Lexi is a stay at home mom by day and, by night, a car-riding-joy-bringing-call-and-response Elsa.I'm not gonna lie. I'm a little bit in love.
Lexi feels like our world is brimming with darkness; the only choice we have is to be strong in our light and joy.
With COVID-19 running rampant, we can feel isolated and disparate. In Lexi's neighborhood at Langley in Virginia, a parent posted about how singing the siren call that Elsa hears during 'Into the Unknown' in Frozen 2 would be a fantastic neighborhood evening tradition, and Lexi agreed. Her hope was that she could help bring some light and magic to the dark and uncertain times we are all currently immersed in.
With a closet full of princess costumes from doing charity events in the past, Lexi decided to go full out and slid into the Snow Queen's shoes and gown again.
It was a perfect fit. Bedazzled in a blue corset and flowing blonde hair, Lexi traveled the streets the following night, calling out Aurora's part from 'Into the Unknown.'
Lexi grew up singing alongside her dear friend Kaylan. For Good from the Tony award-winning musical, Wicked, was their particular song, with Kaylan always singing Elphaba's parts, and Lexi singing Glinda's. Together they started creating memories full of road trips and inside jokes. Their motto was to always Choose Joy. In June of 2016 however, Kaylan was diagnosed with cancer,
Lexi was stationed at Warner-Robins with her husband Sean, who was called to Korea on assignment. Lexi moved home, partially because of her own health, and to spend time with Kaylan. Shortly after, on December 3rd, Lexi found out Kaylan had passed. All the hopes Lexi had to create new memories with Kaylan crashed around her. Lexi decided to go for a drive, and the 'For Good' piano intro started playing over the speakers, the lyrics creating an echo that will be forever etched in Lexi's heart:
Just look at me - I'm limited
And just look at you
You can do all I couldn't do, Glinda
So now it's up to you
For both of us - now it's up to you...'
Still reeling from her loss, she realized she had a choice at that moment: crumble beneath the weight of grief, or catapult herself into a life focused on choosing and sharing joy, the way Kaylan did.
Lexi knew saying, 'Oh, I'm done, I'm walking away' wasn't an option. She shared, 'after the car moment; I realized my duty as her friend was to carry joy on. I do pay-it-forward or kindness initiatives a few times a year.' 25 days of Christmas Kindness, which Lexi started the year Kaylan passed, as well as celebrating her own birthday month with acts of kindness.
Lexi's joy is painted against a backdrop of a diagnosis of MS during high school. With two months' worth of migraines and an MRI that displayed lesions, she started having facial paralysis during a day she had rehearsal for Fiddler on the Roof. Loosing her peripheral vision, she promptly fell off the stage, landing her on a steroid drip in a children's hospital for a week. Missing 75 days of junior year and 90 of senior year, she still graduated Summa Cum Laude. With everything that happened with her diagnosis, she realized life is not about her; it's about the collective community.
In cultivating community during Corona, she's been hosting story time adventures and sing-a-longs via live videos on her Facebook profile. While she realizes this situation is hard for us as adults because we've never been through it before. She can't imagine what it feels like, for kids. Everything they know is derailed, they don't get to see their friends, or have the scope to understand the impact this virus has. The world is already scary, so Elsa belting out Into the Unknown from a car window is her way of trying to put some magic back in the mix.
Unlike happiness, joy is not dependent on circumstance. Joy is a beam of light you can see even when everything around you is dark. Lexi reminds us how bright it would be if we all were doing everything we can to bring the light for everyone else to enjoy as well.
AJ sparks imagination and joy through art, entertainment, and events with her business In Joy Productions. As a military spouse, she creates sacred spaces for women to flourish through Red Tents, retreats, and soul art workshops. Facilitating conversations in engaging ways, she helps women move, totally embodied, through to world- allowing them to show up for themselves and others. Her heart is to change the traditions and stories we pass down to the next generation by creating brave spaces to share about womanhood, in all its phases. She lives in San Antonio, TX, with her husband Jeremy, two pups, a peace lily, and a bucket full of glitter for emergencies. She writes for SheLoves Magazine, GEMS Girls Club, and MilSpo Co. Connect with AJ at www.ajsmit.com or @mermaidHarmony on Facebook and Instagram!
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