One of my best gal-pals in college had a long standing birthday tradition. Every year, she wrote a letter to herself, to be opened on her birthday next year. She would read last year’s letter, reflect on the year, and write the letter to her next year self. I really love birthdays – much more than New Years, it seems like such a perfect opportunity to reflect on the year. It’s a day all about you (which is funny, if you think about it, given that it was a huge day in the life of the person who birthed you).
Every so often I get an urge. This urge tells me, “try something new!” which usually means do something to my hair, though occasionally this urge manifests as a desire to pierce my ears or try different makeup. I don’t know why I feel this way, sometimes I just want to shake things up! Back in April, after going for many months without cutting my hair at all, and over a year without coloring it, I went all out with a rainbow theme. The rainbow faded, and so I went with a peacock/jewel-toned color range. Hair urges aside, my trip to the salon reminded me of my mom.
I have taken approximately a bajillion sorting hat quizzes online, and I’ve always cheated. It’s obvious which answers will put you in Gryffindor, so I’ve always selected the most Gryffindorish answers. After a lot of careful thought, if I’m being honest I have to admit that I’m probably actually in Ravenclaw – although Harry Potter, himself, was able to convince the sorting hat that he belonged in Gryffindor, so who knows.
I’m a few years older than the gang at Hogwarts, but I feel like I grew up with Harry Potter. The world celebrated the 20th anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (my American edition was the “Sorcerer’s Stone”) this week, and I’ve been reflecting on just how much Harry Potter has meant in my life. Spoiler: it’s meant a lot, and I’m feeling nostalgic.
There are days when I don’t leave my house, other than to pick up the baby from daycare; before Eli was born, there were days I didn’t leave the house at all. Working from home can sometimes feel lonely and isolating. Add to that the early mornings (Eli, seriously, please sleep!), it’s easy to feel like a greasy slob. Even before I started working again, the one thing I prioritized for myself was a hot shower. It’s taken months, but I finally feel that I am emerging from the haze of new-parenthood. Obviously, part of that haze was due to sleep deprivation; part of it we owe thanks to postpartum depression and anxiety; but I also think that fog stems from feeling so unlike myself. It’s disorienting when everything feels different.
Pregnancy is weird. I’ve never felt particularly in control of my body, but pregnancy amplified that sensation; suddenly, it seemed that my body was doing all sorts of things I had no idea it could do, all on its own. Although I found pregnancy to be difficult and uncomfortable, I couldn’t stop admiring my body. While it may be cliche to reference “the miracle of life,” pregnancy really is amazing. For the first time, I loved my belly. Pregnancy allowed me to have a big round belly that was deemed acceptable. I suddenly found myself wearing ruched shirts that highlighted my belly, a far cry from my normal fashion. The bigger my belly got, the more I loved it. I photographed it every week and used an app to compare the size of my baby to a fruit or vegetable.
lamp plants. Homes with plants in every nook and cranny always seem so vibrant and bright; you know those houses where there’s a giant fern in the corner, and orchids on the counter, and herbs growing in a box by the window? I want. However, I always thought this dream was an impossibility. You see, I am an indoor plant killer. It’s mostly because I am inconsistent and forgetful, and I don’t water enough or then I water too much because I get excited, or I put plants in direct sunlight and they burn up. Plus, my lovely husband melts in sunlight. Maybe that’s not exactly fair, but bright light gives him migraines. Anyways, I have never successfully cultivated the kind of house plant ecosystem that I crave.
Of all the Friends, I’ve always identified most with Phoebe. That may be controversial, but she’s just so kooky, sincere, and fun. [aside: I want to let you know that I have serious problems with the show, most notably that 1) I really hate the whole plot line of “Monica used to be fat and now she’s not and look how hot she is and isn’t it funny that she was such a cow?” 2) Stop making gay jokes. No, seriously, it’s not funny. 3) HOW do they afford these apartments?] Anyways. Back to Phoebe. Phoebe is her own self. She runs like nobody’s watching, and she wears scrunchies, and she looks like everybody’s eccentric, funky aunt. That’s how I want to look. Kooky and fun.
Sometimes I feel like I missed my calling as an artist. I have always made lots of art and I love crafting like it’s nobody’s business. The thrill of deciding on a new project, experimenting and trying to figure it out, and working on it can feel addictive. In high school I went through a lot of crafting phases, and I remember staying up to watch Saturday Night Live while I tried to finish various projects (beading was big for me, and crochet).
Sometimes I get sucked into the consumerism that often seems to come with blogging. It makes sense – if you want to monetize your blog, you gotta hustle and sell! But that’s not why I started blogging; my interest came from a place of fun. I fell into a hobby and I wanted to share it. That’s what I want to get back to, but I’m not exactly sure how to do it without sounding sales-pitchy.
A lot of life has happened since I stopped blogging nearly two years ago.
I stopped blogging because I got tired. The nail polish and beauty blog world started to feel very small and over crowded. It seemed that I would never going to be THE BEST, and that was discouraging (which is silly. Just because I’m not the best doesn’t mean a thing isn’t worth doing, you know?). Blogging as a business is really difficult. I really hated the feeling of competing for product reviews and then writing in sleazy-marketing voice. It was annoying that when I had other things to say and write about, I had to first polish my nails and somehow weave in a related story.
I felt like I lost my authentic voice. I felt like I kind of forgot that I started this whole thing because it was a fun hobby.