I love Pinterest. And Instagram. And I hate them all in the same breath. The pictures are beautiful and filtered just right. They beckon and call our names, inviting us into that ‘lifestyle’ and mocking us when our version is a fail. If you can’t resonate with that, then high-five sister and good for you (and please spill your secret to resisting the social media trap)! But if you have been lured in and ever felt that you can’t measure up, then this is your space. It’s safe and it’s most definitely judgment free. It’s a place where I’ll say over and over again that it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful. A place where I’ll say done is better than perfect. We’re all a work in progress. Right?! RIGHT! It’s no different with your home or the way you parent your children or how you pursue the dream you’re chasing. If you find yourself moving forward – brilliant! Well-done! The problem comes when we sit in a stew of in-action.
I’ve simmered in that very stew for a long (please insert incredibly annoying and elongated short /o/ sound!) time. I have asked myself the proverbial question of ‘who am I’ and ‘what is my purpose’ so many times over the past dozen years (this number isn’t arbitrary…stick with me) that I anticipate it like I would a visit from an old friend. ‘Hello old friend. How exactly are you going to pester and annoy me this year? And at what point will you have overstayed your welcome, because believe you me (I’ve never really understood that phrase) if you’re good at one thing, you’re good at that!’ This friend arrives when the smell of crayons and colored leaves fill the air; when the days start off a little crisp, but end with a little heat; when the flip flops are traded in for brand new sparkly clean tennies. Yup, you guessed it…back-to-school time! The minute I send my boys back to school, my old friend visits with an annoying vengeance.
Twelve years ago (See? I told you it’d come back around) I had a full-time job. I had predictability, a steady income and my purpose was clear. I lived the daily grind and I battled to make sure every kiddo who walked into my classroom felt loved, important and smart…NO MATTER WHAT! I taught first grade in an environment where the kiddos had already fought and were winning against great odds. Some of them came to school not able to identify their letters, not knowing if they’d have a meal when they went home or if their future would include something beyond the next week. It was a daily battle to stay positive when I knew those little ones had lived a harder life in six years than I had in thirty. But man did I love it and if I can be so bold, I was really good at my job!
When my first son Owen was born I decided that I didn’t want to split my time between two loves. I wanted to be fully present to this tiny human who made me a mom, but I was plagued with that question of ‘who am I’ and ‘what’s my purpose’ even though I fully knew, accepted and loved my new role. Months turned into years and while Owen grew, so did our family. I spent naptimes napping, but if I didn’t nap I crafted…and dreamed. Dreamed and crafted. One business turned into two. Two businesses turned into three and fig and farm (at home) was born. And though I love the flexibility and creativity that come with this job, I have never fully embraced the idea of self-appreciation that I did while I was teaching. Why? There’s no degree that backs me up and there’s certainly no advanced degree that claims my space as one of the greats. But there’s fear. There’s fear of the unknown, the imperfect, the unhappy client. There’s fear of judgment and ridicule and people saying ‘what gives you the right to __________ ‘(fill in the blank). And I’ve learned that when there’s fear, there’s an invitation to that annoying little friend who overstays her welcome and quite frankly, I’m tired of that little friend. So, here I am saying good-bye to that pesky little friend while showing up perfectly imperfect and proud of it!
And just for fun, to show that I am proud of my imperfections, enjoy these Pinterest-fail moments brought to you by yours truly.
Whoops...words fell off the page.
Annnnd...so did the dresser.
I mean - can one be so lazy? The wallpaper doesn't even reach the edge of the wall.
Embrace those imperfections, but don't let them define you.