Little notes like the below will be sent out on a semi-normal basis as I get back into writing and find my voice. This was the first. Sign up link at the bottom of article.
The first time in adulthood I strung together colorful beads to create child-like jewelry was when JoAnna (So help you, you poor SOB, if you do not capitalize that A) and I made friendship bracelets. With pink and black plastic beads, we made patterned pieces that said, fuck you and fuck me and the short, but infinitely punchy fuck. We thought them cheeky and fun. Very us. Mine ended up hanging from my rearview mirror for about six years. A rebellious time. It was a fun idea; a callback to childhood. These were tiny things that reminded me of my dear college roommate each time I saw them. I treasured those beads and f-bombs hanging there in my car each day. The beads are now faded, the pink an almost pearly white, the black now gray. The strings are stretched out. They are no less special though; actually maybe even more so, since I no longer see JoAnna on even a yearly basis.
The next time I made bracelets like this was with Haley many years later. We got together to make beaded bracelets as part of my 2019 theme of creativity. We sat at our favorite coffee shop drinking lattes and stringing beads onto perhaps miles of string. At the end of the day we had gifts for the baristas, each other, and all our friends. I have bracelets from this day that say, kind, daydreamer, explorer, and art. The baristas cooed over the rainbows we passed them on our way out. Our friend wore them the next Monday at work and took videos of their turning wrists showing off the beaded words for social media.
These tiny, one-word pieces serve as an uplifting moment of recognition and a gentle reminder of something lovely. These beauties are more than a Pinterest pin or an Instagram post; more immediate. They are less than a tattoo; less permanent, still impactful. There was actually a time after wearing all these for a while that I thought, “Why do I not have one that says unless? The Lorax is my favorite story and I am obsessed with the message of conservation.” Then I remembered that I do, in fact, have a tattoo that said unless… That being said, I kind of want a permanent reminder of all my current bracelets and even some extra ideas. A constant reminder to breath, to listen, to stop, to relax, to stand up straight, drink more water. *A word for my mother, I will not actually get those tattoos.
Before this day, I had already been gifted many bracelet reminders, many lovely phrases and words from Haley. The one I love the most has the phrase; you are home on it. This has always been important to me when I travel but is becoming increasingly more important in my daily life as I struggle to find a home for the next phase of my growth.
When I travel, this phrase reminds me that I am a person of the world and I deserve to explore it. I deserve to learn and grow and see new things. My travel anxiety sometimes renders me immobile and prone to nightmares of death. I think I will die on or right before each trip I take. The other anxiety I have is that worry about being the stupid, loud, fat American. I don’t want to be obnoxious or steal anything or make anything about me. Travel is for learning. What others eat and do and love. What the weather is like, what they wear, what they have in their streets and gardens. It’s supposed to be gentle and add something to the traveler but take nothing away from the place. You are home reminds me that I am earth-child, a flower trying to grow, yet rootless. This world is my home and I want to see as much of it as possible. Wrapped up in that is the idea that everyone else is also home and since we all share this earth, we all deserve respect and love whether we are new to a place or ingrained in it.
Travel is the exception to “home” the rule. Physically staying and being at home is the general rule of life. Christopher and I are deciding what that means to us and for our pooch, Bailey. I don’t necessarily want to stay in Texas, certainly not in Dallas. However, I love a lot of things about where we are. He loves his job. We’re relatively close to both our families and a bunch of friends. Dallas is an exciting city if you can stand the scary drivers. I yearn for something new though, and have romantic ideas of so many places to settle. I also have beautiful ideas of not settling at all. We’re here until we make another decision. The decision may well end up being here, to stay. Or not.
This world and its seemingly infinite places to explore is my home in a wide sense. The metaphorically infinite space between Christopher, Bailey, and I is where my home is in a heart-sense. Where they go, I go. Where I go, they follow. Anywhere in this ‘world home’ of ours we can place our infinite triangle of a home. Christopher is home no matter where we “live”. Everywhere in the world has something to offer. Dallas offers us two favorite local coffee shops and an Italian place we frequent so often that last week we got free cheesecake. There’s coffee and Italian food to love everywhere. Probably free cheesecake too. We’re all lucky to be here, wherever here is. If no one has said it to you today, let me be the first; Welcome home. You are home.
*Previously seen on harnessmagazine.com.
Sign up here: https://tinyletter.com/Dimery_Rene