Recently I had the chance to speak to a local MOPS group. I can still remember the season of having very young children (and babies) and I remembered feeling harried and overwhelmed a lot of the time.
I wish someone had told me that was normal.
Instead, I pressed on, pretending to have it all together only to save up all my angst for a meltdown only my husband or best friend would have the pleasure of witnessing.
I'm thankful that in recent years it seems a new message has prevailed. Instead of telling moms to be "Super" and try to do everything...we're telling them it's okay to let some things go. We're reminding women that what people put out on the internet is just a snippet of real life. That not everyone has a magazine ready living room 24 hours a day.
And it seems some of the pressure to be perfect is melting away.
I love that. Thank God. We've been craving authenticity--voices that say "I am having a really difficult time right now."
When I was at this group, I did my little talk and afterwards, I was happy there was real life conversation. While I'd worried my message might appear to contradict the call of motherhood (it didn't, but I was worried about how I was presenting it...because I worry....about everything)... it seemed these women "got it."
Maybe a few of them were feeling harried and overwhelmed themselves.
My 25-year-old self would've loved them just as much as my 37-year-old self did.
During that conversation...about pursuing your passion even in the midst of chaos...one of these young moms said something I felt was so insightful. She said, "I think part of my problem is that when I think about doing all these things--these big dreams--I imagine myself differently. I see this trendy, thin, cute version of myself, and when I realize I'm not there yet, I just give up."
And I thought...Oh my gosh. She is so right.
I used to think that in order to be a "writer" I had to look/dress/act a certain way. Same thing with being an artist. I needed an armload of dangling bracelets and a well thought-out, yet disheveled outfit making myself a piece of art.
So for a long time, I didn't pursue that. Because I didn't fit the "mold."
I'm not good with fashion. I'm not so great with interior decorating. I bend a lot of the rules. Most days, I prefer to wear jeans and tee-shirt. I'm boring that way. But does that make me less of an artist or less of a writer?
It dawned on me that for many of us, we're in a holding pattern...waiting for things to line up just so. Because when they do...THEN we can go after that dream. Because THEN that dream will look like it's supposed to.
But what if your dream could come true without you having to create the perfect circumstances first? What if you could put yourself out there just as you are today...a perfectly authentic version of yourself...and what if people accepted you just the way you are.
Not ten pounds from now. Not one trendy haircut from now. Not Anthropologie wardrobe from now. Not perfectly styled, vintage inspired, magazine worthy house from now.
But today. Exactly as you are. Authentic. Real. Harried. Overwhelmed. Inspired. Passionate. Genuine.
What if you decided to live out loud just as you are? To be kind to yourself knowing that you're a work in progress...and therein lies the joy...