But in spite of the fact that we can and do bully through the weather to continue life as usual, in this moment, I feel like a little kid seeing the soft flakes for the first time. It all looks so magical.
In art, we often outline with grey charcoal pencils or sharp black lines. But the world as I see it from my window is softly illuminated in white. Brown tree branches are suddenly highlighted in crisp contrast to the colorful buildings behind them as the snow makes evident their beautiful lines.
Although I live in the heart of downtown, which in the summer is bustling and loud and full of life and music and laughter, right now it’s so hushed that a voice up the street carries through my walls. A neighbor saying “good morning” and commenting on the snow.
I’m learning to love the winter. A self-proclaimed summer girl, born in August, and always attracted to fiery sunshine, ocean waves, and sandy beaches, I bought my first pair of snow shoes in forever last week. I rarely go into malls, but I took a deep breath and hurried into the store of Ls and Beans to greet the kind kid in the shoe department with this proclamation:
“Malls give me anxiety and there’s going to be snow and I don’t want to slip and fall and I need something to wear and can you help me?”
All in a a single breath as though I was afraid that if I didn’t get it all out I would leave the building as though banshees of consumers were chasing me with advertisements trying to get me to become one of them and buy buy buy ugly things that I didn’t need or want. (My version of the zombie apocalypse is witnessing clips of the crowds on black Friday.)
I’m not minimalist in the sense that I live with a set number of things, or refuse to buy even the barest of necessities. But getting stuff for the sake of having it is simply not my style. And I have never felt as free as when everything I owned fit into a massive checked bag suitcase and my carry-on backpack.
So despite the fact that I love beauty and luxury of all kinds, my home is carefully furnished with only what I need, use, and truly appreciate. Much of it being secondhand, vintage or thrifted. Including my wardrobe.
Thus the feeling of panic as I entered the kingdom of florescent lights and loud signage which screamed at me that my life was lacking if I didn’t have this backpack or special jacket or pants created by superior technology and sewn together by maniacal elves in the land of factories.
To his credit the shoeman didn’t run screaming from my admittingly crazed panicked approach. He drew himself up to his fullest height - only slightly taller than my own not quite 5 feet 4 inches (I’m a quarter inch shy) - and offered his assistance like a retail knight in shining armor masked as ill-fitting t-shirt and baggy cargo pants.
He guided me over to a range of options and passionately proclaimed their waterproof appeal and incredible properties. My head started to swim and I became quite certain that too much more of this and I would pass out like a damsel in distress on the smelly carpeted floor.
Noticing my quaking and shivering in the overly air-conditioned environment, my hero offered to handpick a variety for me. But I rallied and pointed to various footwear selections before I could change my mind about this mission and flee the store. And soon I was quickly trying things on while he kept up a steady stream of commentary. Possibly to be kind, but I suspect to ensure that I stayed coherent throughout the process.
I laugh now softly to myself as I watch the delicate flakes coming down outside my window. Because they seem much too small to have cause me such distressful anticipation of their arrival. But in that moment of fitting myself with shoes, my mind created them into a mammoth conglomerate of snow monsters in which I would struggle against the wind to work, needing boots up to my hoo-haw to conquer the snow drifts.
Fortunately my practical sense prevailed as did the constraints of my wallet since I do not have credit cards. And the pair I finally left the land of commercialism with, were high-top baby looking booties with a bit of fur lining and soles so sturdy I clomp around in them like a toddler first learning to walk.
The snow is coming down faster as I write this, and I hear the sounds of a sweet bird outside my window. Perched on the branch of the tree that I watched for the past six months change from green to yellow to now bare branches, I feel stripped of my trappings too.
I’m embracing seasons and the change that comes with them. Like the trees shedding their leaves, I recently cut 10 inches from my hair. Layers of length signifying my past which I wanted to leave behind as I strode confidently into this new chapter of mine.
It’s been a while since I lived in a place where life altered as the weather does. Phoenix was hot and hot and then slightly less hot. Miami was wet and hot and more wet and hot. Neither particular inspired my summer soul though as Phoenix was too hot to be outside. And Miami had too many unkind souls. It seems to have become a kind of living hell on earth. A shame because once upon a time, I heard it was lovely. But spring breakers and careless tourists have taken the art deco glamour of the South Beach from the 1920s, and tarnished it with litter and drugs and trash of all kinds.
Here in upstate New York though, I arrived in summer. I had no idea it was such a lush area. Indulging in the outdoors was a luxury after the last places I’d been. I hiked and walked and dipped toes into lakes. With long days and warm nights, I danced at outside venues to live music in town until I sweated right through my dresses and had to pop home to blow dry my then long locks for a few minutes. All so that I could head back out and toss my hair to the music again.
Then came fall with every day being a delight. More long walks into which I stared at leaves and trees and breathed the crisp air as though I was coming up from a long dive underwater. Sunlight dappled differently in autumn and I reveled in cool breezes dancing to music in my headphones down by the Hudson. Winter may have been coming but it seemed so very far away in those delicious fall breezes.
And then the holidays arrived with pumpkins and laughter and more music. I spent Halloween with new friends dancing the long weekend away, and pumpkin carving for the second time in my life. When it seemed the world was trying to be naughty (something which is part of my job as an adult entertainer) and wear things down to their navels, and dresses up to their peaches, I tried on a costume of elegance. And as I strode the streets in my couture dress and princess crown, I wondered if this was a signal of who I was transforming into.
As the nights grew longer and the days less bright, my new hometown sparkled with lights and decorations and festive cheer. I spent Thanksgiving in quiet reflection this year. A long walk to admire decorated stoops and storefront windows instead of throwing my traditional Friendsgiving. But I had felt tired and this peaceful day of counting my blessings rejuvenated my soul more than a frantic celebration would have.
The air was still changing, and so was I. Christmas I also spent alone but blissfully happy. Receiving and sending texts and DMs to friends around the globe that I felt beyond thankful to know and love, and be loved by. For a girl with no healthy biological family connections, I was rich in soul family. And the day itself passed in a whirlwind of more walking and reflection and joy in simply being alive and healthy and with a passion for life itself.
Snuggled up here in my little creaky flat, where now I hear my neighbors above getting up as though we live in a home together instead of units with totally nonintersecting lives, I’m loving this time of peace and rest and even a bit of hibernation.
My life is full with an office gig in addition to my full time. work as a content creator with a growing subscriber community. Books I’m writing, articles of mine being published, and many many plans for growth this year occupy my nights and weekends. Yet even with a very hectic schedule, I have the ability to pause, as I am doing now, and simply enjoy the vision of snow falling from the sky.
I don’t have anywhere I have to be. And I don’t need to accomplish anything in particular today. Although by the time night falls, I will have finished this blog, baked bread for the week, designed, taken, edited, and scheduled for publication the cute naughty content my loyal subscribers love on my paid sites, cleaned my home, finished laundry, practiced yoga, read some books, and learned another new skill. Even if it’s something small, each day I try to learn something new.
But for now, I’m going to sit here a little longer, watch the lovely fluff fall from the sky, and enjoy where I am on my journey. And then maybe, just maybe, I’ll take my new sturdy shoes for a walk in a winter wonderland.
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Tink, world traveler, positivity muse, and adult entertainer, has also freelance written for a number of companies as their ghostwriter. Now talking directly to YOU on this platform, she is also writing two books at her community's request.