First, a disclaimer- I am in no way shape or form here (nor certified!) to give life advice, parenting advice, or anything of the sort. This article is simply is sharing experience, reflection, and finding meaning how life shapes us. Maybe it’s because I’m going to be a parent any second (literally, today is my due date), so this is a personal documentation that I hope & pray you are touched by, with the hopes of loving & honoring yourself even more afterwards.
A SELECTIVE VILLAGE….
The key word here is selective. For the most part when we were young, our parents had a choice, and hand selected the family & friends who were around us, who looked after us, who we were around in the community we were in, even sometimes down to the teachers. As we get older, the idea of being able to select who enters that village becomes nearly impossible. Saying that, now I realize how foundation is everything. It’s our backbone, or central source, and even at times our humility. We don’t have to like everyone who was, or even still is in our village, but there’s always a lesson from each one- a lesson to enrich our lives and make who we are today.
UNDER THE INFLUENCER…
The word influencer has become such a buzz word of the last 2 years, especially in the world of social media. But what does it mean to be an influencer? And do people influence us subconsciously? Influencers are the evolution from our selective village. We can choose people from that village, or we can find new influences, but bottom line is our influencers are OUR OWN CHOICE! As a teenager and possibly early 20’s, it’s a blurred line for some. But the older we get, the choosier we become with who they may be. d Influencers from our selective village lead us to our traditions, often our beliefs, and very much our confidence. Our chosen influencers help shape us into the lifestyle we choose, which is usually a reflection of our own interests. The great thing is that our influencers can change anytime we want, we get to choose, and that’s a beautiful part of living an authentic life.
OWNING OUR STYLE…
How we are influenced leads us to what helps develop our own personal style. So what exactly is style? Our style isn’t just about fashion, it isn’t just about clothes, décor, or lifestyle. It’s how we choose to use our voice, our language, and the how we communicate with others. It’s about our tastes, both literally in our cuisine we either grew up with our how we explore new tastes. Taste is also esthetics, what is beautiful to you, what are the simple details that make something perfect, even with its’ imperfections. What kind of music you gravitate towards- what’s your power music, what’s relaxing, nostalgic, or anything that it makes you emote? Is your taste influenced by what you grew up around, or is it something you discovered on your own? Finally, our passions says a lot about our style. Your passion, hobbies, likes & interests very much influence your style. Does being a creative person make you imaginative? Does being a numbers person make you reliable? Does being a factual person make you..well.. possibly irritated (or maybe irritating to others)? Bottom line, some aspects of our style evolves over time, and in some ways our style is part of our rooted character. But it’s your style, your voice, your choice, your passions, own it and be proud of it.
ROOT OF RELATIONSHIPS…
Relationships between us and our parents have the greatest effects on how you deal with the two core emotions in the universe: love & fear. For some of us, we think about this so often & deeply (ok, can only speak for myself…) that it can be consuming as we analyze developed or developing relationships with others. Our loved ones, family, neighbors, colleagues, how we are with authority, and most importantly the relationship we have with ourselves… There is no right, but in our heart & mind we know what might be wrong (to say there is no wrong would be cruel to others and ourselves). Sometimes the easiest and hardest part of building relationships is knowing that it’s a lifelong journey and it’s nearly impossible to have a formula. As soon as you think you have it down, life presents someone who may challenge that very theory. At the end of the day, just be you, do your best to respect others, trust yourself and your instincts, find strength in your authenticity, and as hard and difficult as it can be sometimes, communicate from a place of love.
There are no two rocks, two stars, two grains of sand, two snowflakes, even identical twins that are exactly alike. Be proud of where you come from, because it got you to where you are today. Be proud of your style, because if it’s real it’s 100% authentic. And finally, respect all of your relationships, because there is value in each one-whether reason, a season, or a lifetime.
I dedicate this article to my daughter who will be arriving into this world any moment. Like every new mamma, I’m so looking forward to meeting her as she enters this amazing world we live in and hope to share wisdom with her, as she becomes one my greatest teachers of life.