On a Saturday morning when I was 7 months pregnant, I was going to a yard sale at the home of a gal I follow on Instagram (oh hey Whitney). She has a beautifully styled and decorated home, and the following to back that up. I would put her on the pedestal with people I admire. This is the same category of people I compare myself to, and then strive to be like, when I'm feeling incomplete.
On this particular morning, I was feeling pretty huge. Huge here may be translated to awkward. Awkward may be translated to unattractive. Compared to attractive, unattractive = less-than. (I seem to translate my way to comparison pretty quickly when I’m feeling incomplete.)
In response, I put on a new dress—a super comfortable jersey maxi cut. It fit well and hugged the bump.
I wanted some things for my space. My space was feeling unfinished. When Unfinished goes into my translator, My space is not enough. The yard sale will help. I need a rug! comes out.
So, I show up in my new dress and browse for awhile. I meet and chat with the my Instagram crush and continue to look around, collecting her castoffs, unneeded excess from her overflowing cup. After about 5 minutes, she gets up and starts walking towards me. I'm confused until she grabs me by the shoulders, spins me around and says, “Here, let me do you a favor” as she rips the price tag off my dress. Yup, it's been hanging out for everyone to see all day.
TJ Maxx. $16.99. Suddenly, it all feels silly. The trying.
I laugh. She laughs.
I’m human. She’s human.
I buy a rug and an ottoman.
I wake up a lot of days and feel so far from my ideal. Most of the time, I don’t even know what my ideal is, but that doesn’t stop me from hunting for it frantically. I so badly want to get to that place where everything just clicks, and nothing is awkward, out of place, or temporary.
I want to be enough. I want it all to be enough. Now.
On some of those days, I put on the dress and shop for a rug. On others, someone I admire (oh hey Mitch) might come along and remind me:
It’s makeshift Maddie. Unfinished, like our lives. Isn’t that the point?
Yes. That's the point. Showing up as we are, not how we think we should be. Whether it’s my Instagram feed, my wardrobe, my husband’s definition of cozy vs. mine, nothing is finished. It’s all fluid. Instead of plugging that into my translator and ending up comparing myself to those on the pedestal, I can stop and listen to them.
Sometimes when we stop looking for what we want, we find what we need.
It’s makeshift Maddie. Unfinished, like our lives.
It’s pretty much always uncomfortable, a little embarrassing, humbling. I pretty much always feel like the price tag is still attached and hanging out when I come to Cord, Mitch, or any of the other people I admire feeling empty. Maybe I'm worried my apartment doesn’t look right, then they remind me my home is nothing more or less than the place we curl up as a family and listen to audiobooks while we sip cocoa. The place we make memories. The place we live our preciously short, sometimes scary, and unfinished lives together.
I guess sometimes the people I admire (ahem, who intimidate) me the most, are in my life, not to show me what I want, but to see me as I am and help me find what I need.
Isn't that the point?
Here Maddie, let me rip your price tag off for you.