. It’s his now. My mom and I talk about it every so often, reminiscing on our trip, and what a little thief Dillon is. Ok, my mom never called her son a thief. But as the sister, ya he’s a fucking thief. But I love him, so I guess he can keep it... for now.
Stay Home, Don't Disconnect
The world has been so heavy lately. I find myself trying to balance my awareness with covid-19, and not obsessively checking my phone for updates on the virus. I feel like this year has been so incredibly difficult with events that have taken place in my personal life, to the bigger impact the world has been suffering with. So much division and pain, and not enough loving each other. I try not to make my blog political- so I won’t. Just a simple thought- be the love people need.
No smooth transition here, but onto other news!
I turn 24 next month and I have been spending the last few weeks reflecting and journaling about this past year. There has been a lot of heart ache, things that I am not ready to write about. But I think it is important to be honest. Life is messy, and there is comfort when we are honest with ourselves and others. The honesty I am able to write about is just how fucking hard this year has been. And I think more importantly I wanted to share this with my readers; it gets better. Such a simple phrase, one that times I was livid to hear. “it gets better”. The pain doesn’t feel like it will ever ease from your heart, but slowly, in little ways it does. That is healing. I have learned the distinct feeling of healing this year. Less anger and sadness, and more wholeness in my heart. I just think that is the honesty I am able to give anyone who is hurting. IT GETS BETTER. Everyone deserves to heal, and I am ready for this next year of good things.
23 has been the year of so many things for me. The year I got bangs (oh you guys didn’t already know? I write about them so often you would think they are my most redeeming personality trait). This was the year that I decided to take a step back from college to refocus on my goals. A HEALTHY CHOICE! 23 was the year that I finally decided I was responsible enough to have all white bedding. Which means yes! I did stop eating and drinking in bed. Quite adulty of me, I know. I re-devoted myself to my writing, which is a choice I hope to make over and over again throughout my life as needed. Starting over is something I have practiced so many times during age 23. This was a year of re-devotion. I also found a deep connection to the song “Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield, which is hilarious because I also felt a deep connection to that song when I was 13. Ten-year difference and I still love a good melodramatic song. I hope when I am 33 I still find the same love for the song. I listen to it in my car when I need a little pick me up. I have a whole playlist of songs that get my heart happy. In my phone the playlist title is “happy-glowing music”, and I am firm believer that everyone needs one of those playlists that has all the songs that uplift your soul. This year, some of the songs that made it into my playlist are:
What the World Needs Now Is Love by Andra Day
Respect by Aretha Franklin
I Love a Rainy Night by Eddie Rabbit
Landslide by Fleetwood Mac
Nights by Frank Ocean
Closer to Fine by the Indigo Girls
Dancing in the Moonlight by King Harvest
Sunday Morning by Maroon 5
You Can Call Me Al by Paul Simon
Snow by Red Hot Chili Peppers
Santeria by Sublime
Worn Out by Ziggy Alberts
AND SO MANY MORE but I don’t want to list my entire song list for sake of not boring my readers, and because I like to keep a mystery about me- ya know? (jokes) But I do think that the songs that I listed have been the playlist to 23. I blasted those songs in my car whenever I needed to feel better. Music helps with healing! So do long car rides where you cry/laugh/scream the lyrics with your whole heart. That is just one of the facts of life. Everyone needs time in their car to listen to their happy-glowing playlist. If anyone is interested in the rest of my playlist- reach out to me in the comments, or on social media and I can get you a copy of that bad boy! It is chock full of happiness. Or so I think. Also, with everyone needing to practice social distancing while we quarantine to help slow the spread of the coronavirus, enjoy art! Music, podcasts, poetry, movies, etc! All the good things to help you feel less isolated. I have been watching the show Fleabag and it is hilarious. I highly recommend it to anyone with a dry sense of humor. It is full of laughs.
I hope everyone stays healthy and feels the love that is out there in the world!
The first time I read, and loved a Mary Oliver poem was when I was around 15 years old. The poem was short yet, provoked a lovely feeling in my soul. Good poetry has always had the ability to give me chills. The poem that struck me at 15 years old was "Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable". It is still beautiful to me as I have grown older and wiser to the world. I will occasionally scroll through Pinterest to read poetry and I always find myself reading and rereading Mary Oliver. I get her words. When my Nan passed away my mother's cousin sent her a Mary Oliver poem in the mail. She read it out loud to me, and we both cried. It is one piece of writing that has stuck with me and spoke to my grief every time I read it. The poem is "Wild Geese" by Mary Oliver. Every time I have felt unmeasurable loss I read that poem. It feels so deeply personal to me. I read it again today and felt like sharing it with anyone who needs it. That is the power of good poetry- connection. -Libby
Glitter on the Ceiling
Finally, February 1st! January has sincerely felt like 5 months rolled into one. It always does. I am currently at my parents’ house crouched down on their new carpet in the living room, listening to “Gimme the Loot” by Notorious BIG. The song is a whole damn mood. As I sit crouched down slouching over the coffee table at an angle that has my left foot falling asleep, I can feel my stomach plopping out of my high wasted jeans- pronouncing itself as it peaks beneath my white cropped sweater. I guess that is what home feels like though, your belly hanging out of your jeans with no shame. The subtle awareness that you have no one to impress. It’s refreshing.
Update- I had to relocate to the couch because of my foot feeling like pins and needles. I decided to share a little bit of my lazy Saturday. Nothing spectacular has happened, but it has been a good day. I went and had brunch with my roommates. I went HARD on a breakfast burrito and inhaled my coffee. I have a problem with guzzling good coffee and not taking enough time to enjoy it the way it deserves. Coffee is my vice. As is wine, trashy reality tv, and saying fuck under my breath 15 times a day. All the good things, ya know? Today has been extremely windy. I love to listen to it brush its way against my window and to watch swirls of leaves and debris be lifted off the ground. I did try to briefly step outside with lip-gloss on and the wind swept my hair against my glossy lips which left me sputtering and spitting the hair out of my mouth. Anyone who has ever felt the sensation of hair getting in their lip-gloss can attest to the discomfort. As I sit in my parents living room, I can hear the chimes singing with the gusts of wind. I always loved this old house for the way it interacts with nature. My parents’ house was built in 1913. So, it’s an old home with lots of character and ghosts. I’m kidding about the ghosts, although at one point the house was owned by a funeral chapel. And my dad swears that only one dead body stayed here. I am 100% not kidding about that. I want to enter my family into one of those cringey paranormal TV shows, like Ghost Hunters on A&E Network, where we admit that we have never actually seen any ghosts, but we would ham it up for the cameras. I would have such a good scared face for television. Anyways- FUN AND CHARACTER FILLED HOME RIGHT? I digress. The house is old, and the sounds it makes are actually quite lovely. I adore the sound of rain on the tin roof, especially when I am in my childhood bedroom. It sounds so clear and fresh from my bed. I always felt lucky to fall asleep to the sound of rain drizzling on the tin. The windows by my parent’s front porch always pick up the sound of wind and chimes, which are especially relaxing when the rest of the house is silent. The floors creak when you lean too far into specific boards and when I walk on the old hard wood it feels like I am playing a song that I have listened to my whole life. We moved into the home when I was 2 years old. The broom closet in the kitchen holds marks of my brother and I’s height as we grew up. On the ceiling in my dining room is a blotch of red sparkles, where I once squeezed a bottle of glitter with its cap on tightly until it exploded upwards leaving dark red shimmer by our chandelier. My family left the little glitter spot on our ceiling as a constant reminder of my mischief. They never painted over it because it added to the abundance of character in our old house. I notice little details in the house, the longer I have gone without living in it. As I sit in my parents home it makes me want to walk around and take inventory of all of the nicks and marks.
Bad Hair Days
I haven't felt so care free lately. I have been trying to think of times in my life that felt lighter. I think of when my mom got me that exceptionally bad short haircut. I think in part she got me that shaggy chopped hair because I was threatening to cut it all off. I don’t remember why, but I can assume it was just me being in protest to brushing my longer locks. She allowed it, and I looked a little butch. It was third grade, and it was the best time to be a little girl. I hadn’t quite reached the age where girls started hating each other and themselves, but I was old enough to be a little self-aware. I remember not really caring about the hair cut for its looks but LOVING it because I felt free. When I think of carefree, I think of that type of freedom. Shaggy, short, misbehaving, wavy hair. Lovely, simply because I loved it. There was freedom in the way I only had to shake it when I got out of the bath at night. I would shake my head wildly from side to side and the water would spritz the bathroom wall. I loved that it didn’t tangle, and that I rarely had to brush it. Long hair was such a chore. Short hair was the party. An absolute riot. I totally get why Miley Cyrus chopped her locks during her Bangerz phase. Short hair for me was a marker of a wild girl who didn’t care for beauty standards, only for real beauty. I felt like a Rockstar when I would gel the short waves into spikes. My mom and Nan fed into my self image, which I love and respect. Women have their whole lives to conform. If we are lucky, we find sparks of carefree along the way. But nothing as unbridled as a wild girl who unapologetically likes herself. I often wonder if I would find the same joy in cutting my hair super short. I am afraid of how it would look- which is why I can no longer completely own the title of carefree. It is a tempting possibility though. A woman, age 23 shaking her hair in the same wild head movements as her younger self. Maybe a potential full circle moment. Coming back home to a gentler- freer version of myself. I like to envision that all the heart ache and growing moments in between that young short haired me, and the person I am now all happened so I could return to myself. It’s a delightful possibility that there is still a part of me who could be that free again. But I- the girl who gave herself bangs knows better than to think haircuts are life altering-not the point though :).
One year ago today I experienced one of the most beautiful moments of my life. I watched one of my childhood-adulthood-everything in between best friends, give birth to her second son- Bohdi Joseph Hoskins. As a year has come and gone I can still feel the awe I felt watching him take his first breath, and I hope that memory stays tucked into my heart forever. Bohdi was born on a September 23, 2018. The day was sunny and cozy just like him. I remember waiting at my house for the call to come to the hospital, and thinking about what Bohdi would be for this world. His older brother Emerson, Alyssas first born had enriched our lives with so much love and laughter and we all knew he needed this baby brother to grow with. Emerson is all things boy- so we knew his little brother was going to be his person. I wondered if Bohdi would be the balance to Emersons wild, or the partner in crime that seems to be the trend with most Hoskins boys. Through out the year we have found that Bohdi is both. Emerson and Bohdi have an undeniable bond that is most prevalent when Emersons smiling at Bohdi makes him fall apart with the joyful sound of baby laughter. Bohdi is also the snugglier of the two. Most of the time when I see Emerson I try to bribe him into hugging me (typically with promises of donuts), where as Bodhi earnestly gives hugs to the person holding him. I can see how they are so similar and so different, and I love those boys for exactly who they are, and who they will become. NOW onto their mother- Alyssa. SHE IS THE BEST MOM. Seriously. I sit and watch her with her children, and see the life Kellen and her have created for their sons and I am so fucking proud of them. They work hard and are completely present and engaging with their children. Watching them love and interact with their energetic boys makes my heart full of all the good feels. I met Alyssa when she moved to Idaho in fourth grade and we have shared all of the growing up together moments since then. When I met Alyssa she had wild curly blonde hair- which I see in Emerson- and and a laugh that made everyone around her smile. TO THIS DAY one of my goals when I am around Alyssa is to make her laugh, because her laugh always has and always will make me feel special. In part Alyssa laughing makes me feel special because she herself has a wicked sense of humor, and making a funny person laugh inherently makes you funnier? I hope? And god knows she makes me laugh, the kind of laugh that becomes ugly and face distorting. My favorite kind of laughter, because when you finally calm down from the gut busting, you breathe deeply and remind yourself that you haven't laughed like that in a while. And how lucky am I to have friends who bring out that kind of joy?! Alyssa is also deeply empathetic and available as a friend. She feels peoples struggles and without many words can understand what you need. It's a gift, especially to those around her. As a mother, I see her understand her children on a level that is wholehearted. I don't know many people who can sit in the storm of a three year olds tantrum and understand that he is just a little person with big feelings. She is a kickass mother-friend-woman. When she asked Sadie, Leah, and I to be in the room for Bohdi's birth I was honored. But I don't think at the time I knew how precious it would be. Walking into the room that day had a specific feeling that I cannot articulate in a way that will capture the love. Watching everyone in the room- I knew they felt the same way I did. It was powerful to watch Alyssa and Kellen together as Alyssa delivered their second son into the world, and to watch Alyssa's mother-Toni- watch her daughter give birth. And finally to witness Emerson meet his baby brother. It was all love. Watching Bohdi take his first breath was a profound moment in my life. It was precious to watch him start his life, and I will always be moved by the moments in his journey- big and small. I was overcome with so much love on September 23, 2018. Sunshine and crispness to the air, the world welcomed Bohdi Joseph. Happy first birthday you sweet, sensitive, and happy soul. You are so loved.
-Your bonus Auntie Libby.
Libby Anne Groseclose