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Today is the day that Barak Obama is no longer the president of the United States.
Much like when someone you love passes away, today I am filled with memories from the past and I am filled with gratitude for the person we have lost.
These past 8 years have been what I would certainly call my most formative years. I became a woman in the world during this time.
I was 23 years old when the first black President was elected. That was the first time in my life that I felt a real fire ignite in me. This was the first time I REALLY felt that I was a strong voice. Yes, one voice but with enough courage this voice could feel like strength of thousands.
I campaigned for Obama in the middle of West Virginia where people pulled their guns out on us. I felt such certainty about this man as my leader that I stood on porches and had discussions about education, the Iraq war and changing our healthcare system. I had a HOPE poster in my bedroom and I remember jumping up and down as if my heart might burst when he was elected into his first term.
Today, it scares me how unwilling I am to face the facts of what is actually happening. I am surprised by how unsure I am to use the voice I once felt could be so powerful. But in this moment all I can feel is gratitude for Barak Obama, his wife Michelle and their morality, self assuredness and positivity. This rubbed of on the whole world and most certainly on my generation.
Maybe he didn’t change the world in all of the ways that we hoped – but with him in office as the leader of our country – it gave myself and my peers the safe and supported space to develop who we actually have become. And trust me, we are powerful.
I know this feeling might change, but here and now I know where I stand. I know who I am. I know what I believe in. I am not going to say this is all because of Barak Obama but today is when I realized he certainly played a part in it.

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Today marks not only one of our favorite holidays but the three year anniversary of this blog.  To commemorate the day, we invite you to take a look back at some of the the last twelve months of disco.

Gut Feelings / I’m a Bird / Best of 2013 In Music / Imperfect / Au Naturel / You Are What You Think / Be the Change You Want To See In the World42nd StreetSounds Underground / HomesickForeign Correspondents Club: Cambodian Rock ‘n Roll OldiesMercury Reversed 

Happy Halloween!

Photo taken by the lovely and talented, Michele Zychowski

Photo of Lake Erie taken by the lovely and talented, Michele Zychowski

Living in California has really been a dream come true. I have become a hiker, a surfer, a 29 year old, a planner, a beach volleyball player, a paddleboarder, a party thrower and countless other things. California has given me sunshine, new friends, old friends, more family time (with Oscar!), more knowledge, more confidence – the list goes on. However, there are times when suddenly I am struck by homesickness. I am not just sick for my house that I grew up in – though that place is my paradise – but I am sick for:

Visiting my Suzie

Laughing with my cousins

Seeing my dad pull in the driveway

Kissing Kendall

Laying in bed with my Mom

Looking through my old room

Being at either of my grandma’s houses

Watching the lake change everyday

Walking down the street to the Zychowski’s.

The sound of the train passing when I am sleeping

There are so many other small things I miss tonight. So, yes, Los Angeles has been awesome. It has given me and Albert so many wonderful pieces of ourselves that we will have forever. However sometimes there are so many people that I miss at one time that I feel like I am drowning. Dorothy was right. There IS no place like home.

 

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There are endless reasons why I love my mother. My love I have for her has grown more and more over the years and I imagine that it will continue on that way. My mom has been through a lot. A lot of wonderful experiences and a couple hard ones. I never realized until I was older that she was trying with all her might to show up for the hard times with love. She was and is determined to see the reasons and lessons behind every struggle. And to see that in action as I have gone from child, teenager and now as a woman is miraculous. Sure, she is coming in a week and she drives me bananas, but she really finds meaning in life. I now value that same thing.

As I was getting ready for a party that I had at my place last night, I was thinking about my mom. Although she swears hosting was passed down through my dad’s side of the family, it’s not true. My mom is the queen of throwing things together. In turn, I love to bring people together. I wish I could say that I throw things together, but I am more of a planner. That is besides the point. The point is: the most important thing my mother could have passed down was bring people you love together. It’s those times that last with you for weeks after. It makes life fun. It’s good to connect.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. You are pretty great.

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