2018: Thank u, next.

2018, my dear, you are one for the books. Or really, the blog.

To be perfectly honest, 2017 was a year straight from hell, so I really started 2018 only being able to go up from there. And did she exceed expectations.

Overall, this year didn’t throw me as many hard learned lessons as much as it challenged me to slow down and practice patience.

2018 told me life is not a race. There are no line judges and there are no timers. Life is seeking the joyful moments between that daily commitment to yourself to just keep going.

A year ago, I don’t think I could have pictured any of the amazing memories and moments I had the joy of sharing. The best things that happen to you in this life are the things you could have never planned for yourself.

So here for you, my dear readers, is my 2018 in highlights.

January:

New Year with my iconic purple velvet jumpsuit, Indian food, and good friends.

Sorority recruitment, welcoming new sisters, and getting to wear lots of glitter. Joining a sorority was the best decision I made in college and I had the unique opportunity to share some beautiful vulnerability during recruitment and it only made me closer to the amazing group of girls.

February:

Celebrating my beautiful friend Emma’s birthday. Coaching my favorite frat boys to a not quite dodge ball victory, but they will always be winners in my heart. An incredible date function with one my darling Brittany, kicking everyone’s ass in Go Karts, and bowling down in Balltown.

Seeing my roommate and real life BFF Dayna get little’s and starting our Constellation Family. MCing a talent show with Brittany. Working at the Reiff Center for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution and getting paid to eat all the catered meal with some of the best people.

March:

Taking photos for a wonderful friend. St. Patrick’s day with friends. Staying up all hours of the night for Relay for Life. Making new, amazing friends.

Ms. Vangie and just Drag Queens in general. Pancake Mondays with my beautiful Emma. Enjoying the sun and taking v fashion photos with sisters.

April:

My sorority formal, spending the night with new friends and old, being awarded Miss ASA, crying cause I got Miss ASA, taking a cup full of spinach artichoke dip home and eating it while wearing a flower crown surrounded by good people.

Conducting a bunch of kick ass research and then presenting that research at a conference. Senior pottery and pizza night with my sorority seniors. Getting my beautiful paddle from my little.  Having an amazing, emotional, affirming senior send off with lots of crying and laughs.

Volunteering with Special Olympics Track and Field. Pi Lambda Phi spring formal with some absolute loves of my life. Getting ice’d at senior photos. Harassing a famous movie star to send well wishes to his biggest fan.

May:

Finishing an amazing application for a grad school I thankfully didn’t get into. A very rainy senior week.

Having one last breakfast at my favorite local diner with Kristen. Photo shoot in Norfolk with lots of Chimichurri Parmesan fries. Senior recognition brunch. Candlelight ceremony. Getting an award for Sociological theory.

Graduating College. Watching a good friend get married and having the privilege to be a bridesmaid.

June:

Sadly having to say goodbye to one the best people I had the privilege to meet in College. Trips to Richmond. Adjusting to the pace of not having to do anything at all.

Thrifting up the East Coast, having the best Tacos ever, visiting Maine, having the best bagels of my life, enjoying the hell out of a lobster roll on the side of the road.

July:

Spending two weeks in China, making new friends, eating new food, and going to some amazing places. Getting stuck in a bus for 8 hours, finding out Chinese people love Peppa Pig, falling in love with KTV and Hot Pot, the Great Wall of freaking China, going to a Beijing club via our Russian connection, Bread and Cup pastries, Rio Light Grapefruit/ Vodka canned cocktail, and flying internationally by myself.

Recovering from major jet lag with a new precious kitty we call Nuggy. More trips to Richmond to visit friends.

August:

All of the Bingo with my mom and grandma. Launching Fleur de Lillie. Yard sale-ing through the summer.

Traveling across the country with my best friend, spending time with family in New Mexico, Choke Cherry, Happy Birthday Bad Bitches ice cream cake, thrifting across america, New Orleans, Beignets, po-boys, night of pizza snacks with teen movies in Atlanta, taking quizzes out of pre-teen magazines.

Spending time with Emma in her most precious apartment, good falafel, ice cream, and better friends.

September:

Fashion photo shoots. UVA games and adventures in Charlottesville, being blessed my Roots for the first time. Picking wildflowers. Friendship adventures in Richmond. College football with my Dad.

Mexi Unlimited Taco night. Having a homemade cake for my birthday and celebrating with my parents. Birthday dinner with my Big and eating as much spinach artichoke dip as possible.

October:

Being hired at The Lady Jane. Enjoying fall. Public libraries. Farmers Markets. Homecoming.

November:

Pastries. Family. Grandparent dates. Visiting Princeton, thrifting, and having more bomb tacos.

December:

Learning how to make Macrame, every day at the shop, great falafel, amazing and thoughtful gifts. Taking some time to rest.

 

So here’s to you, 2018. You rocked and I loved you dearly. And here’s to you, dear reader, for being here and making this year absolutely phenomenal. Enjoy the remaining days of the year and I’ll see you in 2019.

x,

Lillie

Going Home

The Donald M. Wilson Reading Corner of the Princeton public library is a little lower than ground level. Facing the massive windows that let in  the cool, natural lighting of the fall day, I feel a sense of nostalgia for the place I’ve spent exactly 1 hour and 12 minutes in. This nook sits directly on the corner of Wiggins St. & Witherspoon St. surely named after important people I’ll never have the pleasure or displeasure of meeting. To my right, a cemetery with graves that have been there long before me and will remain long after and to my left, a cluster of large buildings with red brick that look like they belong more in Europe than in New Jersey. Scattered around my vision are trees holding onto their remaining leaves in shades of orange, yellow, and green. I’m wearing an orange shirt which makes me feel more apart of the landscape in some way.

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Sometimes I wonder if this feeling is more a sense of longing than nostalgia. It’s a place that doesn’t quite feel like home but there is something in the air that makes it feel like it could be. Like my soul has been lingering somewhere between the cobblestone alleyways, pine trees, and old buildings. Certain places just have that undeniable charm, like this place and my soul are vibrating at the same frequency.

Being charmed by a place is a beautiful thing. I felt this way when I went to Paris for the first time and when I started making friends in college. You’re overcome with a feeling that you are exactly where you are suppose to be. Since graduating and moving back home, my overwhelming feeling has been one of displacement. That’s why when I visited my college for Homecoming, I had a hard time emotionally preparing myself for going back to my “home.”

The fear was not so much whether things would be like I had left them but whether I could find the person I was before I left. I found her in China this summer briefly, but the grind I experience everyday of being back home and feeling displaced had put me back into this sense of loss.IMG_0579.JPG

I was anxious about how the weekend would go and how I would feel going back to the place I’d lived and grown for 4 years. I hadn’t had a genuine social interaction in months and a part of me wondered who I’d be when I would.

I quickly found some friends in the library on that rainy Friday who had also graduated. Sitting around a table we’d all probably spent time cramming for exams or gossiping at one point or another, we shared our mutual experiences of displacement, loss, and uncertainty for the future. Talking to them, I got this feeling that I was bridging the gap between who I was in this space for 4 years and who I was becoming since. Turns out, we are all stuck in a transition, one that is painful at times, certainly uncomfortable, but namely: terribly lonely.

That weekend we were all coming back to our launch pad as if we missed some crucial directions before we set off back in May. Everyone tells you how hard “the real world” in terms of financials can be, but no one ever tells you how fucking lonely it is.

Talking and spending time with my friends, visiting my old dorm, and seeing what everyone was getting into felt right and good, but it was only temporary relief from the reality of where we all were in our transition. That we would all be retreating back to where we found ourselves after graduation, only a little more driven to fight off this feeling of loneliness now knowing that our feelings were all very mutual.IMG_0461.JPG

Me going back for homecoming ended up being way less comforting then I had initially planned as it so blatantly pointed out how not at home I feel in my life. I cried on the way back feeling emotionally exhausted and confused as to where I needed to be going next. However, I had gained a helpful and very necessary reminder of who I am when I’m in my element.

I think all the throw pillows and Pinterest canvases have established that home is not a place, but a person. However, I’d like to think that home is really the place that vibrates at the same frequency you do. It’s how you don’t feel lonely when you’re in your favorite place alone or when you’re reading a good book or having a night of snacks & secrets between friends. That matched vibration is the exact opposite of feeling displaced and lonely.

And for a brief moment in a library I’ve never been in and will never be again, surrounded by books and leaves and movement, I found my vibration being matched. What I felt leaving homecoming was not knowing where I’d be finding my matched vibration next, but I understand now that it’s instinctual and if you let go, you’ll pull yourself there.

x

Lillie

October Favorites

Hello my favorite spooky queens and fashionable fiends, your girl is back back back again this week with a new kind of post for my blog: monthly favorites!

I obviously don’t specialize in one sort of thing, so you’ll get a mix of various things in my life that I enjoyed this month, so much so I’m taking an entire blog post to talk about them.

I love a good lifestyle suggestion as much as the next queen, so here is what I’ve been loving this month:

TV: American Horror Story: ApocalypseIMG_8935

The witches are back and that’s all that matters to me these days. I’ve always been a big fan of AHS, but I’ve avoided some of the past seasons as they have not lived up to my love for Asylum & Coven. Nothing gets me into the spooky fall spirit like the end of the world and a bunch of witches. We are about half way through the season and every week has me on my toes waiting for what will happen next.

You’ll love this if you like: spooky TV/ witches/ the devil/ dark humor/ stevie nicks

xoxo, your next supreme.

Podcast: Thick & Thin

IMG_9583I’ve been doing a decent bit of traveling this month, especially to and from work and a podcast is always a great way for my cheap ass who doesn’t have Spotify premium to enjoy something other than the same 5 songs on the radio.

I’ve followed Katy for years and I’ve brought up her podcast in the past, but I love listening to Katy and her experiences in New York (a place I hope to move to soon) and being a recent college grad (such as myself.) She brings her life musings to the people who need that insight the most and she always gives you something to think about in terms of your own life and how you’re living it.

You’ll love this if you like: NYC/ being a 20 something/ talking about fuckbois/ need an extra kick of motivation or self love

Listen here

Habit: 10 Minute Clean Up

This month has really kicked my ass in terms of working between my two jobs and it can often render me useless in other areas of my life. What has been helping me get my life in order is by timing myself for 10 minutes to do a quick clean of my room. I have to set the timer or it doesn’t work. Once my space is clean, I am able to approach all the things I need to do with a clear head and jump of motivation.

You’ll love this if you like: Being clean, but not that clean/ having a clear head space/ not having the same dirty clothes on the floor for a week/ feeling like a real adult

Book: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue

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credit: harper collins publishing

Y’all, I am a card carrying queen to not 1 but 2 libraries in the area. One in particular has a really great selection of YA and since I work in a book store, I’m constantly surrounded by things I should read. After seeing this one at work, I checked it out and devoured it in a week.

It has all the things I love is a good book, travel, adventures, queer characters, feminism, and a cute love interest. What more could you want?

The premise is that our boy Monty is going on his European Tour (1700’s style) before returning home to take over his family estate. Monty is a wild play boy, in love with his best friend Percy, and not at all prepared for the reality that awaits him and Percy when they get home. Along with Monty’s sister Felicity, the 3 get into wild adventures all across Europe. The book has a surprise sci/fi twist I don’t want to ruin.

Find out more here

Fashion: DIY Rings

img_9585.jpegY’all know I’m a proud, cheap bitch. So naturally, I bought some rings at a thrift store with the anticipation of making them wearable. I’m mad in love with how they turned out.

All I did was take these shape rings that were completely flat, took my favorite nail polish colors and did two coats on them. What is also great is that I can easily change the colors with nail polish remover and new polish. I’ve been wearing them none stop.

Food: A Good Ass Grilled Cheese

Tis the szn for warm soups and sammies, am I right? And I’ve constantly being jonesing for comforting grilled cheeses and this month has not disappointed. My favorite has been homemade with sharp cheddar cheese, grape tomatoes, basil, and tomato herb bread from the local farmers market. To DIE for.

 

Hope your October was as good as mine, remember to be kind, love yourself, and let yourself enjoy the little things life has to offer.

x

Lillie