No White Walls

Nearly everyone I follow on social media has white walls in their home.

It’s this trend. You have white walls. Minimal decor. Your home has a carefully edited homestead/American Revolution feel. (You know, wood pegs on the wall, copper pitchers on the table, etc.) You use essential oils. You put your baby in a cute, vintage bonnet. You post pictures of your spotless white kitchen that you cleaned with your oils, while your adorable baby in his/her bonnet sits in a turn-of-the-century wooden high chair.

I love this trend. It looks AMAZING. I love the clean simplicity of it all. I love how rustic yet charming yet all together modern and FRESH it all feels. I LOVE THE DANG BABY BONNETS, for Kevin’s sake (wink). I want a kitchen that looks effortlessly spotless even though I just posted a picture of my homemade, essential oil, nontoxic play dough that I whipped up for my baby in a bonnet.

These are all good things.

I just feel like I can’t handle one more photo of the same kitchen. Or the same living room. Or the same carefully edited book on a coffee table with a candle. Same. Same. SAME!

Let me back up. You might be asking why I even care. What’s the big deal, right?

Well here is the thing. I’m a blogger. I blog. This here, is a blog, and I’m the blogger of the blog. Instagram is an extension of this blog. It’s the place where I share pieces of larger ideas that I post here. They are the two platforms for me to pursue my passion of encouraging and inspiring others. 

Sometimes, blogging and gramming feel like ridiculous popularity contests. In high school. Over something as stupid as who has real white Converse high tops and who is wearing sensible brown shoes their mother picked out.

Social media and and the blog-o-sphere are dominated by people who are all doing the same thing. They all wear the same clothes and they talk about the same topics and they all jump on the same band wagons.

They all have the same white walls.

My walls aren’t white. My living room is painted a color that – no lie – is called “stirring orange.” FOR THE LOVE.

My kitchen is retro, but not in a cool way. I don’t have expensive clothes or a trendy bonnet for my baby. I love essential oils but my budget doesn’t allow me to buy the expensive brands. I don’t throw up photos of a dead celebrity just to be a part of a trending hashtag.

What I’m saying is that I am me, and I am not white walls. Everything I write and post is with the sole intention of inspiring and encouraging others – you, to be exact. So sure, I might not be able to curate an instagram account that has a “cohesive look,” because GOOD GRIEF my life is not cohesive, and I’m going to bet that yours isn’t either.

I’m not here to be a part of a certain crowd. I’m here to be a source of encouragement and inspiration. I’m here to be authentic, vulnerable, and interesting on a variety of subjects.

This is a frustrating topic for me. I could probably go farther faster if I narrowed my focus to only talk about homeschooling or only talk about yoga or only talk about cooking or only talk about motherhood. BUT I AM NOT ONE THING! I am many things in one person. All of these things make me who I am. All of them. And I can’t inspire and encourage from a place that is contrived and carefully edited to appear to be better or cleaner or more white-walls-er than I really am.

I don’t want to inspire you in just one area of your life. I want to encourage and inspire you in your whole life. I want to show you how I’m attempting to live whole-heartedly  in every aspect of my life and hope that you’ll find pieces and parts along the way that resonate with the many things that make you – you.

This means that sometimes I’ll be vulnerable and share hard things about my life as a wife, mom, homeschool educator, home chef, yogi, Christian, or friend. Because life is hard. You know it and I know it, so why not know it together? This also means that sometimes I’ll share the good things about my life as a wife, mom, homeschool educator, home chef, yogi, Christian, or friend. Because life can be really great. You know it and I know it, so why not celebrate it together?

Marketing experts might tell me to narrow my focus. But that’s because they don’t see what I see. I see you. I see the mom, the wife, the homeschool educator, the home chef, the yogi, the friend. I see you in all your wonderful ways that make you unique. So I’ll keep writing and posting pictures that are all connected to each other because they are all connected to me, and more importantly, they are all connected to you.

What does all this mean for me? Well, I’ll be honest. I know that the easiest way to get ahead is to play the game. And I desperately want to expand my platform. I would love to encourage thousands of readers each week. I would love for more and more readers to find a home within these words. But one of the things that makes me who I am is that I’m tenacious (stubborn), I’m an outlier (rebellious), and I see things differently (not on trend). This will make my climb much, much harder. I don’t just write for kicks. I have goals and passions and dreams for what I’m doing here.

What I want is not to be a part of the “it” crowd – I want to do something new. White walls and curated feeds might be the trend right now, but there will come a day when people care more about how to live their life with great intention and passion than with great style and editing. I want to live a life that shows others that you can be more than one thing. You can be both mom of three and a yogi. You can be both a homeschool educator and have lots of friends. You can be both a home chef and eat crappy freezer french fries at midnight with your husband. You can be madly in love with God and enjoy Malbecs BECAUSE THEY ARE DELICIOUS.

I am more than white walls, and so are you.

 

 

8 thoughts on “No White Walls

  1. Confession time….every time you post a picture in your kitchen, I purposefully look at all the details and pieces in the room. I LOVE your kitchen. I actually have post rolling around in my brain all about why I’m not a minimalist. Totally agree with the things you said here, including the desire to NOT have a perfectly cohesive Instagram feed. I love you and your approach to blogging! ❤

    1. Thank you so much, my friend. I appreciate your encouragement and support. I think that is so funny that you check out the background of my kitchen photos. 😉
      I would love it if you wrote a post on why you aren’t a minimalist! I’ve had some pretty interesting conversations with people lately on this topic. I’ve decided that while I don’t like clutter and could do a better job of not keeping EVERY greeting card I receive in the mail, I love the way my carefully and lovingly placed items make our home feel like home. I love that my things help put people at ease, and I love that I can host 16 + people for a sit down dinner and no one has to use paper plates. My priority is opening my home to others, and this requires stuff! I think at the heart of it is our intentions. I don’t use my stuff to fill a void, but to serve an important purpose. I feel sad for people who don’t even keep photographs! I’ll be on the look out for your thoughts on the subject. 😉

  2. Loving this, and I’m right there with you on everything. You use your platform in a refreshing way, to inspire others to be true to themselves. I generally avoid social media so I stay true to myself, and feel good about doing so.
    Side note – one of the first posts of yours I read had a picture of your kitchen. I told my husband “she has a kitchen like mine!” Retro, but not in the trendy way. I have old cupboards, a little bit of counter space, countertops like my grandmother had. But, I love it, because that’s one important place where I serve my family.

    1. Aw, thanks for the encouragement, Jen! And I love that we share a similar “retro-but-not-trendy” kitchen ;-). My kitchen is the heart of our home, so while it may not be big or fancy, it’s the special place where I take care of the people I love. Glad to hear you connected with this post!

  3. Amen! “Those” blogs drive me NUTS! They have a fake feel, and it makes me wonder if they feel the fake they’re projecting?? I like real, even if it doesn’t drive up the number of followers or whatever. So what?! Maybe that’s their business, but your blog is to follow what your heart says. Good job! (I need to check out those posts with your kitchen pics, lol.)

  4. I sometimes look at my instagram and think, “Maybe I should only focus on our farm and not on motherhood and my other interests?” But like you say, it is all a part of me and who I am…and I am the farmer! So it is all related and all important. Thanks for the reminder!

    1. Absolutely. I follow people who are interesting and doing a variety of interesting thing. One focus is the exact opposite of interesting to me. It’s one dimensional! I say keep rocking all that makes you – you!

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