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Thursday, December 14, 2017

thanking my elders (yeah, you'll want to read this)

Most of my readers here are old enough to be my mother.
I'm 32 years old.
How did this come to be?

A few years ago I started following the "over 40 blogger" crowd because I was so bored with the hipster millennial moms who only talked about cloth diapering a coconut oil.  I'm not quite sure how I came across my first "over 40" blogger, but I remember is was Krista with Peetee's Palace(?). Surely you remember her? She's was an adorable little woman with hot pink hair who dressed mostly in fun pink clothes and awesome leggings. I don't think she's blogging anymore so I'm not sure what she's up to - but I'll willing to guess she still has the hot pink hair, or least I hope she still does! (She made my awesome pink and orange necklace by the way!)

When I saw Krista (in her early to mid 40s I think) I was absolutely CONFUSED.
"She has pink hair! She's in her 40s with PINK hair!"
I had never seen anything like it.
I wondered, "A grown woman with pink hair?! Is that even allowed?!?!"
Not only did she have pink hair but she was wearing a vintage dress.

At that time where I live, vintage clothing was a trend for the hippest of hip teens and cool cats in their 20s. Older people didn't wear vintage and they despised it! I thought there was some kind of law somewhere that stated, "Thou shalt not wear vintage over 30" because that just wasn't a thing.

Anyway, I was so intrigued that I looked for other older bloggers through the comments on Krista's blog and started seeing what they were about. My brain almost exploded!

"Look at all these women wearing vintage and hand-sewn stuff and red lipstick and bracelets up to their elbows!!"
I honestly didn't know you could do that past 25!

Another blogger I came across was Vix.
Vix's tribal jewelry fascinated me the most. "I have jewelry like that," I thought. "But I only wear it when I'm in costume. You mean I'm allowed to wear it any time I want?" Vix has long black hair and wears bold psychedelic vintage dresses and I can honestly say that there is NO ONE where I live like that. Not even a young person, so I was blown away.

Then came other eccentric bloggers: Helga VonTrollop, Desiree of Pull Your Socks Up (I don't think either one of them are blogging any more),  Mel with Bag and Beret and most recently Suzanne Carillo.  There are SO many others so if I left you out please don't be offended. If I'm following your blog or following you on Instagram, then you're one of them too!!!

All of that to say that every last one of you has inspired me SO much and that if I hadn't discovered your blogs, I never would have gained the courage to be myself again. I used to not care when I was younger and it wasn't that long ago! I was weird and didn't care to change but I wanted to be seen as an adult so badly. At 26 I was already preparing to settle into a nice pair of mom-jeans and a tee shirt because that's what I thought I was supposed to do in order to be a respectable adult. 

2006, me in my favorite outfit, a vintage Army medic's dress jacket and jeans.

2009, in vintage jacket and fallen pompadour.

I had been restricting myself so much that I began to have anxieties about wearing simple things like  over-sized sunglasses and big chunky necklaces. "OMG, people will stare!" 
I was so worried about what people would think of me but when I finally started wearing what I wanted to wear again, I was only met with praise and compliments. 
Now I get offended if people DON'T stare.

"Um, excuse me, sir. Are you really going to act like you don't notice my new handmade earrings? Psh. Rude." 

And people do stare. In this town, I'm as eccentric as they come (yeah, boring town), so it's gonna happen. Some stare a little too long and it makes me sliiiiightly uncomfortable but I understand that sometimes there's a lot to take in. All my fake hair and patterns and jewelry take a few seconds to process so I totally get it so it doesn't bother me much. 

Now I'm being approached by older women who say they wish they could dress like me or that they wish they had the confidence to dress like me. That actually makes me very sad. I try to tell them that it's never too late to dress the way they want and I tell them about all the bloggers I follow but they shake their heads and say, "It's too late for me".

I want you all to know that you've given me hope and you've helped me realize that aging is what you make it. There are no laws stating that you can't wear certain things after 30 or 40... just fashion magazines that like to tell you how to dress. 
Their words aren't law and neither are the opinions of others.

I'm not afraid to be myself anymore.
I feel as free and as carefree as the teenaged me who used to wear my grandmother's dresses with glitter painted sneakers and feather boas to school.
 But I also think that naturally, the older I get, the less I care about what other people think of me in general. They're not paying my bills, raising my kids or cooking my dinner so poopoo on what they think.

You ladies blog to help inspire other women your age, but never forget that this little girl has been looking up to you cool big kids for years now. I'm inspired and encouraged to embrace aging by staying true to myself. 

I say, thank you. 
Thank you all for saving me from someday reaching mid-life, looking back and saying,
 "It's too late for me".


Bonus pics of my kids!
In the photos above, I'm wearing a vest thingy I made myself from a shawl I wasn't too crazy about. I folded it in half, cut the front part open, sewed the sides closed and hemmed the edges. It wasn't my intentions to dress us all in neutrals with pops of color but that's what happened!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

fresh air and crunchy stuff

I proposed that we go camping for Thanksgiving.
I regret nothing.
I regret some things.

I regret a lot.


My husband and I alternate holidays with each other's families. This year was the year to spend with his parents. Since many family members couldn't make it from up North, I proposed the idea of camping instead so we wouldn't spend the holiday sitting around sulking because all the fun people are missing.

The husband's parents are hardcore campers and my husband loves camping, I've only camped once and the kid's have never camped before so everyone was on board.

The park was already dull brown and dry - we were too late to see the fantastic Arkansas mountain foliage. Curses! 
But with it being Thanksgiving weekend, the park was super quiet with only a handful of other campers. We had plenty of space to roam about undisturbed. It felt like the park belonged to us. 

We set up across a path from the in-laws who were set up right at the top of a hill that overlooked a crystal clear river. The river looked so dang clean and inviting, I wanted to splash around in it but that wouldn't have been a very wise idea as the water was probably at about 40F. Still, the urge was SO dang hard to resist! No mosquitoes, no snakes, no weird swimming creatures. Just a clean stream of cloud juice.

So the regrets?

The boredom.
The soul crushing boredom.
Not just boredom.

Holy smokes. I had no one to talk to and oftentimes nothing to do. I explored, took photos and walked about and enjoyed a little alone time but when I was ready to talk, maybe do a little bonding with the in-laws, no one was interested in jack squat I had to say.

"Do you have something else to do besides talk to me? Oh, you wanna stare at the river in silence for a few more hours. Sorry, for disturbing you."

I was more baffled than hurt that no one wanted to talk to me. My kids had plenty to do rolling around in leaves and throwing rocks into the river so they were good to go. My husband, brother in-law and father-in-law kept to themselves talking theology and man stuff.... My mother-in-law just simply wasn't interested in talking to me. No rudeness about it. No tension. Just not interested.

I shrugged it off and tried to keep myself company but the books I brought were awful and there was no phone service and of course no wifi. So I began to mosey about feeling kind of sorry for myself.

3 days and two nights in the wilderness with no one to talk to is pretty dang tough.

But anyways. I survived. 
I'm still here.


Sheesh, it took me ages to finish this post. Uuuuggghhh.
I've picked up a new client, looking for more clients and it's time to start cranking out Christmas posts for the other blog.
Christmas posts = $$$$
$$$$ = Bills paid.
Bills paid = electricity, phone, a home, a car, etc...
You get it.

See you folks laaaaaaaaater.
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