Hello blog, I’ve missed you. Here we are a year later…and how things have changed. I came back from traveling last year and decided that the next adventure would not begin with a ticket to anywhere, but instead an attempt to develop some staying power. Yikes. Uprooting myself and being on the go always came naturally, so it seemed like the sensible next chapter would be to approach turning the big 2-5 with open arms–putting my name on a lease and nailing pictures to the wall. Sit in my home life and practice centeredness. I keep this blog because I’ve always felt a sort of affinity for self-declaration. I think that’s partly our generation, coupled with maybe some inflated sense of self, or that I’m not embarrassed of much, so sharing growth may in some way resonate with people who read and [hopefully] cut some bull shit out of their journey. But I’m back again to talk about my
brain and this journey of self—or whatever.
Lately I’ve been experiencing a different sort of happiness. I guess it is more contentment, the kind that only comes with routine. A sort of happy that is subtle, and sinks a few layers deeper than the fleeting highs I had been experiencing up until last year. From traveling to romantic flings, fleeting highs are beautiful and rejuvenating, but they are also a distraction I had become reliant on. So when they were gone and I was alone with myself, a dull sadness would set in and I never learned what to do with it, or how to cope with the every day non-distracted life. As a woman raised by two single (strong as hell) parents, I had developed this accidental view about myself that attachment equaled weakness. Attaching myself to a place, or a man, or a job…if you let something sink in too deep it’s probably going to wreck you. Safer to stay free.
By 21, post college and first love heartbreak, I saw myself developing ideas about the world that were not my own. They were ideas about relationships and the future that had settled in my head as a royal ‘f-ck you’ to anything traditional. I cultivated this self-taught vision of a girl who doesn’t need society’s ideas of woman-ness; the feeling that I wasn’t overly maternal, and I didn’t know if I wanted babies or if I saw myself with the white picket fence life. But what I’ve realized is…that is exactly what I want. I might paint that fence red, but god dammit do I want a porch to sit and drink hot cocoa with my man on when I’m 80. Hell…when I’m 30. I am in fact extremely maternal, and am never happier than when I am taking care of the people I love or cooking a meal for a table full of friends. I want freedom and strength, and sexuality and feminism. But I want to make dinners for my family and have dryer sheets in the closet and I want to own a fucking PRINTER. I want to do laundry on Monday nights and have 3 different kinds of rice in the pantry, because I LIVE HERE–for the long haul. I also want a dirty backpack in the closet that I take to far corners of the planet. But more importantly, I want my own space on the planet to return to, to settle my soul. Which is what I’ve done this past year, and damn does it feel good.
The way I had seen women pigeonholed into identities they didn’t choose had caused me to rebel so strongly to the idea of traditional anything, I never allowed myself the opportunity to realize…maybe I like traditional; traditional in the sense of being a mom or a wife or having a consistent job or home. I had seen these things “happening” to women I had been raised around. They sort of dropped out of their raw, wild and free lives and into being stuck. Stuck to religion and preconceived paths attached to men. Or other women who I perceived as stuck, but who were actually living the paths they loved with their little families.
Women are made from so many different molds. Some women are wild and free for all their lives, childless and floating freely on the current of life–happy as a clam. Other women raise beautiful babies and occupy the role of the selfless home chef and bed maker and listener. Other OTHER women are career bad asses and run offices of other bad asses and come home and still make dinner for themselves and their little army of kid bad asses. The thing is…you just do whatever the hell it is you WANT to do. Be a woman and a mom and a career bad ass and a home chef and an organized errand queen and a loving partner and a traveler—any combination of these you want, or…none of them at all. THAT is feminism. It’s not holding a picket sign or growing your armpit hair long to scare all the clean-cut straight men of the world.
There is sort of an unspoken idea in the community of traveling people/ yoga circles that accumulating things is a sign of weakness. The more things you have, the less free you are, or less likely you are to travel; or that you’re some how too “of the world” if you require a moving truck to change homes, rather than a backpack. Here’s the realization I have come to: having things to come back to is not weakness, it is strength. It is hard work, and it is reaping what you sew. (Within reason of course. Don’t be a creepy knick knack hoarder or have 13 Porsches…) But there’s a reason people the world over are working hard to have homes and cars and security! Yet for some reason unbeknownst to me, I was working hard on resisting all of that until now. This may be something people read and go… “duh Lindsey.” But for me it has been a whirlwind of realizations and letting myself settle into the reality of my desires, of womanhood. Authenticity of self, I suppose. In order to be a strong female, we don’t have to renounce femininity and maternal tendencies and desires. Being a strong person is simply not being pressured into anything, and making decisions of our own accord. It’s all very simple really…but complicating things is the only way to be young, right?
So I think the adventure of staying has been a great success. I’m now living an authentic life where I don’t apologize for the quirks that make me who I am, and it feels so good. Surrounding myself with less people but more positive energy…acknowledging my needs as a sensitive, socially-anxious, empath… I am a sensitive girl and give many shits about those around me. I change my mind incessantly, but am simultaneously painfully clean and organized. We’ve all got our shit, and not apologizing for it removes the nonsense that only tags along to performing an identity that isn’t yours. And with that, I will leave you by saying I hope you feel loved and lifted up by the people around you, and that your performance of self is one that fulfills you. You are wonderful just exactly as you are. Now go live your damn life!