Loving Lately: Queer Eye
So you guys may or may not have noticed… I took a little hiatus. Kelly and I have religiously switched on and off every 2 weeks writing blog posts since Loving Lately began and in the middle of last month I just completely shut down and couldn’t. I didn’t want to write candidly and in detail about what was going on in my personal life, but I also didn’t feel like writing about just anything because everything else felt so inconsequential.
The long story short is Scott and I lost a member of our immediate family to cancer. And we’ve been grieving this for some time now and the last time I was supposed to write for Loving Lately I just couldn’t wrap my mind around what would be important enough to write about and Kelly I’m so thankful took the wheel for me and posted all this gorgeous love and amazement with her Heart’s Delight post.
So I’m back. A little worse for the wear, but who isn’t these days? If I’ve learned anything these past few (very difficult) years of my life, it is that so many people are going through SO MUCH. Scott and I talk often about how when people find out about our pain they feel like they can open up to us about theirs and it is truly amazing the obstacles and circumstances so many in our life have overcome, or are still in the process of surviving. That being said though, SOMETIMES WE ALL JUST NEED A BREAK! Some fun, some love, something irreverent and silly but also beautiful and uplifting.
So instead of writing a post about grief (which is what I’m really feeling right now), I refuse to do so. Or maybe I can’t yet. It doesn’t really matter. What I want to write about, is an amazing TV show (and yes cue skepticism its fine) that is getting me through my days while I’m grieving and that has inspired me to make changes in my own life: Queer Eye.
You came into my life//And the world never looked so bright//It's true, you bring the best in me
//When you are around//Things keep getting better
The tag line for this show is: more than a makeover. And yes, on the surface Queer Eye is a reboot show where five gay men called the Fab 5, each with their own expertise, help a man makeover his life. But seriously “more than a makeover” is the best way I could possibly describe it so I’ll let it stand for itself. So here are some things I’m putting into my life from this seriously revolutionary show that is helping heal my heart and give me hope for all that is coming next:
1.) Expand your definition of self care. When you hear self care, do you think of yoga, meditation, taking baths, journaling etc? Me too and those things are all amazing. But Queer Eye has really helped me expand my definition of what it means to care for myself. Tan, the style expert, and Johnathan, grooming, talk so much on the show about making an effort when it comes to how you look and really incorporating those tasks into your self care routine. “It’s not vanity, it’s self care. And there’s a difference.” Is my favorite line on this topic from Johnathan. Also, “How you take care of yourself is how the world sees you.” Since QE season 1 premiered, I have taken a significant step towards paying more attention to my makeup, enjoying doing my hair again now that I have some, getting clothes I love and dressing nicely for work and events with family and friends. And I’m wearing a lot less black (you were right, Mom LOL). And to be honest, I would have considered those things vanity before and having cancer I let go of a lot of those things because I had to, and I hadn’t necessarily picked that enjoyment back up again. I hadn’t realized how much pain I had held in this area of my life. QE has reminded me that I absolutely love those things and that doing them makes me happy and helps me feel cared for, even when everything going on around me is nuts.
2.) Cooking for yourself and others can be fun and it doesn’t have to be/shouldn’t be complicated. Antoni (cooking expert) has gotten some flack in the media for the simple dishes he does with the guys featured in the show. Basically, people questioning whether or not he is a real chef. I feel TOTALLY the opposite- I love that Antoni has brought simplicity back into the cooking game and reminded us that if preparing and eating food isn’t fun and enjoyable- why would we do it? He’s also brought back into my life the notion that cooking is a perfect way to bring people together, to show love and affection, and do it in a healthy way as well. He works with many of the guys to prepare a meal to share with family or friends, or to cook a special dish that is in their family tradition. Just tonight, I made a special grilled salad because I saw the recipe and right away thought Scott would absolutely love it. It was five ingredients and 5/5 are things he loves. I prepared it for him for dinner and he was over the moon and so was I- it was the perfect way for me to show appreciation for all he does and to express my love for him plus it was delicious and healthy.
3.) Those stories you tell yourself about what you can and can’t do, what you can and can’t be in your life, none of them are true. The first ever episode of the QE reboot shares such in incredibly important message, that actually is a message throughout all of them. Johnathan says, “When people say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, it’s not true, because you can reinvent yourself and learn new things whenever you want.” Such a simple line, but gives me chills every time. Over the years, we accumulate all this scum about who we are and more importantly who we aren’t. We aren’t meant to be successful, healthy, wealthy, loved, the list goes on. The Fab 5 remind all of us that none of these stories are real. And you can decide at any time that you want to be different and a lot of times, that story is literally the only thing standing in your way.
4.) Give tons of love and affection to people in your life. Tell people what they mean to you genuinely and OFTEN. I just love how the Fab 5 interacts with the guys and with each other, really with anyone they meet. They give and express love almost constantly. I’m struck by how often they physically touch- hug, give kisses on each other’s cheek, and how often they are giving out compliments. Their whole energy just says positive vibes to me. When I watch them, I want to be even more that way in my own life. I want my energy to light up a room and leave everyone, including myself, feeling better than they did before I got there. I want to dish out compliments liberally and genuinely to every person I’m around, and while none of us are perfect I think this is a great goal to aspire to.
5.) Be who you are- it is a magnet for everything good in your life. The right people will love you when you are the truest version of yourself. Not much explanation needed for that one am I right? : )
I could literally write a book on how much I love this show. I didn’t even mention Bobby (design) and Karamo (culture) who I love just as much. If you’re wondering, Johnathan is my favorite but seriously all 5 of these men are so inspiring and they make me want to be the best version of myself. Part of me thought it was silly to write a whole blog post on a TV show but you know what I’m over worrying about that stuff. Queer Eye is what I’m Loving Lately. It is getting me through this time of such grief and sadness, reminding me that no matter what I face that “All things just keep getting better” (their theme song).
Sending you love always and go watch Netflix’s Queer Eye.