reflections in fall / oct 2019

A year ago, I was sitting down to write something I couldn’t finish. It was a manifesto of sorts on moving home. I never thought I would move home after college, but here I am getting ready to do so. I never finished that essay. Never hit publish on it. 

Weeks later, I’d be sitting in my capstone typing away at a transcript when I felt my chest collapsing in on itself. I felt my skin get tight. I needed to get out of my own body. I finished up my work as quickly as possible, packed up my things and told my professor I was sick and needed to go early. Minutes later I showed up in my best friend’s dorm room and said the words that were deep down inside me. The ones I’d been convincing myself to ignore: I can’t move home.

Home had been a way of searching of stability and safety. It was the escape route; one of the many plans I hatched when I felt stuck or unhappy rather than dealing with the situation at hand. I’d taken home as an answer because it was easier than doing the work to figure out what I actually wanted.

And now a year later, I haven’t moved home in the way I thought I would. Not to the home that means the place I grew up. In one way or another, I think I maybe have moved home in another sense. Finding comfort in a place that’s new but becoming more familiar with each day. I’m back at a job I once left. Distance makes the heart grow fonder, they say. They’re right. Sometimes you have to leave something you love to figure out what’s going on with you. It’s not you, it’s me – those words can be true. And you really can come back. Sometimes, you say words like this is temporary and I’ll come back and you wonder if they’re true. You’re scared they’re not. What a relief to be patient and discover that they are.

In the year that has passed, so much looks the same as the one prior but so much is different. I like the familiarity, but I’m relieved to see and be experiencing the growth and change of time.

In this moment, I know I unintentionally found the thing I had been seeking last year. I did it by throwing out the escape plans. I’ve attempted to shut down the section of my brain, that works to create those plans. Or at least I’ve gently learned to accept but kindly quiet it down. It’s still a part of me so I must understand her and know how to work with her.

I’m taking it all step by step. I’m learning to ask for what I need. I took the time off to go travel. I took the time off to be present for my loved ones. I took the time to tend to my body when it told me to. And before I really knew it, I realized the support system had formed, the home had been built, I was in the job I’d been chasing but this time felt like I fell into it. I even fell in love a little bit.

I get nervous to type those words. Especially when it’s early on, and you feel it so brightly and so intensely but there’s a piece that feels fragile. All of this is in process. Some pieces feel in the past, but it’s all active tense.

This year has come to me without a plan. It’s been the year of learning to go forward with a vision rather than written out instructions. It’s been a year of living in the gray. Right now I feel like I’m floating. It’s mostly peaceful, but there are still the moments when you close your eyes and realize maybe you’ve let go and there’s that flash of panic. It all comes and goes, but it’s rather beautiful. It’s so much fuller than before. It feels less like performing life and more like really living it.

Notes from home 10.18


fullsizeoutput_18ec    fullsizeoutput_18e9







As a freshman in college, going home for the long weekend in October was out of desperation for the need to be taken care of; it was to have my parents feed me, do my laundry, and most importantly – tell me everything was going to be okay. It was a reminder that while I am doing this really big thing and had gained a lot of independence really quickly, I could always come home to see the leaves change. Those couple of days were good for the soul.

And now as I’m in my final semester of college, those few days felt just as important. The weekend was different because while I know I have undergone significant change, it’s not always apparent to me that my home and the people there are changing too. Life looks a lot different for all us now. It is in the simplest facts. I make my own bed now. I babysit for my baby cousin born just this year. I have to speak a little louder for my grandmother to hear me. And I have a new favorite place to get a morning bagel.

It’s oddly comforting to find that home has changed. I’ve struggled with home and feeling like I couldn’t identify with it anymore because of how much I have changed. It felt like Maine hadn’t changed and going back felt like making no personal progress at all. But, it was different this weekend. Different in that I got to see how I’ve changed, how the people closest to me have changed, and the place I’ve called home my entire life has changed. But it was all in the best way. In so many ways, it felt like we’ve all changed to better suit each other. This weekend, Maine felt more like home than it ever has.

And while I talk about all this change, it feels odd to talk about it in the context of home. Home is meant to be familiar and so much of it is still for me. It still has the comfort of seeing my friend’s parents at the pizza shop or running into my sophomore year French teacher at a farm. I can still talk to these people who shaped home for me, as if we’ve never lost touch. Yes, there is so much to catch them up on, but it’s the ease with which I can tell them that assures me we’ve never drifted too far apart.

I think it’s perfectly timed that I get to rejoice in a weekend home every Fall as the leaves are changing. Home is the leaves on the tree – bound to change from year-to-year. There’s a duel-sided comfort of knowing that change is possible and unstoppable but also it’s familiar. It’s part of the cycle of life and something we can always count on. I’m so grateful for those bright hues of Autumn I snapped from the car as I drove back to Boston.

Winter Skin

Since coming to college my skin has drastically changed. It’s still combination but since my campus is in a literal wind tunnel during the winter, it gets DRY. Having done my first full year in Boston, I had to adjust my routine in the summer, and now I’m preparing for winter because we essentially skipped fall. I’ve gone back to a lot of loved products and my skin hasn’t felt this good in a while. I try and streamline my routines because I like consistency and want a routine I don’t have to think about.

My morning’s have to be simple because I’m almost always running late. It’s three steps and works wonder.


Cleanse – Origins Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash

I’d heard great things about this cleanser and finally got to try it thanks to my Birchbox subscription. I savored every drop of it and finally repurchased at the Sephora VIB sale. It goes on so silky, washes off and leaves my skin feeling so clean but not dry. It allows me the perfect blank canvas for the rest of my products.

Treat – The Ordinary Hylauronic Acid + B5 serum

I used Glossier’s version of this product for a while, I’d repurchased it twice, but I’m trying to cut back on spending and this is a dupe (technically it came before the Glossier serum) and even with shipping is still less than half the cost of the Glossier serum. I love using it because it helps with the roughness I can get on my cheeks as well as work as a primer when I apply my makeup.

Moisturize – Avene Cleanance Expert

I discovered this product through Birchbox, and it changed my life the moment I used it. I’ll never go back to a different moisturizer because it makes my makeup so smooth and doesn’t break me out or feel heavy. It’s truly mattifying while also allowing some natural glow. I can’t rave enough.

For my night routine I try and slow down and use my skincare routine to unwind. It’s a little bit longer especially since I try and mask every night when I have the time (sounds crazy, but my skin responds well).


Cleanse 1 (not pictured) – Bioderma Sensibio H20 + Shiseido Facial Cotton

I love Bioderma. It’s the only makeup remover I have ever liked and I’ll repurchase forever. I changed the game by buying the Shiseido Facial Cotton. So soft and easy! Just a little luxury that I picked up at the VIB sale!

Cleanse 2 – Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser

This cleanser is so incredible. Tata Harper itself is an incredible brand because all the products are so clean and basically just plants. I feel so good about this product that I’m willing to splurge on. I actually only repurchased this product thanks to Credo’s Friends and Family sale and this product makes my skin so happy. It’s a scrub but I use it every night because it doesn’t strip my skin but gives me the right amount of exfoliation.


Tone – Origins Original Skin Essence Lotion

I don’t think this is necessarily toner, but it is incredible in every sense. I stopped using this product for a while, and my skin quality declined. I brought it back a few weeks ago and I saw instant improvement. It hydrates while also taking care of any acne scarring or discoloration.

Treat – Glossier Super Pure

This serum is my EVERYTHING. The acne I get isn’t constant, but I think that’s because I started using this serum, and it’s helped keep me blemish free. When I do get a pimple here and there, it dries them out so quickly. I get redness on my cheeks and this helps take care of that too. The Ordinary makes a dupe for this one, but I’ve heard it doesn’t work as well as Glossier so I’m staying loyal and willing to splurge.

Moisturize 1 – Embryolisse Lait Crème Concentre

During the winter, I like a good thick moisturizer that seals it all in. I got a sample of this moisturizer from Birchbox, and I’m thrilled with it that the minute I used it up I dragged my best friend across the city so I could go get the full-size at Target. It’s so smooth but doesn’t leave excess oil. It’s really good. I’m a firm believer in French pharmacy between this product and my Avene moisturizer.

Moisturizer 2 – Herbivore Lapis Oil

This oil works wonders for my skin. In the summer, I can use it alone as a moisturizer but now in the colder weather I’m trying to conserve the product since it is pricey. I do 3-4 drops in my fingers, warm it up and then press it into my skin to seal in my moisturizer. This product balances skin and works so nicely with my serum and moisturizer to prevent breakouts while staying moisturized.