Rosie Glow Wellness

Mind body health for the deeply fabulous


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2:272 How to be a Person

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“Dancer”, by my girl, Alexandra Levasseur

This Sunday night, I attended my Grandma Muriel’s 92nd birthday. For those of you who have never had the honor of meeting my grandma, she’s a baller. Just by virtue of the fact that she was born in 1922, she’s original, original gangster — plus, as a young mother in the 50′s,  she started a one room library in the rear of the Union Hotel that grew, under her watch, into this library. She’s an insatiable book-eater, she makes a mean egg pancake, she will annihilate you in Scrabble — and she is equal parts kindness and sass. She’s a real lady, and I’m insanely lucky to be swimming in her matriarchal gene pool.

Longtime readers know I’m blessed with a tight-knit family. My uncle balks at my dietary restrictions (but always orders me a baby pizza sans cheese, nonethess). My godson and his sister each glom onto one of my legs and pummel each other while shrieking with glee, then abandon that game to pummel me and call me a pumpkin butt or a dolphin head. It’s basically the Kennedy Compound, but more than that, it’s emblematic of the balance I’m always seeking — all of these people in one room who ferociously love each other despite their differences; whose differences combined create stasis; consistency in chaos; a flashing, neon reminder of what matters and what doesn’t. Family matters, for example. Relationships matter.

Work matters, too. Lately, I’ve been all work, and I love my work, but when I don’t make time to diversify, my whole perspective becomes skewed. I start to forget how to be a person – how to be a friend, how to take care of myself, how very much my well-being hinges on my ability to express myself in a way that I’m proud of. It’s nice to have this blog as a reference, when I legitimately consign to oblivion the basic truths that I like to write personal essays and also make stuff; I need contact with humans who know my wild-woman roots and humans with whom I can put down new roots; I need a venue in which to be noisy and mischievous but still understood, as well as a venue to retreat to, to ponder and create and sleep sometimes and still be understood. Also, I need to remember to eat meals… which has never been a problem for me in my entire life leading up to this point, but I’ve learned that a hangry Rose is an unproductive, cantankerous, joyless Rose. See? Basic.

I’ve also learned that being a whole person takes practice, even if you’ve done the work and you know what makes you you, you actually have to keep at it. Forever. No matter what.

Sooo… that’s me. Say hi so I have reason to believe that this lil blog ain’t dead yet. Namaste.

XOXO,
Rose


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2:246 Oh Hai

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Unwitting portrait of Rose Truesdale found here.

Darling. It appears that summer’s crusting over with tangerine-lit foliage as I write this. Do me a favor and don’t Google “crusting over.” But envision it: our wet hot American selves papier-mâchéd into a festive autumnal pinata, baked into a pumpkin pie, blanketed in dry, yellow lichen. Sort of nice, yeah? Nice and seasonal.

Before I look very forward to the black capelet/opera glove/combat boot combo I hope to rock with my pink hair this fall, and the absurd amounts of squash I plan to eat until I’m tangerine-lit, myself; I’d like to acknowledge the fact that I haven’t been here all summer. In fact, I haven’t been to summer all summer… I feel like someone “forgot” to invite me. To summer.

I haven’t been to the beach. I haven’t tripped around Logan Square, rosé drunk and sticky and ready for love… I mean, I’ve done less of that than is my usual practice. Rather, I’ve been hustling, but I’ve been hustling with purpose. I find myself constantly surrounded by people who inspire me and look to me for inspiration. Just yesterday, I met with a health coach who specializes in women with disordered eating — who’s grateful for her own ED experience because it means she’s better able to counsel others. I met with a young female entrepreneur who left the corporate world to build her own business around wellness and I had the privilege of hearing her story over kale salads. I planned three upcoming events with a printmaker who’s obsessed with alchemy — a pop-up gallery, a dinner wherein chefs and local artists are creatively paired, and an  exhibit featuring delightfully creepy art inspired by our wares. I prepped for a pop-up shop featuring local artisans, I brainstormed article ideas for a plant-based column I hope to start, I looked ahead to a plant-based book launch we’re helping with… and this was all yesterday. It was just a Wednesday, like the Wednesday before it, where I got to focus my vitality on all of the things I love and obsess over. And I get to do that again today.

Woah.

That’s not to say this summer has been without its challenges — it’s been a transition, to be sure, and when I’m surrounded by so much newness and so much less time, it becomes all too easy for me to lose myself… to be eaten alive by all the ways I’m not enough. I have to perpetually check myself, say “Yo Girl. Be consumed with joy. Be consumed with ideas — focus your freak outs on how very you your life is becoming. No more I’m not experienced enough or glamorous enough or well-connected enough.” What I have is exactly enough, and I keep coming back to that. We’re enough, chick. You and me. We good.

So hai. I’m here and I love you. Who knows when I’ll be back… maybe soon! Maybe winter 2015. But in the meantime, I’m geeking out over all the stories I’ve been privy to with my new gig — stories of how so many boss-ass ladies have become themselves. I’d love to hear about your becoming you, or any stories you’ve got lately. Email me at rosetruesdaleATgmailDOTcom, leave me a comment or 4. Be in touch. Fill me in.

XOXO,
Rose


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2:203 Wut

I knew I would be moved to write eventually — after all my public trials of daily practice, “showing up for myself,” showing up for you, yadda yadda yadda, I decided now is not the time to force anything. Now is the time to be as present as possible in the beautiful new life I have, to collect moments like a philatelist and archive each stamp of my personhood for future reflection; for the brain bank; for crinkly old Rose to muse on in her hovercraft/rocking chair: remember when I had magenta hair? Remember the first time those I had always looked to as role models welcomed me? Remember how I would have been angry about all of those years I spent accepting the lie that I wasn’t enough, but I was too busy being happy?

I am busy being happy. I love my job, I love my crew. At some point, I’ll find a way to bring back writing — I have plans for this blog that take time I currently have allotted for Instagramming/manically cleaning my apartment/meeting St. Vincent/smiling about my planty new gig, etc. But I’ll get there — because even though, for the first time in my career, my teammates respect my opinion and, also for the first time in my career, I care enough about what I’m doing to have strong opinions; even though my voice and aesthetic are of real value to my work, it’s nice to have another means of expressing myself — outside of my pink topknot (did y’all see it when it was purple? I’ll be taking the next color to a vote!). And how.

Anyway. Hi. I love you. I’m around, and I’ll have so much to tell you when I’ve finally wrapped my cerebellum around how dope my life is right now. #humblebrag #waitnopethatwasjustabrag

XOXO,
Rose


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2:186 New Life

Courtesy of The Thought Studio

Courtesy of The Thought Studio.

Good morning, Sweet Friend. I missed you.

I’ve been ghosting you all for about a month — by far the longest I’ve ever gone without fluttering in to smother the internet with the rotundity of my feelings — and in response to the concerned emails I’ve received from many of you in recent weeks, it’s confirmed: I am alive. In fact, not only am I alive, but I am well. I am high-vibing, clear-headed and whole. Thank you so much for asking.

My roommate and I are on a Julie Delpy kick (we are always on a Julie Delpy kick), and as I am a movie-Philistine, I just watched Before Sunrise for the very first time. Ethan Hawke’s character, who I’m altogether certain will turn out to be a big baby but no spoilers pls/thx, voices his problem with the idea of reincarnation: our planet houses billions more living souls than it once did, so if we’re all reincarnates of ancient hearts, we’re fractured people simply because there aren’t enough ancient hearts to go around.

I’ve been feeling like a fractured person, myself, for about six months. Not because of reincarnation — this isn’t 1995 and I’m not a neo-Buddhist with an erratically sprouting upper lip — but because I’ve been deeply unhappy in my work, I’ve been looking for new work, and I’ve had to pour all of my creative energy into playing the part of someone wholly content with their day-to-day. Call it acting. Call it lying. It’s exhausting and I very much dislike it.

Honesty is freedom, though, and that’s why I have this blog. Aside from my recent struggle, I can usually speak my truth here — identify it and try to make sense of it and find others with the same truth. We, Sparkle Sisters, feel the same heartbeat: we’re part Frida Kahlo, part Sylvia Plath, part bowlegged baby giraffe — we’re the harmonious sums of so many recycled souls. We’re not fragmented for sharing parts of ourselves: we’re more complete than ever.

So Ethan Hawke and my past life can suck it. So I am thrilled to announce that I start my dream job tomorrow. It marries health, community and art in a smart, stylish way and I’m so grateful that I found myself in this position, with the skill set necessary to do the job with vigor and guts. This is what has been humming in the cells of my marrow. This is where I’ve followed the trail of curbside litter and miscellany. This is where I’m at… and I’m stoked!

I truly cherish the friends I’ve made in the past five years at the same company, and I trust that the Universe will take care of my enemies (wut?). I’m beyond thrilled to sport a career that fits and, more than anything else, I’m so relieved that I get to be myself again.

XOXO,
Rose

P.S. I finally have my very own Instagram account! Follow me if you’re feelin’ it!
P.P.S. Did I mention I missed you fools? I did!


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2:141 A Body at Rest

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Just me on a tiger skin rug, nbd. By Rachel Levit

It’s all happening, Sweet Friend. There are signs of a thaw after this fall/winter/early spring of malcontent — we’ve got chirpy little wrens dangling fat and reeling worms from their bills as though fishing for their own babies… which is a better bird situation, in my book, then the frozen, knifelike crows with their RAVENOUS EYES (that want to eat my eyes, I’m telling you); all of Logan Square has adopted my daily uniform — crop top, high-waisted shorts, wedge sneakers what uppppppp; and opportunities are finally, finally starting to open up for me like so many emboldened roses.

And I feel… dubious? Lightly terrified? Spazzy beyond your wildest dreams?

Last night I went to an art opening (for Kate McQuillen!) and en route, our bus hit a cab. When we eventually arrived (all bones in their appropriate bone sockets: no one was hurt) at the space way out in a west, West Loop industrial corridor, we couldn’t find her studio. And when we eventually arrived at her studio, an editor who I’m interested in writing for asked me what I write… and I was hot and my upper lip was sweaty and I already knew I was going to be late TO MY THERAPY APPOINTMENT later that evening and I sh*t you not, I said “I don’t know? All the things? Girly stuff?” and promptly spilled some of my white wine on myself.

And I was… late to therapy.

The thing is, I don’t trust that these particular emboldened roses won’t shrivel up and clamp their petals closed like an oyster or the corpse of Tallulah Bankhead’s long-dead fingers crusted around a lowball bourbon glass. This year has presented me with so many almost opportunities that never came to fruition and I’m just trying to be and process and LIVE MY LIFE, you know? You do know. You read this blog. Good for you. So if you can stand another anecdotal something, I think I can make a connection to benefit us all.

I’ve been yoga-ing on the daily, of late. For titillation’s sake, you should know that I recently fell on my head while attempting to Salamba Sirsasana, and the practice does not come naturally to me in the slightest. But I am passable at shavasana: corpse pose… deceased Tallulah Bankhead pose, the pose where you don’t do anything because you’re meant to rest in shavasana and absorb the benefits of 90 minutes’ worth of focus and effort. And of course my mind meanders. Of course, my tailbone hovers above ground due to my having somewhat of an ass and I shift from cheek to cheek for 10 minutes, frowning all the while… it’s only natural. But I do very consciously attempt to slow down my breath and absorb the aforementioned benefits, which could very much translate to life and limbo-land if I would only let it… if I would only acknowledge the focus and effort I’ve been putting in as I attempt to pursue my (treacherous) path (of undisclosed geographical location), and absorb the benefits of learning all that I’ve learned about myself in the process.

So to mix metaphors for just a moment, which I never, ever do — I’m going to stop, sniff these roses, and be glad that my eyes aren’t being pecked out by beak-shivs at this very moment. Namaste.

XOXO,
Rose

 

 


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2:138 On Balance, Tattoos and Gertrude Stein

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A portrait of me (not really… but… right?) by Neryl Walker

I’ve written lots of posts on balance. Really, all of my posts are about balance in some right: balancing healthful vegan eating and a whiskey-fueled social life full of sparkle-friends who sometimes eat animals; harmonizing with the voices at odds in my punchy, flummoxed frontal lobe  (FYI, one voice is sort of raspy and sexy, if not a little lispy, and belongs to the Rose wearing a fringey minidress and platform combat boots, vice-gripping a bedazzled flask of her signature drink — Champagne mixed with gin — which is NOT a real thing, even though she’ll tell you that it’s almost a French 75; and one voice exclusively expresses itself via inflected meows and Twitter, but still manages to convince me not to leave my apartment a great deal of the time. You’s a persuasive bish; Emily Dickinson recluse-Rose.) But then there’s the third voice, thank you, Universe, who mediates: who sings mezzo soprano to their Macy Gray/mewling coloratura situation.

That voice belongs to me.

Several years ago, I promised my mom I would never get a tattoo. When I went to college, the rules were as follows: inking my unadulterated derma and putting myself in a position to EJECT ANOTHER PERSON FROM MY PERSONAGE/become a young mother were equivalent grounds for being yanked out of academia. I didn’t test this threat, and while I’m certain that my marvelous mom would rise to the occasion if I had prematurely become a mom, myself… I know she’s damn serious on the tattoo front. So. I don’t have any tattoos BUT, and I promise there is a point to follow… I’ve wanted the same tattoo since I was 17. It’s two stanzas from a Gertrude Stein poem called, of course, I am Rose.

I am Rose my eyes are blue
I am Rose and who are you?
I am Rose and when I sing
I am Rose like anything.

As a blue-eyed human named Rose who majored in opera performance and likes to meet other humans and gather tiny, self-defining truths about them, this incidental piece written by a literary genius (named Gertrude, i.e., not Rose) resonates with me — enough that I’ve forever dreamed of scribing “I am Rose and when I sing I am Rose like anything” in courier font on my left inner forearm, positioned horizontally 3-4 inches in from my elbow crease (not that I’ve given this any thought). However, a few years after I graduated with my dual degree in OPERA and POETRY (killin’ me, Gertrude) and relegated outright, literal singing to my hobby box… rather than, you know, my life’s work box… I decided that maybe Gertrude had steered me wrong; Brunhilde horns and an addiction to Mucinex did not make me “Rose like anything.”

It turns out, though, that singing in the abstract does make me the most me. Expressing my voice; my honed and balanced voice; above those of the opposing Roses — because through years of trial and error, I know what’s best for me and I have opinions about what’s best for the world — has, indeed, made me Rose like anything. Cutting through the choir of black and white with a sound that is lush and gray and wiggly with vibratto: that’s balance. That’s how one becomes a person, at least that’s how I’ve become a writer who sings; a vegan who doesn’t judge you for your bacon habit; a lush for green juice and tequila; a lady who likes to pen personal essays while her cat sits on her stomach as much as she likes to mack on boys in plaid in her hip, hip hood as much as she likes to paint strange little portraits in the company of friends making baubles out of raccoon bones and teeth (um, craft day was yesterday.) I know who I am because of all the extremes I’ve been at times too intimately familiar with, the experiences I’ve gathered like so many raccoon vertebra, the siren calls of identities that don’t quite fit. That’s how I found my voice.

So anyway. Balance. And Mom, can I get a tattoo?

XOXO,
Rose


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2:132 Make-cation

I also made that sculpture of a naked lady a while ago. Pip pip!

I also made that sculpture of a naked lady a while ago. Pip pip!

A quickie today: over the course of this make-cation, I have made lots of little illustrations. I’ve made some headway on couple portraits. I’ve made a million delicious meals (or like… 12 delicious meals. Whatevz.). I’ve made an effort to submit some freelance work (if/when it’s published, I’ll let you all know!) I made an extra salty pretzel out of myself in yoga EVERY SINGLE DAY, and I’m currently struggling to make a decision.

XOXO,
Rose

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