I have to tell you, I’m sitting here in a bit of a cold sweat right now imagining what kind of mom I might someday be if this is how very “extra” I am as a big sister and even as a daughter…. If you made it through all these images and are now reading this – I’m thankful for you.
For those who don’t already know from social media or otherwise – I am back home for a visit! I flew back to Nebraska to surprise my family: We had three momentous events to celebrate, which is what occasioned my visit. To start, there was Mother’s Day, then my sister Lizzie’s birthday, and my baby sister Cassie’s high school graduation party and commencement (dramatic sniffles).
Christian is also at a training event for the whole time I’ll be gone, so it seemed like a smart move to miss him terribly from somewhere I could be with family. Plus, I’ve always wanted to surprise someone in a big way – so it just seemed like a good time to try it! I took a red-eye flight home and got a ride from the airport from one of my closest friends, and surprised my family by walking up with a suitcase full of a month’s wardrobe (major over-packer right here) where they were all sitting out together in the back yard. It’s a good thing they will always and forever (as they’ve assured me) welcome me with happy hugs and very open hearts, because it’s not every family you can surprise with the news of a multiple-week-long visit — at least not who would be thrilled with it.
I graduated from Bennington High School, as did (after this weekend!) both of my sisters. But it is always so, so different to come back after a few years as an alum, not only because of the structural changes to the building – and there have been a lot of those – but because of the perspective you bring back with you. It was sort of a surreal experience to bring my camera with me and to see the school through that lens, both literally and figuratively. As someone trying to capture the essence of a place or a celebration like a commencement ceremony or even a grad party, it’s a little bit easier to detach yourself from the (and I don’t quite know how to explain this) vivacity of your memories of a place (and people). Because when there are a lot of emotions attached to a moment or memory, you can be sure it’s very colored by your own bias, if that makes sense. It’s like this: Being the one taking photos provides the ability to slightly separate yourself from a moment and allows you to look at things in a different way (because you’re choosing to look for the beauty or a certain framing or etc), and to really reflect on the image and what it represents later on. So looking at my baby sister and the school I also graduated from as a *little bit* of an outsider had me all up in my thoughts about the person I am now vs. who I might’ve been then – so very much the same person, but also entirely different because of how I now look at and process the people and things around me.
I think my sister just glowed with the energy and emanating certainty of a person who is ready to step into the shoes of her future self.
I’m so proud of her. Of both of my sisters. It’s not always easy to get through high school (or college!), because everyone around you is still on the arduous and painstaking journey to find themselves too. And I think the point is, until you are fully you, the interactions you have with people and the decisions you make; the way you live life and the things you invest your mind and heart in might turn out to be mistakes. But they might also be mistakes worth making. And it’s all so that, by trial and/or error, you can find out what, where and who you want to be in this world.
On a much lighter note, we had a decadent brunch at Crave in midtown for Mother’s day, and I finally had some shopping buddies to partake in some retail therapy with. For Lizzie’s birthday we went to Kona Grill and had a great time eating sushi and rich chocolate cake and sharing our favorite memories of her – as is our tradition. If you don’t know my sisters, they are both fantastic people. We are all so different, but connected by our similar humor and an intense love and loyalty for one another. Lizzie is superwoman – there is literally nothing she can’t do and isn’t good at. She is strong and gives without end (a lot like my mom). And Cassie is hilarious and confident and incredibly quick witted: my dad’s twin soul. And then there’s me, who would surely claim the title of the family’s biggest weirdo – an Aries and a writer-type who loves clothes unfailingly. We’re a lovely bunch, if I do say so myself. It has been so fun to be back with them for this visit.
Nebraska friends – let’s hang out while I’m back! I kind of want to highlight some of the restaurants and bars here in a post, because I don’t think people elsewhere in the world really realize how great the restaurant scene is here. So help a girl out and leave me some suggestions below 🙂
You know you love me –
Gossip Girl (of my corner of the Midwest)