Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Do you ever go through life feeling more like a spectator than a participant? I do. Sometimes, I think it's because I don't feel like I have much in common with those around me. I'm in the beauty industry and I love what I do, but really, it is not the end all, be all that some people seem to think it is. They slavishly follow fashion mags (hey, I do too sometimes) looking for someone to tell them what to wear this week. It seems everyone is looking for a new way to be accepted and/or accept themselves. Sometimes, I step back and see the futility of that. Sometimes, I'm right in the middle of it myself. I tend to hate following trends. If everyone is doing it, I want nothing to do with it. For instance, when Crocs first came out, I was drawn to them because they were different and colorful. Then I noticed EVERYONE had a pair. Nevermind.

I hear people talking around me about the latest greatest show on t.v., and I don't get it. Maybe it's because I hear talking, commotion and drama all day long, I don't need to be "entertained" by someone elses. I will tell you one thing: I miss HGTV, DIY and the Food Channel to death.

I work in a traditional southern town with mostly traditional southern mindsets. On the whole, that's not a bad thing. I feel safe, it's a great place to raise a child. But if you always do what is "safe" or do things because "that's just what we've always done", you won't accomplish much. Life becomes stale and static.

I long to walk "slightly left of center". I do it in my own "safe" way, I suppose. My new phrase is Fight Normalcy. Why do I care at this stage of the game? Maybe it's because I was raised "safe". Maybe it's because I'm trying to "feel" out myself. Maybe it's my belated teenage "rebellion". I'm looking for my deeper identity. Not just the dutiful daughter, not just the capable wife, not just the calm, patient mother. I'm looking for the person buried under all those things. The artist, the designer, the decorator. The one who thinks outside the box. Who uses her imagination. The quiet, reflective, thoughtful person. The one with the dream of a sweet house in the country with a wild mass of flowers, chickens running in the yard, and a studio in the barn. I want to be unafraid. I'm afraid of the stupidest things. Like doing truly what I want to with the house because I think how it might affect the resale value. That seriously cramps the artistic expression!

I guess I feel detached, because most of the people that surround me on a regular basis give me a blank stare whenever I voice some of these thoughts. As if I'm speaking a foreign language. Which, I guess I am --to them. Fortunately, I have a couple of artist friends I commiserate with occasionally. And we encourage each other artistically. I'm meeting more of them along the way. That's a comfort.

Well! This may have been a little more of me than you bargained for today. Welcome to my stream of consciousness.


InTheFastLane said...

Sometimes you just have to go for it. But, at the same time, I so hear what you are saying. I ask myself a lot if this is really what I want. And then I see the unpaid student loans I still have to get this job...gulp.

ksw_rootswriter said...

You said, "Like doing truly what I want to with the house because I think how it might affect the resale value."

Here's a different way to look at this concept: it's your call, but you can make a decision that you'll bloom in the house where you're planted. Then, you have all the flexibility in the world to do anything that suits your fancy.

We've been in our house several years and have a 15-year mortgage. So we have a decent amount of equity. But we decided a few years ago that instead of planning to move to another house, we would truly bloom here. It was a very freeing experience, because it actually makes "us" the masters of our castle, rather than some imaginary real estate set designer trying to assess whether our house would be neutral (read "bland") enough for the proverbial next owner to be able to visualize it with their furnishings superimposed.

So when we repainted the exterior, we stayed with salmon siding, cinnamon trim, and green windows and doors. And last week, when we pulled to the curb and Alexa gazed up and sighed and said, "Mommy, I love our house," I knew we had made the right decision.