When you take census of the things you own and the things you are willing to move 1000 miles, you are reminded of who you truly are. Our things, especially those of which we are unwilling to part, define our values. We’ve voted with our wallets. These dishes, this piece of art, this bike. They each have a story.
Part of this move is to pull myself from the vain and excessively materialistic culture I find myself so attracted to by working in north Scottsdale. BMWs, fancy designer bags that cost twice my mortgage, prescriptions to grow eyelashes longer and plump lips. Being a part of this life is my default. It’s where I find myself without any work. In fact, it feels great to walk into a trendy restaurant wearing designer jeans and having a great pocketbook tucked under my arm and diamonds in my ears.
Like these things tell everyone in the room I’m successful. I’ve made it. And really, how silly is that? My heart could be as tiny and black as the Grinch’s, but with the right clothes, I’d feel noticed and admired.
This isn’t who I want to be. I need a shedding of skin — to remind myself of the values that made me the weirdo through primary school (save the trees! recycle!) and in college (why blow dry your hair when you can spend that time reading/hiking/looking at the clouds?). Of course, with a change in jobs and income I’ll no longer be shedding that skin with a fancy spa treatment, so much as a homemade sea salt scrub.
Who do you want to be? Exactly who you are? If so, my hat is off to you. Each day I awake and think of how I could have handled the day before a bit better. What I could have said differently, how I could have acted a bit more gracious. I often hear from friends, “I don’t know who I want to be when I grow up.” Never mind most are in their 30s. We aren’t a lost generation so much as one that wants to balance luxury with meaning.
I want to be a woman who is confident without a mirror. One who regularly volunteers. One who always makes room for others in her home and at her table. One who gives generously and doesn’t care about her car because she’s on her bike. One who can get along with her mother no matter what, because for heaven’s sakes — I’ve only got one and she is dang special. I want to eat less meat, grow more of my own food and have a home that reflects a family trying to tread as lightly on this sweet earth as possible. I want to be confident in sharing my faith with others when they ask. I want people to know I’m a Christian by my actions — and I want that to mean something good and honorable in my community.
I want to spend less time navel gazing (ironic, on a blog) and more time photographing life.
(And I kinda want to change the world, so I’m going to start with mine.)
Too much? I dare say not.
Letting my homemade, optimistic, hippie freak flag fly,