The Inspired Life

The thing about inspiration is you have to wait on it.  The waiting really sucks, because A. we live in a culture where you can avoid waiting altogether, pretty much (I’m not supporting that approach, merely admitting its possibility) and B. I’m a can-do girl who makes things happen once I realize what I want.  But the waiting to realize what I want? Downright painful.

In my mind’s eye, there are three parts of our lives that culminate to create our senses of self:  fashion sense, living space,and your life’s work.  I think it’s very safe to say that I’ve officially been devoid of a confident sense of self in any of these arenas for far too long.

I haven’t felt comfortable in my own body/living space/occupation in a handful of years (although I do have a strong sense of identity from motherhood until about 3pm when I lose my mind from a lack of adult interaction).  I think part of the disconnect comes with getting married and having to share a home, part of it comes with the total body image disconnect of being pregnant and then recovering from it.  Twice.  In a row.  Because I’m nuts.  Not to mention trying to dress a curvy body in clothes made for straight (literally, not orientationally) people.

Part of it comes from not liking what other people like, which has always be a curse/blessing sort of thing for the women in my family.  But the biggest thing for me in not feeling like I can pinpoint what I like?  The unavoidable reality that I don’t know what parts I like about myself.  Hmmm.  Weighty, right?

So I had a revelation.  I realized, while heating my first cup of coffee for the third time this morning, that we all fight a battle of identity crisis about some part of ourselves.  Namely, I recognized that as much as Tim’s identity/career/purpose crisis has driven me crazy for several years now, I must be honest with myself and recognize that I have spent an equal amount of time bathing in indecision and dare I say poor awareness of my own identity in the sense of fashion and decorating style.

Now you may be saying “big deal–worrying about what style you really identify with is so first world” and you are right about that.  But as a creative, transient but structured mess of a soul, I am very intentional about my living space because I’ve found it is a kindred spirit to my mental space.  Anyone who knew me in undergrad knows how critical it is for me to feel like my space represents me accurately while also feeling like a cathartic, productive area.  No small task.  But good news–you get really good at setting up a fantastic space when you move 15+ times in ten years.

The thing about all the other things we’ve done, been, or liked is that they are like a big, brightly (ok, not that brightly) lit arrow pointing toward the essence of what we want.  In Tim’s case, he spent a decade on and off working in schools, mentoring and tutoring positions, and working with people with disabilities.  It wasn’t a huge surprise to me, then, that he ended up pursuing education.  To him, though, his jobs all felt unrelated and awkward, which left him feeling perplexed about which avenue to pursue.  Perception is so funny that way.  I’m no exception.

So here I sit, having the same “aha!” moment about myself and what I like and what I want our next home to look like.  I have had a huge revelation in my sense of style which translates to my sense of self (thank god) and it makes me feel creative and inspired and like I have the potential to be hip someday again.  And you know what did it?  Pinterest.  Don’t knock it ’til you try it, people.  I still maintain that it’s like free therapy.

I’m anxious to drop a few more pounds and fit into some of my old clothes now that I finally figured out what I want to wear (and what to get rid of, which you know is the real motivation behind all this soul closet searching).  Don’t even get me started on all the ideas I have for our next house.  I can’t wait to move!  Yeah, I know, I’m crazy.

In other news, I forgot to take photos for a house tour (maybe this weekend) and I regret cutting my hair because I actually have to fix it now.  Hmph.  Stay tuned for a potential pixie cut.

Please tell me I’m not the only one who has a fashion/identity crisis on a semi regular basis.  How do you snap out of it?


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