It’s a little hard for me to believe that we are already halfway through 2018. It’s July people! Summer has somehow FLOWN by and I was not expecting it AT ALL. Normally, my summers sort of dredge forward and by the end of them I’m so eager to start back at school, I can hardly contain myself. This summer is different. While I am excited to get back to COT and start working on our Fall opera, I’m trying so hard to dig my heels in and make summer stay a little while longer.
This year, June was a magical month full of rainbows, puppies, good drinks and even better friends.
It’s a month that I’ll hold special in my heart for a while, for many reasons, all of which I’m totally gonna gab your ear off about below.
Buckle in, Crickets!
Being as extra as we are, Kyle and I made sure to decorate our bar cart as brightly as possible for the month of June. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: this bar cart and all of it’s kitsch just brings me so much joy. It lights up our living room and makes our friends smile when they come over. I love ittttt.
(Also peep Sue, the Tyrannosaurus Rex on the bottom shelf, holding her own pride flag!)
This summer, I’ve really grown to appreciate my job so much.
I love opening the store in Rogers Park, meeting the community, and feeling like I’m a part of the community too. It’s actually a real big joy in my life and I’ve come to loooovee my Provisions/Rogers Park Social family so much.
For Pride month, we pushed the sales of my favorite vodka from Cardinal Spirits. This particular vodka was created on the day that the Supreme Court made gay marriage legal. 10% of the proceeds of this bottle go towards LGBTQIA groups in our local area. Dope vodka that goes to an even better cause? Yes pls. (Also I just LOOOVE Cardinal Spirits a LOT LOT and I could talk about them, their branding, and their cocktails for like hours. Crossing my fingers for a trip to Bloomington sometime soon to check out their space and their house made cocktails!)
I also love where I work, because my bosses are allowing me to post to the Instagram pages as a part of my job! And I literally love it. It’s so easy to create content and post about a business/products that you love and are passionate about. I’m tryin’ my best to work my way to a Social Media Manager position so y’all say a prayer for your girl, ok?
AAAnd the bar looked SO CUTE for pride, like c’mon.
Hop on the Redline and get off at Morse, grab a world class cocktail (the margarita is my fave) and be HAPPY!
This year, Kyle embarked on a new little endeavor and made Pride shirts (which we sell in Provisions, the store I work in!!) based on the CTA Line colors and a “Love is Love” print (that I’m obsessed with, but don’t sell…..yet..lol). I’m so excited because I’m hoping this can spawn off a little t-shirt/cool stuff business for Kyle’s designs. Kyle has one planned that involves mermaids and that’s all I’m gonna say because I’M REAL EXCITED ABOUT ITTTT!!!!
I was also so excited to win an Instagram giveaway from Foursided, my fave little souvenir/art print/kitschy sh*t shop in Chicago! These are pictures from an Instagram story I did, because I recently packed away most of this stuff with the Pride bar cart items. But so many cute rainbow things! A big rainbow flag, buttons, cards, keychains, and a coin purse. It was so fun and started off my Pride weekend on a super happy note.
When Pride finally came around, everyone was excited. Even Oliver.
We also had a house guest over for the week of Pride! Her name is Darcy and she’s the sweetest little monster I’ve ever met. She’s also the second dog I’ve watched in Chicago and I’m thinkin’ maybe I need to like cash in on some Wag App action??? (Wag is an app dedicated to finding dog sitters/walkers for all you muggles) Anyway, she was a dream and was even cute when she snored.
Of course, your girl loves a theme to dress up for, so I wore one of my favorite summer dresses for Pride. It’s a muted rainbow dress by Tommy Hilfiger that I got from Macy’s last summer. I wore my Unicorn party hat (from my bag of free stuff from Foursided) and drank Rosé bubble House Wine from a can. And I stayed at home and cooked out with some friends that came over and it was the happiest little weekend.
For the past six years, I’ve been struggling with finding the right word or label for myself and my sexuality. Even though I have always, always been fiercely supportive of the LGBTQIA community, I’ve been afraid.
I grew up with “Gay Uncles” and I knew all they lyrics to all the songs from Falsettos and I knew I loved LGBTQIA people. They were always my best friends. They were always people I identified with.
And at 25, I’ve finally had the time and space to fully accept, own, and declare myself as queer.
I am Queer.
Not any other word, or any other form of this word.
I was telling a good friend recently, that I’ve held myself back from openly saying this due to fear of rejection.
Rejection from my own family.
What’s funny is that the family I was concerned and stressed about rejecting me, is the family that I have separated myself from this year.
It’s my father’s side of my family.
The father that I haven’t spoken to in over 7 years.
The father who didn’t help raise me, or love me.
The father that planted the seed that I was never enough.
The keeper of all of my Daddy Issues™.
It wasn’t just a fear of rejection that I was concerned about. This was a deep seeded insecurity planted in my brain. One that I’ve constantly been trying to heal from. But it’s a trauma that I can’t seem to escape. It’s one I have to learn to live with.
The second I allowed myself space from that source of trauma, the moment I set up new boundaries and did what I thought I needed to do, I found new parts of myself. I blossomed in new ways.
Self-love is not always bath bombs and face masks and glasses of wine.
Sometimes, it’s the bloody, it’s the difficult, and it’s the painful.
I say this for my Queer babies who are struggling to come out and I say it to the parents and families of the Queer babies.
We can’t drag you with us.
If you can’t love us, you will lose us.
To my LGBTQIA loves, know that living in your truth is the most magnificent feeling you can create for yourself. Coming out is a continual process. (Someone I love very much says that a lot, and it’s so true) It’s not a “one and done” kind of deal. It’s a constant in your life. But it’s a beautiful part of your life that you deserve to embrace, love, and celebrate with all of the flags, rainbows, and canned wines you can find.
If coming out is a dangerous thing for you to do, I understand. There are no pre-requisites to being Queer, or a part of the LGBTQIA community. Know that even if you’re not “out”, I hold space for you.
I hope you find and have that special kind of joy of celebrating who you are, in any capacity possible.
And if you ever find yourself in need of an uplifting word, or support, you know where to find me.