No Apologies…

Be yourselfWith motherhood looming, I find myself re-examining myself and this thing called Life. Not that I’ve been unhappy, but I have been in a bit of a rut for what seems like years, coasting through life rather than actually living it.

Sometimes, I think I just feel so much that I become overwhelmed, overstimulated, and over-sensitive to the world around me. So I simply shut down, out of fear I suppose. Fear of failure, fear of disappointment, fear of not living up to expectations, fear of judgment.

I look at all the other amazing and inspirational blogs out there and think, “wow, why can’t I write like that? Or decorate like that? Or cook like that? Or even look like that?” Where  is my sense of style and creativity? Where is my passion? Where is my personality? And how did others get to be so lucky? These are questions I ask myself with a growing sense of dread. I will never be perfect…

But perfection isn’t what we should be striving for. Character is what we should be striving for, with all of its ups and downs, its messiness, its risks, its heartbreaks and failures, its grace, its pride, and above all, its love.

No one is perfect, no matter how hard they make themselves appear so, and I am no exception. But, taking a little inspiration from this post, I am offering no apologies.

I don’t apologize that:

My house isn’t clean 98.8% of the time. I have berated myself for this time and time again because somehow, I got it in my head that my house should be 100% magazine ready 100% of the time. This reach for perfection has led to many a tear, more than one argument, and a crap ton of needless stress. For what? So I can brag that I have a clean house? Ridiculous.

My photography skills are less than amateur. I have no idea how to work my camera most of the time, and Photoshop still requires a huge learning curve. But it is a work in progress and something that I can actually see developing into a passion.

I DO NOT jump out of bed with a smile on my face every morning. In fact, there are some days, even weeks, when just getting out of bed at all is a struggle. More often than I care to admit, I wake up grumpy. Grumpy as hell. Sometimes, I remain grumpy all day. And yeah, this makes me feel pretty damn guilty, which makes me even grumpier. But hey, I wouldn’t be able to appreciate my happiness without a little bit (or a lot…) of grumpiness thrown in there, right?

I cook only because I have to, not because I like to. And by no means do I cook gourmet meals. Or even attempt to. I’m a chicken and rice kind of girl. Like, salt and peppered chicken in a skillet and a box of flavored rice. Sometimes I’ll go out of my way and mash some potatoes instead. To give myself a little credit though, I do try to go fresh and organic as much as possible. And I always have a side of veggies.

My closet is NOT full of brand name clothing. Kohls, Old Navy, and Target have become my staples (actually, I recently discovered Steinmart, which will now be added to the circulation). This isn’t to say that I’m not into fashion – I actually do try to keep up with the trends, but in a casual, comfortable, and frugal kind of way. And honestly, I’m in yoga pants more often than not these days, so…don’t judge.

I snack far too often on cookies rather than carrots. I like my carbs. So what? Particularly in this last trimester of pregnancy. I dream of cookies. But every darn time I have that delicious morsel, that little voice in the back of my head screams at me, “don’t you want to fit back into your post-pregnancy clothes?! What the hell is wrong with you? Carrots, carrots, carrots! Cookies are the devil!” And then, because I feel so damn guilty, I grab another cookie.

I work out spontaneously – at best. I love going for a walk on those beautiful, sunny days. Before I was pregnant, I would even break into a run. And on those not so great days, I will very occasionally motivate myself to go to the gym, but that is only because I ate those extra cookies…otherwise, like most people, I count cleaning the house as exercise.

And I am scared to death of becoming a mother. Sometimes, I can hardly take care of myself, and very soon I will have another human being totally and completely dependent on me. This innocent, tender-hearted being for me to shape and mold and build into a man. Hopefully, a good man. No, a great man. And, dear God, that is a great responsibility that I can only hope to live up to. Where do I even begin?

But that last point there, that is really why I am re-examining my life. Because while I know I will not be perfect, I want to be the best version of me that I can possibly be. And I don’t think I am there yet.

You see, I want to live my life with pure intention and joy, rather than basing it around to-do lists and petty insecurities. I want to find enjoyment in the small things, rather than enduring them with machine-like intensity. And I want to stop hiding behind this façade of perfection, let go of my fears, and embrace this messy, chaotic life…because heck, life is only what you make of it! To me, that is the greatest lesson one can ever share with a child: to live life to its fullest.

So, with ALL of that said, my friends, I am going to take a week or two off in order to give myself and this little blog o’ mine an overhaul. Because I believe that a part of living with intention is writing with intention, and I think I have been failing in that respect.

Of course, there will still be plenty of posts about fashion, home décor, and DIY because frankly, that’s where my passion lies. But I will be writing only about what truly and honestly inspires me – not about what I think you want to hear – with the hopes that it will inspire you too. I also hope to insert a little more of my very imperfect self: my beliefs, my frustrations and heartaches, my fears and insecurities, my progressions and successes, and little tidbits of my daily thoughts. ME.

Because truly, what’s the sense in writing if not from the heart? The very best I can offer you is myself and for that I have no apologies.

XOXO. I will be back soon.

13 thoughts on “No Apologies…

  1. Good for you Kristen!!! Thanks for this authentic post. I think you already rock just by being YOU! I hope you take some time to enjoy just being who God created you to be without the guilt of wanting to be something more. We’ll see ya back in a few 🙂
    Blessings,
    Patti

    • You’re so very welcome – and thank you for your sweet comment! It’s amazing the pressure we can feel to be as perfect as we can be all the time. Not only is it impossible but it’s exhausting! I say embrace your imperfections – it will make for a much happier and interesting life 🙂

  2. Just wanted to encourage you! And, enjoy that baby. As a mom of two who tried to do everything “right” and “best” I now realize that it’s about just spending time together and not putting them under pressure. Joy is the way to go. 🙂

    • Thank you! It would definitely make it difficult to just enjoy your child if you’re constantly striving for perfection. And I know there will be times when I fall into that spell of “I gotta do it right” and “it has to be perfect in order for me to enjoy it,” but reading comments like yours is a beautiful reminder that motherhood isn’t about perfection – it’s about living and learning together. I may need some more reminders in the future so please don’t go away! 🙂

  3. Kristen,
    You echoed much of my own thoughts: in general, as a woman, a blogger, & as someone who has never been a mother, but would be thinking along the same lines as you if she were becoming one. I’ve only read 2 posts, & I can tell you are all of the things you fear you’re not. Beautiful in every way, just as you are. I appreciate honesty & authenticity whenever I encounter it!
    🙂 Maggie

    • Maggie, what a sweet and genuine comment – thank you so much! We are all our own worst critic and sometimes it’s hard to see past our own noses. It’s amazing how simple words from a stranger can mean so much and be so motivating. I love your last post, by the way – “a reminder for us all to lead with empathy and compassion during trying times” indeed. Just lovely. Thank you again!

      • You’re most welcome for the comment Kristen. We all need to have cheer leaders at times to keep us going…especially in this online world. The support of family, friends & Strangers make it so special, each in their own way. Thank you for taking the time to read & comment on my last post. (Seemed appropriate for you too somehow, at the opposite end of the spectrum..). It means so much to me too, to have kind & encouraging connections, no matter how deep, shallow, or fleeting. May we cross paths again. All the best, Maggie

    • Mandy, thank you so much and I must say the same about your own blog! I can only hope I will have the time sooner rather than later to cook a few of your delicious recipes (ahem, those pumpkin spiced scones look amazing!).

  4. Kristen, we are all perfectly imperfect. I have been blessed with 3 precious children who are well on their way to independence. Don’t blink because these precious years can never be repeated and they will be gone before you know it. Don’t worry about your house or anything else, just hold on tightly to that baby and enjoy every second of the time you’ll have.

    • Kim, thank you for the reminder to enjoy every moment! I know how easy it is to get caught up in the daily routine and lose sight of what is REALLY important. I hope to take every single diaper change, feeding, and snuggling, and enjoy every moment of it, no matter how hard it is or tired I may be. Because I know in no time, those are the moments I will miss the most as my little man gets older and more independent. Thank you again, encouragement is always welcome! 🙂

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