I Crave the Breeze

I’ve noticed as we grow, we try to tame the wild parts of ourselves.

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I realized this fact, yet again, as I was looking at myself in the mirror this morning, running my fingers through the halo of messy brown hair framing my bare face. At 15, I let the curls do their thing, but now I wake up early to smooth them into a more respectable form; I spend 10 minutes applying makeup to this face in order to “accentuate my features.” I spend a majority of my morning trying to transform into a version of myself that I’ve somehow grown into.

Why is it that as we age we feel the need to be tame? Is that just me? Surely, I cannot be the only one who feels like I’ve let go the colorful and crazy pieces of themselves. I was so eager to grow up; I wanted to have the freedom that came along with adulthood, but I didn’t realize how much would change and how quickly. I can’t stay up on the phone until 6 am and roll out of bed at 7 for work without looking and feeling like a zombie. It’s no longer “appropriate” to wear bright blue nail polish and 5 friendship bracelets on one wrist. I can’t even remember the last time I spent an entire day dancing around and eating chips by the handful without a care in the world. When did I last run for fun and not exercise? When’s the last time I spent the entire day in bed with a book and didn’t feel guilty about it? I still remember illegally piercing my cartilage at 15 and hiding it from my mother; over a year ago, I removed that little token of defiance. I think it’s time to put it back in.

But, now I actually separate my wash into lights and darks. I know how to properly iron a pair of trousers and tie the perfect Windsor knot (thanks dad!). I have to file taxes and pay bills. I realize how expensive gas is and why people complain about utilities; I can hold my own in debates about politics, religion, and culture, but truth is, I still know more about Harry Potter than I’d like to admit. I still toy with the idea of painting my toenails blue and when I’m feeling extra saucy I wear an anklet in the summer. Crazy, I know. I just wish I had realized how quickly life goes by; my dad always said that once you leave high school, time flies by. I always laughed at the thought, but as I walked across the stage at my high school commencements, I realized that I was closing another chapter and moving to the next.

On thanksgiving morning, I looked at myself in the mirror before walking out the door. I turned my head from left to right, pushed a strand of perfectly straightened, short, brown hair behind my ear, and looked into my spectacle framed eyes. I sighed when I realized that I’m no longer seventeen. Now let me explain; I don’t feel old, but I just caught a glimpse at myself and I look so different. I have faint wrinkles around my eyes when I smile and I wear diamond studs, glasses, and I do my hair and makeup each day. I don’t recognize myself. When I think about what I look like, I still imagine myself at seventeen. I still imagine the long wavy brown hair and the young, innocent chocolate eyes I once had. I don’t know when life morphed into this entirely new chapter, but the page turned so quickly, I must not have had the chance to notice this time.

-LP

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Welcome Home

I dream of the simple life.

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When you ask someone about their dream home, generally they’ll tell you how many bedrooms and bathrooms they want. They’ll tell you how they want their bathroom to be dripping with marble; they want walk in closets and cathedral ceilings. Now this isn’t true of everyone, but so many focus on the structure of the home instead of what you feel upon entering. Ask my mother, she could go on for hours about the number of bedrooms and every little design aspect.

Don’t get me wrong, I have some aesthetics in mind; I want a fireplace to curl up in front of in the living room and a window over the kitchen sink to peek out of while the children play outside. I have plenty of little desires when it comes to our home. I’ve always dreamed of a lush peony bush on the side of our cozy home and a front porch to sit on after the sun has gone down. I’ve got those plans, you know, the ones that you’ve secretly been storing away for “someday.” Plans that make your heart smile and you hope are more than wishes; maybe, just maybe, they are premonitions. At least I hope so.

It’s essential to create a home and not simply live in a house. Create a safe haven. Make your home somewhere you want to spend your days in. If you love paintings, hang them. If you can’t spend a single day without listening to music, play it loudly and dance around to it. Do what makes you happy and make your house into a home for yourself. Believe me, we will have Motown playing on Sundays; we’ll have pictures on the wall and fluffy rugs on the floor. You’ll be able to look around and see that the place you just entered is more than someone’s house; it’s a home.

I want that little home; I want it to be filled with love and happiness. I want to decorate the walls with pictures of the happy family that resides within and cover the fridge with drawings that flowed from precious little hands and notes from the one I love. There will undeniably be stacks of books on the coffee table and piles of blankets in little wooden baskets by the sofa we snuggle on. I long to have the kind of home that shows a family lives there. I wish for it to be filled with smiles that broke into laughter, hugs, and bedtime stories. I want soft moments to be a daily experience and for disagreements to be things that bring us together instead of tear us apart. Sure, maybe it’s childish to have these dreams, but I promise you, I’m not walking through life with my eyes closed.

I know life will be hard and days won’t always be as sunny and cheerful as I’d like. I can accept that, but I’ve always had a bit of a childlike side to myself, so I’m going to walk into the future with these dreams and pray they become reality. I’ll get that peony bush one day, I swear.

-LP

It’s Closer than You Know

One day,

I’m going to love you

In a way that no one else ever could.

I’m going to peel back the layers of your heart

And wrap you up within my arms.

 

One day,

I’m going to kiss you

Like no one has before.

Our lips will dance together

And unlike our feet, they’ll never tire.

 

One day,

Well one day,

One day I’ll do it all.

And then again the very next.

 

Those Sunny Sunday Mornings

You don’t really realize how important music is to you until you stop listening to it.

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I went on a very long hiatus from listening to music and now that those tunes are back in my ears, I just can’t get enough. I didn’t realize how much I missed listening to artists from Tracy Chapman to Tina Turner, or The Moody Blues to The Temptations, or The Who (I’m pretending that I didn’t go through an embarrassingly long emo boy band phase, I’ve gotta keep that rep up, right?)

I have to say, my musical interests are extremely diverse. Some days, I want nothing more than to kick it old school with Motown; other days, like today, I jam out to 80’s music. After spending several years not really listening to much, I feel like I’ve been starving myself and now I’m just binging on everything. It feels amazing.

Growing up, music was essential. I have so many childhood memories of waking up on a Sunday morning with my dad playing some record on the record player. I would jump out of bed and run down the stairs to find him sitting on the sofa tapping his foot while he read the newspaper. He would give me a kiss on the cheek as I hopped into his lap and he would read the Sunday’s comics to me. Eventually I just couldn’t sit still anymore and I’d have to get up and dance around our living room to whatever was playing that day. I swear, those Sundays always seemed to be a bit sunnier, a bit happier; more full of life and laughter. Those Sundays were my favorite.

I grew up singing Big Girls Don’t Cry by Frankie Vallie & the Four Seasons in the car on trips to the store, or grabbing a handful of CD’s (he never cared which) and running out to the car before we left for vacation. We’d play in the backyard with a CD player playing anything from Motown to Classic Rock. Dad taught me about Bob Dylan and showed me that even if your voice doesn’t fit the societal norm of “perfection” that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t sing.

He made music a part of who I am. I’m not musically inclined; I can barely read sheet music, but I can appreciate some good lyrics and a wonderful tune. I can’t believe that I allowed myself to lose such a huge part of myself, but at least I found it again. At least I’m dancing around now to songs that remind me of back then, to songs that make me think of today, and songs that make me dream of the future.

I can’t help but sit here imagining myself boppin’ down the street with a boom box on my shoulder, crankin’ tunes, and singing along. A girl can dream… I’m pretty sure that those I live with would rather I not be listening to music because my singing is less than magical. Sorry guys! Girls just wanna have fun, am I right?

-LP