Thursday, January 14, 2016

a [non] basic life.


I've recently been told that "basic" is back in the list of lingo the kids are using. You know, like "She's so basic." Meaning obvious, unoriginal, boring...anything along those lines.

I know I'm behind on this. It's probably been rising on the list for a few years now--but after getting married one year and having a child the next, I'm a little behind the times. Talk to me about what cool lingo you should use to impress the youngsters, and I'd tell you "yolo" was still a thing.

Guys--I'm kidding--yolo is so 2013. 

Now, I've never used "basic" to describe someone, but I'm fairly sure it's not a compliment.

Being called unoriginal and boring isn't the worst thing one could be called--but definitely not something I aspire to. And as I was thinking about the new year and setting goals for myself--this kept coming to mind.

For a second I began doubting myself--am I basic? Has my life thus far been nothing more than a predictable, unoriginal half-assed story?

Caucasian blonde girl, big family, religious upbringing, K-12, college, dating, job, married, baby... I guess it could be summed up in a basic (i'm really starting to hate that world more and more) predictable way...but here's the thing y'all-- that wouldn't be true.

My life is anything but basic.

Because yes, even though that info may all be factual, it's only the bullet-pointed version of my own original, unpredictable, adventurous...very not basic reality.

A reality that no one but me will ever fully understand. Because it's mine.

In high school I read the book Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. I struggled through it--I won't lie, but by the end I couldn't get it out of my head. It's a beautiful piece of literature.

This excerpt in-particular is profoundly beautiful:

"I don't like work--no man does--but I like what is in the work--the chance to find yourself. Your own reality--for yourself not for others--what no other man can ever know. They can only see the mere show, and never can tell what it really means."

These words are why I love literature with all my heart. These words give me goosebumps, inspire my mind and warm my soul every time I read them.

Of course I don't loooooove every thing I need and am required to do in a day.  Shocking, I know, but a mom's work is not exactly attractive. Changing dirty diapers, washing dishes, grocery shopping, toddler tantrums, potty training, endless laundry, cooking...the list goes on and on. The sad part is that it all adds up, the days begin and are suddenly over---and sometimes I'm left feeling like I didn't accomplish anything noteworthy or great. Nothing that anybody would actually care about, nothing cute with beautiful lighting to post on Instagram, nothing Pinterest-worthy or cause for any outside recognition.

Sure, the work may not all be fabulous but in the words of Joseph Conrad, I like what is in the work... I like that I can see the excitement in my baby girl's eyes when we go to library story time every Monday (even though it usually ends in some sort of fit or tantrum). I like when I'm folding laundry on my bed, and she climbs up, giggles and jumps in...leading to an inevitable tickle fight. I like when we all sit down to dinner and she folds her arms to pray, even though she doesn't ever last the whole prayer before putting food in her mouth--I like that I know she's learning and growing and being loved every day.

I don't just like it, I love it. It is my beautiful reality in which I have found myself.

And just like Joseph Conrad says, it is my reality for me and me only. It is not for others. They will never know, and will never be able to see the depth of what my life reality is--and I don't need to prove that to anyone.

To any one reading this that thinks their life might fall under "basic" know that I really hate that word now and listen up...if you find joy, satisfaction or purpose in what is in the work that you do...whatever that work is, I can promise you that your existence is not basic. It's actually quite opposite.

Love your work and find yourself in it.

Here's to an anything-but-basic 2016 and a beautiful reality!



[Oh, and Ben Rector's cover of "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" is my official happy song this week!]

5 comments:

  1. I seriously love this post! I've had many of these same thoughts (minus the motherhood obviously :) about the whole "basic" phenomenon and haven't been able to put them in eloquent words like this. I especially love the part about things being for you and for you only, not anyone else. I think a lot of people have forgotten that because of social media. Thanks for writing this! xo, McKelle

    ReplyDelete
  2. Love your work and find yourself in it. Love that! I've never been more sure of myself and my purpose than when working in my duty as a mom. Beautiful post!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I found your blog randomly on Pinterest because of a post on Italian travel. And I stayed to read all of it because of the honest and lovely writings (and beautiful travel and family photos.) Please keep writing.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Basically you are the best :) Love you

    ReplyDelete