Women’s History Month
What is Home?
I’ve never really stayed in one house for a long time. It partially comes with the territory of coming from a divorced family, not only the loads of back and forth between Mom’s and Dad’s, but also when one parent moves, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the other parent won’t move in the same time frame. By that I mean, separately parents may not move a lot, but when you combine it for the kids… it stacks up.
Looking to my mom, who coincidentally has moved a lot, with her I grew up in seven different houses, and with my dad I grew up in three different houses. Then when they were married, there is one house in my active memory. So we’re looking at eleven different houses I lived in from the time I was born until I graduated college. Speaking of college, you could even increase the places I’ve lived since I lived in the dorms throughout that time, and then my senior year a friend and I got an apartment off campus. I also did a semester in France which was a whole other type of living situation!
After reflecting on my adolescence, and now looking towards my adulthood – almost the minute I graduated college, I shipped up to NYC for an internship that turned permanent. Upon first moving to the city, I lived in a small sublet in Harlem and my room was literally the size of a twin size mattress. Two months later, my sublet was up and I moved to Chinatown for a little over a year and that was an experience! After that downtown escapade, I booked it back uptown to Spanish Harlem for a little over a year.
All sounds complicated and all over the place, right? Am I done yet? Am I getting to the whole purpose of this overshare yet?
Thanks to Miss Rona, things only get more complicated.
My lease was up in Spanish Harlem July 31st and the friend I planned to live with, Zoe, couldn’t move until October. So we were faced with two options:
- We find a place for August 1st and sublet until Zoe can move in.
- I go home – I’m working from home anyway, so why not spend some time at home, save some money, and move back to the city in the fall?
Two was the obvious option, but the not so obvious is the thing I had to ask myself – “Where is home?”
My nomadic mom is currently posted up in Pittsburgh, which isn’t too far from my uncle and papa along with many other family members. My dad is where he’s always been, in Kentucky, along with many family members. But then I have my nana and aunt and nearly all of my friends who are tucked away in Indiana.
So, again, where is home? Where do I go?
I essentially did what I always do, and that was split up my time and touch ground everywhere. Which definitely isn’t COVID Kosher, but I was essentially homeless, so sue me.
I did some time with all of my family and some friends – sprinkling my sass and two-cents along the way, lending an ear to those who needed it, and offering support when the situation called for it. It was nice to be “home” for a little while. But honestly, I couldn’t help but be hyper-focused on the term, “home“… what is it? Where is it? Do I have one, do I have many, or do I not have one at all?
My mom always says, “Home is where your mom is.”
But I don’t think home is that simple, or maybe it is.
I think home is a feeling. It’s something that comes natural, but it’s also something that can be manifested. For instance, both my grandparents houses always feel like home, the Catholic church I grew up in feels like home… but everywhere I’ve ever had my own room I’ve seamlessly created a notable “cozy-homey vibe” that gets riddled with compliments on how comfy it is.
It’s as if I’ve always understood that with a few adjustments, you can make anywhere feel like home. I have some things I always do, nearly as a reflex, whenever I settle in somewhere in order to make that place more comfortable – to make it mine.
1. Your bed is a sanctuary, treat it as such.
Make sure you have a bedspread that you like to look at, and honestly – the more pillows the better. Even if you only use one pillow to sleep – during the day have your bed coated in pillows. Those decorative sacks of fluff and feathers are so inviting, there’s no such thing as too much, I promise.
Once you like your bed – make it every single day. There was a time not too long ago where I didn’t make my bed everyday; I found I didn’t have time, what’s it matter, etc… I was full of excuses. But what was funny were the days that I didn’t make my bed in the mornings, I would almost instantly make it the minute I got home – because there’s nothing better than slipping into a freshly made bed.
Just respect yourself enough to make your bed in the mornings – respect the evening version of you who just spent a hard day at work and deserves a freshly made bed.
2. You look at each wall more than you think, hang things that bring you joy and peace.
Think of every wall in your space as a mood board.
Fill each wall with pieces of art, photos, or shelves of knickknacks that evoke positive emotions. This is where you can put plants, real or fake, to encourage growth in your space and to feel grounded and connected with the earth. Fill your walls with whatever brings you peace and happiness.
3. If it smells great, you’ll feel great.
I adore candles. I love them not only for the smell, but I enjoy even the simple flame. The sense of warmth I feel when I see the lit candle and then the scents that beginning coating the room, it brings so much instant peace. I love fall scents the most, like vanilla and hazelnut, but sometimes these scents don’t translate well in the summer. I found that my safe-ground is finding earthy candles that smell of amber and oud.
Go find your scent – be it floral, fruity, earthy, or fresh… find it and do what you gotta do to maintain that smell in your room. Be it candles, incense, oil diffusers, or wax warmers – just give your room a scent that you associate with comfort.
. . .
I’ll be honest, sometimes doing all of the above isn’t enough. You can go the whole nine yards on your space and still feel like a fish in the wrong bowl. Like you’re a pretty fish in a decked out aquarium, but you kind of miss your old bowl for some reason.
AKA -> homesickness.
All I’ve gotta say to that is to think long and hard on what you’re homesick for, what’s missing. Would you be happier back where you were? Or do you find you’re actually missing specific moments and feelings expressed in the old space?
I find that most of the time, my homesickness is for a time and not a place.
Once I realized this, it clicked that going home won’t fix anything, it won’t fix my homesickness. The only type of “going back” that will erase my homesickness is “going back in time” but that’s not possible, obviously. This type of homesickness can really only be healed by some intense self-reflection, maybe even some therapy, in order to dig up what the real root of the problem is and to truly understand what you’re missing. In realizing this, in understanding what it is exactly that you’re homesick for, you can then move forward and adjust what you must in order to find that mental balance and manifest your “home vibe”.
Ultimately, it’s important to understand that you are deserving of feeling at home wherever you’re living.
Skincare for Mask Wear
Wearing a mask sucks but it’s necessary right now. And by necessary, I mean NECESSARY. Don’t be one of those people. Ok — I’ll step off my soapbox now.
Because of all this mask wear my skin is sufferiiiiing. Taking it off everyday feels better than taking my stupid bra off, and that’s saying a lot. Luckily, I learn lots of great info about skincare in my day job that I’m excited to share with you!
One of the main issues I’ve dealt with is how it’s causing more breakouts for people. Yes, there are many different types of acne. However, I’ve found that wearing a mask has given me a lot more issues than I normally have. Things like cystic acne, a city of tiny whiteheads, and heat bumps have set up camp all over the lower half of my face. RUDE.
I know I’m not alone! So I’m diving into some of my favorite products that have been helping my face adjust to this new normal.
First things first — cleanser. Washing your face at least once a day is crucial to maintaining a healthy skincare routine. And you MUST take your makeup off at night! This absolutely cannot be argued.
**Pro-Tip if you have to/choose to wear makeup every day: only wear it on the upper half of your face that’s not covered by the mask to prevent more bacteria from creeping into your precious pores**
Now, I have dry skin, so I normally only wash my face at night and do a quick rinse in the morning to prevent over-drying. If you’ve got more oily/combination skin, that might not be the case for you.
Either way, this is my current holy grail cleanser:
YOUTH TO THE PEOPLE – Superfood Antioxidant Cleanser, $36
This gentle, fairly fragrance-free cleanser is great for makeup removal as well as being a badass every day face wash. It’s packed with antioxidants, vitamins C, K, and E, and more. Plus it’s alcohol free so it doesn’t leave your skin feeling dried out.
If you’re balling on a budget, I feel you. This Clean Skin Gel is an amazing cleanser + toner that also removes makeup while leaving your skin feeling nice and clean. The best part: it’s only $10!
Next I’d recommend either some type of toner or serum to apply after cleansing in the evening so your skin can soak in all that goodness overnight.
DRUNK ELEPHANT – T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Resurfacing Night Serum, $90
I absolutely love this stuff. It’s pretty powerful, so I only use it 2-3 times a week. It’s main focus is to resurface congested skin — but it also targets fine lines and wrinkles. I’d say a face covered by a mask all day definitely merits a serum for congested pores!
A budget-friendly alternative to this would 100% have to be Sephora’s Clarifying Serum for only $20.
It helps tame oiliness, uneven skin texture, and pores. The salicylic acid will exfoliate your skin overnight all while the hyaluronic acid moisturizes.
I could talk about skincare for ages, but I’ll end on the last step: MOISTURIZE, BITCH!
You don’t want crusty skin hanging out underneath that mask of yours. And listen up OILY-SKINNED SISTERS, you need to moisturize too! I don’t care if you think your skin oils keep you *moist* enough — that’s not the case and also that sounds gross, and you’re not gross. You just need a light-weight lotion that won’t clog your pores.
Remember, I’ve got more dry skin. For that I’d recommend:
PHILOSOPHY – Renewed Hope in A Jar Water Cream, $39
I will forever sing it’s praises. Once you rub it in, it literally melts LIKE WATER into your skin! It’s like a science project on your face.
For my loves with oilier skin, might I recommend:
OLEHENRIKSEN – C-Rush™ Vitamin C Gel Moisturizer, $46
Vitamin C lightens, brightens, and tightens your skin! This is a light gel cream that not only will keep you glowing, but also improves the look of your makeup over time.
There are plenty of other moisturizers you can choose that won’t break the bank as well. One of my most used:
SEPHORA COLLECTION – Nourishing Moisturizer, $17
This lotion smells sooOoOoOo good. It’s got avocado, marula, and rose hip seed oils included to keep you moisturized and nourished! Also, it’s good for all skin types because of the light and creamy formula.
I hope this helps! Keep in mind that a healthy skincare routine is v important all of the time, but especially right now while we’re all enduring #MaskGate.
Stay hydrated. Stay moisturized.