Remember when I said this blog was about awesome people doing awesome things, places that bring me and others joy, etc? Nowhere in there did I say perfect, or hint at that word. That is often what we see with good editing and the highlight reel, but that isn’t really truthful nor reality, is it? Do I want to show you good things? Yes! Do I want my content to inspire you? Yes! Let me set this straight for you with a little help from a friend.
This is my dear friend Ashley. We went to school together and like most folks, we lost touch over the years, but reconnected recently through social media. Ashley has always looked a certain way to me, has always presented herself a certain way to me and has always come across a certain way to me. KIND. She doesn’t see herself so much this way, but I do, it’s my opinion and belief. She admits, it flatters and humbles her, but she is also quick to set me straight on my perception vs. her reality. I think our conversation is worth sharing as it is a reminder to me and maybe you too.
What is perfect to us? Is it the same, or does it vary person to person? Obviously the answer is that it varies, however perfect may have a common theme from time to time. Ashley and I both crave simplistic, more so, uncomplicated and maybe nostalgic living. She loves taking care of her loved ones, so do I. She loves her family above most anything, me too. She loves running and gardening, so do, wait, what?! Ah, here is where I can learn from her, where I need to hear her and her thoughts, to connect to something that is similar, yet different from me.
See, Ashley explained to me that even though I was viewing her life from a perfect perception, much like her garden, her life has weeds too. What does that even mean? It means that from the outside, she has a perfect life, and while she admits that it is perfect for her, it has its struggles and she has to work through those things the same way as weeding her garden. The weeds don’t just disappear so that when I show up with my camera everything is perfect. The garden is her happy place, she has worked at it, cultivated it, weeded it, planted it strategically and maintained it through intention, sweat and even some tears. Life is the same. She has faced some very tough issues like conceiving her children, postpartum depression and worrying if she is raising her kids right…all while questioning not only if she is doing it right, but doing enough.
We put our fears and struggles to the side at times instead of facing them straight on, yet even when we feel that we are facing them and dealing with them, it can be more than we bargained for. Much like when we set out with a solid plan to grow some veggies, it may be more work than we even conceived of having, but we are committed to what we set out to do, committed to our plan, committed to seeing it through, good, bad, and indifferent. We are committed to harvesting what we planted…reaping what we sowed in conception.
Life will definitely grow from what we have planted, the seed acting as our starting point. It will grow from our vision and the terms we have set forth. We will see outcomes that we had in mind when we began on this path. There will be such sweet rewards along the way, however, there will be weeds and hurdles to overcome, unexpected things that arise.
So how do we deal with that? Do we focus on the things we didn’t anticipate, the things that set us back? Do we find the beauty in the moment, in the obstacles that make us work and strive all the more…
Do we weed our garden a million times over to get the results that we want, that we desire, that we crave…that we cultivated?? Do we take the bumps and rocky times so that we may see the life we wanted to materialize in the long run? Maybe that is it, maybe Ashely’s right and we just need to run, to pound it out through the pavement and our feet? To change focus for a bit to regain focus for a while.
I think that she has it pretty well figured out. We need to make a plan, have a vision for ourselves. We need to work at it, to cultivate what it is we are seeking, the desired outcome we are hoping to obtain. AND we need to deal with the weeds as they pop up, to face those unexpected obstacles but to view them as the bounty of our labor, the fruit that sweetens our lives in terribly, wonderful ways. In the end, it is what we make of it, what we set in motion for ourselves is ultimately what we will see come to pass. So whether you are reaping the benefits of what you have simplistically planted, the results of what you have difficultly sown, or you are dealing with a random happenstance, see the good, see the beauty in it and make it your own. Cherish it all. Life is what we make it after all, and that is certainly not perfect. It’s LIFE.