Lets start with the obvious. 2014. This was a really big and important year for me. Our family was presented an obvious range of emotions. We've had set backs and triumphs, doubt and faith, progress and the thrill of new experiences, instability and growth, self-doubt and self-discovery. But if I had to sum up my year in one word it would be self-discovery. Okay two words. Hyphenated. I don't even know if they should be hyphenated. Whatever. Moving on.
Let me back track a bit. I've really never understood myself very well. I've never had a "personal style" or a preferred decor fashion. Do you catch my drift? Sometimes you walk into peoples homes and they are warm and cozy and sometimes they are cool and modern and sometimes they are still stuck in the 80s. Well, I didn't ever know what suited me. Although I knew it wasn't the 80s. I began life in the 80s and am happy to have grown out of them (The 90s on the other hand...those were cool.) When it came to clothes and fashion sense...I had none. I didn't know what looked best on me or matched my personality. I had a closet full of clothes that looked great on a mannequin or a friend and for some reason after the price tags came off and they were draped on me I went, "Meh."
I wasn't bothered by this much. But it was always in the back of my mind. I'd hire friends (un-paid obviously) to take me shopping and pick out my clothes. I'd DIY and Pinterest the heck out of my house, but still was never in love with my closet or home. AND I COULDN'T FIGURE OUT WHY!
I was never too concerned about my appearance/style. Mascara on a good day, blush on a REALLY good day. However, my home has always been an important topic for me. Way-back-when I heard Oprah talk about how important our home decor is. She advised we think about what we put inside and make it our haven. Important because it is our sanctuary and a place where we need to feel comfortable and safe. A place that reflects us. I knew I wanted my home to be a safe haven and a comfortable place because not only do I choose to be a stay-at-home-mom we also homeschool. This is not just a place we sleep. This is a place we play, learn, love, and grow. If we are going to be home a lot I want it to be a comfortable and inspiring place.
Fast forward to 2014. I had recently discovered Carol Tuttle and her business "Live Your Truth." (That is a link.) My fantastic and enthusiastic aunt Jody wanted us all to get in on the fun she'd discovered. We gave it a try. Carol categorizes people into 4 types. Type 1, Type 2, Type 3, and Type 4. Initially I was sure I was a type 1. In fact if you would have asked anyone around me they would have completely and utterly agreed that I was a Type 1. Before I threw a bunch of money down on a wardrobe I decided to go into their head quarters and have my type confirmed. The idea of "dressing your truth" comes down to the fact that we are all different at our cores (if you have children you KNOW this is true...they are all so different from day one) and it can be confusing to see a happy, peppy, outgoing, light person wearing really rigid clothes and stick straight hair. Or a really mellow, quiet, somber person wearing a tutu and bright colored printed leggings with pink polkadots on their shirt. But that outfit would totally fit someone with a higher energy personality. Obviously I'm lousy at explaining this so you should just check out her website. SO. I went in to see a specialist at their headquaters and they concluded after talking to me about mannerisms, personality traits, facial features, and a color draping that I was a type 4. WHAT THE WHAT?! Now, if you look into the actual program you'll discover that a Type 4 is the COMPLETE opposite of a Type 1. So why in the world am I telling you this. Because. This is a very important tid-bit. I clearly had no clue who I was.
Have you ever thought to yourself, "I wish I was more outgoing." or "I wish I was more sensitive." or "I wish I was more driven." ?? I used to think of lack as weakness in myself. Something that needed to be learned. But now I understand myself and other so much more and realize that was not right.
After a lot of reading through her books and soul searching I have found so much peace internally. I set out to live my truth more fully. In my home, in my appearance, and in my soul. It has been so fulfilling. I feel like I understand myself and others. Through this knowledge I have become less judgmental, more forgiving and I am at peace with being me. I don't need to be like anyone else, because I am ME! It has given me direction and confidence. I understand myself and I am comfortable in my own skin.
So the first thing I did this year...I chopped off ALL MY HAIR!
Even though everyone (including my dear friend who cut it) advised otherwise. I did it. And it has proved to be the best hair decision I've ever made. Who knew so much baggage was locked up in that mane I had?! No really, I feel like I let go of a lot of emotional garbage when I chopped it off. Next up, I started dressing like Carol advises a "Type 4" to dress. I realized why I never liked my decor. Because it didn't reflect my inner-self. So I started to incorporate type 4 style into my decor (along with other types because I live with every other type). And what do you know. I look in the mirror and I finally feel like my outsides match my insides. I feel good in my home and understand why warm colors made me cringe. I stopped trying to be someone I wasn't and started being MY BEST SELF. Do you know how liberating that is?! I hope you do. It is a really good feeling. I let go of unhealthy relationships and healed important ones that were broken. I knew I could only give others my best if I understood what my best was and took care of it.
So, this was the year of ME.
In a way it was a selfish year. However, the result was anything but. It was a time I looked inward and found stability and security. I feel confident and empowered. I feel like a better role-model for my kids. I'm now living what I always encourage them. Individuality. I've always told them all to be their best selves. That doesn't mean be more like the ideal society has built or the picture perfect mom on instagram. I don't want my kids to feel like they have to squeeze into a mold our culture has conjured up. I want them to understand who they are and build on that. I want them to be who God intended them to be. I believe God made us unique at our core, the very nature of who we are for a very important and personal reason. I get it. I finally get what I've always preached. Now I can live it.
So, here is to 2015. A time where I can "give." Give my best self, because now I better understand what that means.
And a look back at the year of my short hair....
I'll dig up some before/after pictures of my house to post next!