purpose + living a beautiful life.
I grew up in a home full of knowledge and creativity. My mom was basically Martha Stewart, always brimming with crafts, baked goods, and an unbelievable knowledge of what seemed like everything. My dad is a scientist, a brilliant one, whose creativity runs deep in a whole different realm. My brothers, while all seeing the world in very different ways, have fields they are 'conquering' for lack of a better term.
I've always been the one that couldn't quite figure it out. My bachelors degree is just a combination of things I enjoyed taking classes about (sociology and art) and I never had much of a career plan or monetary motivation to 'succeed'. I was always surrounded with people (ENFP for you personality nerds out there) and living for better or worse, in the present.
Fast forward, I got married pretty quickly after college and moved across the state for my husband's job. Cue the chaos and confusion. Crap I need a job. What am I even good at? All of the things I think I am good at don't generate income. More confusion, crappy retail job, more chaos.
As I look back on those first few years of marriage it's so clear that patterns were starting to emerge, I was just so very blind to them. I thought I had to fit something that already existed. I felt really insecure about the things I enjoyed doing because they weren't giving me a career. Since then I've started to realize that the things I care about, the things that give me life, are not so traditional and that is OKAY. One thing i've always enjoyed is making things look beautiful (only intensified from working at Anthropologie for the past 3.5 years, obviously) but I've never really thought about pursuing that at a higher level (again with the lack of pursuit). I am however, dreaming some big dreams so stay tuned to where those take us in the next couple years.
Anyway, since starting this blog and paying more attention to photos, social media, and 'upping my aesthetic', I've been thinking a lot about living authentically in the midst of a beautified culture. There is a fine line between trying to appear all together and just enjoying the art of it. I feel the tension and I'm trying to be actively engaged in it. We scroll and we scroll, seeing lives being lived with more beautiful things, more trips, more more more than we have. And we want. But there is danger in the wanting. We get into trouble when our highest goal is beauty, lovely things, and being put together. We feel empty, never satiated, and isolated.
This article has been glued in my head all week.
When we seek meaning, relationship, and service, we find purpose, depth, and life. It's okay that I don't have everything figured out, that i'm still discovering where I fit. But if I am stuck in the wanting, I am most prone to missing of all the above.
One example of this is the constant stream of young guys who have lived with us since we've been married, and that is something I had never thought of- sharing a home with other people? Weird! Nope, it's awesome and has given me so much.
This has fueled a love for cooking and sharing meals with others, among so many other things. In our almost 5 years of marriage I can easily say maybe a fourth of them have been for just the two of us. Crazy. But our home is not OUR home, and we love it that way. We don't have endless monetary resources, we live in a tiny bungalow for goodness sake, but we fill it as much as we can. And there is so much beauty in that. The meaningful kind, because it looks like a tornado here 7 days out of 7 with an occasional clean 45 minutes during nap time (insert instagram where you can actually see the floor).
I've given up on having a clean kitchen every time someone comes over for a meal, or have all the laundry put away before a play date because it honestly doesn't matter, does it? Do you know how many conversations I have missed with people because I wanted to do all the dishes after dinner? Ugh. What if we were continually to re-evaluating our lives to see where we are placing the importance. Where does your money go? What does your schedule look like? Those things reveal your heart.
Oh it's all so messy and I'm so bad at it but lets not give up on remembering that what we do does not define us, and behind every beautiful picture we see is a real person who definitely doesn't have it all together because absolutely no one does. Ah, that feels good doesn't it.
Love your mess folks, love your mess.