What a difference a year can make, I keep repeating. Aloud, silently, to myself, on paper. I shrug, I smile, shake my head. I say it with relief, hope and anticipation.
Thanksgiving has always been my holiday. I like rituals and tradition. The pies my Dad makes from scratch, the ridiculous “nap pact” we always make after our bellies are full, permission to binge watch holiday movies endlessly for the next four weeks and writing in the family Thanksgiving book.
Last Thanksgiving, I was five days away from officially dissolving my marriage. It was an ending, but more of a beginning and the strain of it all came to a head. For all of the strength and courage I was portraying, inside I was navigating completely new territory. I didn’t know how to communicate what I needed from my family because I wasn’t even sure myself. I also couldn’t grasp in the moment that they were experiencing their own pain. Divorce is lonely and selfish; it almost has to be as it is a bond that is breaking between two individuals. You go through it together because you have to but you’re flying solo. Like any storm, though, the devastation impacts everyone, not just those in the eye.
A lot changes in a year.
In the wake of even the most horrific storm, there’s always a burst of sun. You see the wreckage in bright light and you resolve to rebuild it again. Time and resilience help strengthen your foundation, which is forever altered but stronger for having been shaken.
I’m thankful for this year and all that has changed in my life. For family that can weather the storm, for the opportunities I’ve been given and the love I’ve discovered. I’m just so thankful. I can’t express it enough but if there’s a week to try, it’s this one.
One of the relationships I’ve built this year is with P&G Beauty. Their family of brands has been a common presence in my home now and growing up so partnering with them is an opportunity I’m thankful to have. I love ritual and traditions and P&G represents that to me. Beauty is a bond, one that I share especially with the women in my family.
It bonds us through firsts. Secret was my first deodorant and my nieces, too. My nieces are going to go wild for the Secret Clear Gel I’m bringing them on Thanksgiving. I found myself burying my nose in the Fresh Lotus scent. They’ll love it because it doesn’t leave behind white stains on their clothes and keeps them dry during their active 13-year old days of school, sports and snapchatting. I love it because of the attention Secret has dedicated to anti-bullying through Mean Stinks. The #ChainofNice campaign they led recently on social media was extremely positive.
Beauty bonds us through the unknown. If anyone understands intense emotion, it’s 13-year old girls. It’s not lost on me that they experienced a loss last year, too. They’re strong as steel, which I’m thankful for as navigating their teenage years is going to challenge them. They’re starting to wear makeup, so they need to be introduced to CoverGirl LashBlast Volume Mascara as a rite of passage. It’s only fair they don’t have to add clumpy mascara to their list of teenage girl probs. LashBlast never smudges and even though the wand appears oversized, it’s one of the easiest to apply. The bristles latch on to your lashes and do the work for you. Years of experience not required to master.
Beauty bonds us as we age. We don’t grow out of beauty; rather, our needs evolve. Some of the moments I feel closest with my mom are when I’m caring for her. Being vulnerable is beautiful. I want to see my mom strong and confident. I would love to see her embrace her gray but she’s not there yet. She’s constantly getting it colored so I always love to help her extend the time between salon visits. She’s trusted me to color her hair before and I’m prepared to do so again with Clairol Root Touch Up by Nice n’ Easy. It comes with an expert control brush that really makes it easy to apply and it covers grays. You’d be surprised how stubborn those silvers can be so this is most important.
What a difference a year makes.
Beauty is a bond that ties us together – this community, all who make 312 Beauty a place to be honest. It’s easy to be reflective in my head and a lot tougher to put into words. But I can’t help but try.
Come say hi to me over on Instagram. I’m doing a giveaway with P&G Beauty today to show my thanks and gratitude to all of you!
I wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving. May it be filled with happiness and peace.
Thank you to P&G Beauty for sponsoring this essay.