My daughter is my hero… she makes me completely insane, we fight like crazy, she is both my protector and my gray hair. My steadfast soldier, my voice of reason, my reminder that even when dealt a shitty hand, you can rise up again. During her junior year in college she decided to reach out and get a summer job in the hospitality industry. One phone call and she had a full time job at the front desk of a hotel. That’s how she rolls, she just goes for it, and if it doesn’t work out she goes for something else. Deciding that you are not so into your major second semester junior year of college puts one in a difficult situation. Do you finish up, spending a year doing something you do not really like, spending crazy money for something that is not remotely a passion… or do you take some time to figure out what you want to do? She took the time. My hero. Six months living pretty much on her own on an island at a seasonal hotel was a good way to do some self reflecting, but then it was over and it was time to come home…back to her hometown, where people were not always so kind. Back to living with dad, mom, and grandma — three generations of adult women in one house (my husband is a saint). Well meaning people around town asking the same question… what are you doing home? Here is a tip for people: that is not the best question. How are you…What’s new? Those are better. Anyway… my hero needed a job after her daily workouts at the gym so she applied to the local hardware store. The thing is, for someone looking to blend in and not have to answer too many questions, our local little mom and pop hardware store is NOT the place to fade into the background. She discovered this after a few days of coming home and reporting the 10-15 people who greeted her with warmth and glee. The best way to take medicine is to just swallow it… working in this hardware store was like wearing a billboard saying…”Hi, yes, it’s me, Olivia, I am taking a break from college, and I am feeling pretty good with my decision, people do things in their own time, and I am ok with taking the longer path”. Sigh, my hero. So why this post (other than to daughter swoon)… because I so adore those who take time from their shopping for nails and paint to give her love and encouraging words, big smiles, and supportive advice. Because it is fun to hear stories of adorable old men giving her (and her fellow cashiers) tootsie roll treats. Because wacky characters do things like write her name in calligraphy on the back of their receipts then leave them with her as little gifts. Because it is a good reminder to be encouraging to those who might be taking a different path. Because kindness counts and is noticed. Just because.
Above… three generations of roommates wearing llama pajamas