Shed

March 15th

Olive

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.

Olive

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.

Olive

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,

K

Posted in
Arizona, Get Fit, Happy Hippie
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11 Responses

  1. I truly believe that some of this is cultural, Kelli. It is the society surrounding us and it’s hard to ignore. The other day, I spent a ridiculous amount of time on JCrew.com picking out bathing suits and lounge pants. Luckily, I walked away (for 2 days) and never placed the order for over priced items I don’t really need. A small victory. Instead, I donated to a Peace Corps friend who is buying water filters for families in her site. A better use of my hard earned money? For sure. Not always easy though.

    I love the section of who you want to be. I think we should each write one for ourselves and work towards those as goals. My favorite line, of course, “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.” It’s often the biggest challenge, but will have so much meaning for us years from now.
    Changing my world right alongside ya amiga! 😉

  2. “I want to be a woman who is confident without a mirror.” Having regularly seen you at 5am and after long, sweaty runs…check.

    “One who regularly volunteers.” Check.

    “One who always makes room for others in her home and at her table.” Check.

    “One who gives generously and doesn’t care about her car because she’s on her bike.” Check.

    “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.” Just acknowledging this is a CHECK.

    “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.” Totally doable…and meat is delicious.

    “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.” Totally check. And the people that question you on it only do so because you’re smart and confident enough to give an answer, (and that’s totally ignoring our own insecurities about it.)

    Here’s another one for you: “Be able to recognize that I’ve achieved goals and that i am 99% of the woman i want to be and giving myself some credit for it doesn’t mean i have to stop trying to be just a bit better.”

  3. You are going to have fun here.

  4. There’re lots of things I would have done differently in my life (and some I really should have!), aspects of myself I’d rather change, things I want to do in the future (knowing I won’t), words I wish I could have spoken and secrets I would let out……I guess there’s no one truly satisfied with oneself, deep inside all of us there’s a grey zone we have to live with.

  5. LOVE this post! it’s so true that what we’re willing to haul with us throughout life does, in part, define us. I love nice things as much as the next person (is it ok to drool over my new blender?) but it’s so important to keep perspective. I want to change the world too… “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined.” – Thoreau

  6. Oh girl, you are gonna blend RIGHT IN in good ole’ Colorado… they are lucky to have ya!

  7. jenntraveler March 17, 2011

    Not too much. Just right. 🙂 (And BEAUTIFUL bike!)

  8. Brittany March 18, 2011

    Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful post, Kelli. You are good people and I’m so glad to know you. :0)

  9. You’re a pretty awesome woman! Kudos to you!

  10. I am still envious of your green bike. 🙂

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