My Style...{Defined}

I've been thinking about writing this post for a while...but I think now is as good a time as any to actually do it...

I can't tell you how many times I've read a blog or seen some gorgeous photos in a magazine and thought, "Wow...that (nightstand, kitchen, painting, etc.) is really beautiful...I love that, want that, need that... My house has to look just. like. that."

In grade school I had my Mom buy me a black & red outfit with suspenders (yes, suspenders) because I had seen someone on TV with a similar outfit...

In high school I bought pink eye shadow and blue eyeliner because an older girl I looked up to wore those colors...

In college I bought CDs of the music I thought I should be listening to...

Just a few of the countless examples of what a follower I've been. Painful to admit? Yes. True? Yes.

I've often fallen victim to pretending I like/love something because I've wanted to be accepted...because I've wanted to fit in...because I've wanted to be cool...

But guess what?

As I get older, I've realized that there is a certain amount of liberation that comes with age. I no longer worry about whether the 20-something checkout guy will check me out...I no longer care if I go to the store in my sweats, no makeup & unbrushed hair (don't judge)...I no longer care if people think I'm weird for smiling at or talking to strangers (my Mom does this and it used to embarrass the dickens out of me...now I'm her...)...I'm allowed to be me. And I'm doin' it. And I like it.

I've stopped buying or making things I don't like just because I've seen them all over blogland or in Country Living...I'm over chalkboards...I'm over cake pops...I'm over trying to make a million-dollar-looking project from items found at the Dollar Store...(although I do still LOVE the Dollar Store...don't get me wrong...)

My house is a mish-mash of a million different styles...shabby-chic, traditional, modern, retro, plain old midwest crap & kids' stuff. I love combining styles...I'm sure my house is an interior decorator's nightmare...I'm sure most people wouldn't be caught dead with a Jane Eyre-esque bust sitting next to a chipped mirror vase on a 12 year old modernish side table...I'm sure most people would walk into my family room - with it's giant tv (no, we don't have a flatscreen), broken couch, dusty end tables & billion legos, turn a 180 and never return again...but I don't care.

I love that my favorite room in my house is our small little framed out laundry room...with it's exposed beams and concrete floor...there's something so cozy & right about it to me...

I love that my kids are making memories cooking in a kitchen that has room enough for about 2 people if they stand really close together, but we've managed to fit a 6 person table in there...

I love that our guest bedroom has blankets and craft stuff all over the floor because the kids love to jump on the bed & I just throw whatever I'm not working on at the time in there so that I don't have to bring it back down to my little craft nook in the basement...

I love that we've never really remodeled anything in our almost 11 years of marriage until now...because now I am finally starting to discover who I am...and what I like. Yes, my tastes are eclectic...and are probably bordering on schizophrenic (figuratively speaking)...but that's OK.

Yep...that's OK. In fact, it's great...


31 comments

  1. This is an AWESOME post!! I am 49 and LOVE my age ~ It is great when you can just be you!

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  2. You're awesome! Love the post! Thanks for sharing. :)

    Ginger

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  3. Love this post! I've finally started to come into my own this past year and am so much happier now than I ever was before. Such a freeing feeling!

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  4. Go personal style! Thanks for the great post :)
    PS: There are actually people who do it differently? :O ;)

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  5. Hooray! It's a good feeling to let go of caring about what others think . . . I'm not completely there yet, but I try. This isn't totally related to design or anything, but kind of on topic . . . my sister and I were talking the other day about how intimidated we are to talk to pretty girls. Seriously, what are we, middle school boys? A new girl moved into my neighborhood and she is super pretty and glamorous and always so perfect-looking and styled (we're talking wears high heels to check her mailbox). And it honestly took me like 3 weeks to get up the courage to say hi to her and welcome her to the neighborhood, because I kept thinking, "She's so pretty, she'll think I'm a lame mom in sweatpants and hate me." But, surprise, she's super sweet, loves Forrest, and now we're friends. But how dumb is that, to be embarrassed that I'm a frumpy old mom and be scared to welcome a pretty, nice neighbor because of it? Just proof that I still have a little more confidence to build in myself, and I still have room to grow in the "get over it and just be you" department. You'll be my role model :-)

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  6. LOVE this post!!! I'm 31 and feel like I'm finally coming into my own!!! I know it's only going to get better!!! Brilliant.

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  7. THANK YOU so much for posting this. I really needed to hear it. It's exactly what I want to do better at, letting go of caring about things that just aren't "me". I feel like sometimes i don't even know anymore what i like or dont like!

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  8. I was just having a conversation with a friend about how you always hear people say, 'oh, your 30s are better than your 20s' but it didn't really make sense to either one of us until now (I'm 33, she's 35). You just care so much less what other people think or want and know yourself so much better. It's a great thing.

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  9. I think you are AMAZING! I love your style, I love seeing what you do. I'm starting to feel like that with my home. I sturggle with wanting to create things to blog about, and knowing those things just aren't "me." I'm struggling to be original in a Pinterest world.

    In my appearance however, I've found that being newly single I all of a sudden care about how I look!!! LOL!!!

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  10. I love that post! And I probably would love your broken couch, big TV, and dusty tables. :) There really is a freedom in not worrying how life comes across to others ... after all, it's your life.

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  11. Love this post!!! :) I feel like that too about some things in blogland... It's all over and I just don't get it. Like those Keep Calm posters and what nots. DON'T GET IT. haha. But that's just me too!

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  12. Amen sister! I totally agree that getting older is liberating in exactly the way you describe and I LOVE IT, just like I love this post. It's part of why I'm really bad at craft challenges...I have to feel the theme and if I don't...it shows. Happy weekend girlie. You rock.

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  13. being happy with your true self just develops & develops as you continue to age. Remember this post & view it again when you get to age 53 (my age) to see additional changes you've grown into. The freedom of knowing yourself & forgetting the fruitless chase of trying to please the tastes & fads of others is a great discovery.

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  14. I was having this exact same conversation in my head this morning (no judging) I can love the look of other styles/ designs- but that doesn't mean I have to incorporate them into my own personal style. I can be happy being me, and be happy for others who are being themselves. Thanks for this post- love it!
    xoxo,
    Amy

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  15. Maggie,
    I love this post!
    I am 41 and so happy to be in this place, where I am me and happy to be! I love how you have designed your style and it represents YOU!! Awesome.
    And you are not alone...we still don't have a flat screen TV and also crame in a small kitchen as a family of 5. Wouldn't change it for the world :)
    Wendy

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  16. Um, have you been peering into my thoughts?? This is EXACTLY how I've been feeling lately too. I turned 37 a couple months ago and find myself caring less about what others think and becoming more comfortable in my own skin and, thus, my design sense. The "me of the past" used to jump on board various design trends...in fact, I'm still trying to phase out most of the red/yellow/blue french country and chicken decor that I just had to have starting around eight years ago! lol I'm still working on being okay with my home being "not perfect all the time" though. I read so many design blogs and magazines with homes that look perfectly designed/cleaned/organized that I have to remind myself that that ideal would be near impossible on a day-to-day basis for my family given our schedules and budget! Thanks for keeping it real, Maggie!

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  17. Love this post, I'm still working on fully getting to that point. I definitely care more about what people think than I should.

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  18. if i walked into your family room i wouldn't turn around! I'd sit on your broken couch and talk crafts and stuff. i'd be wearing yoga pants, a big sweatshirt and no makeup. i'm still working on not caring sooo much about what others think and instead doing what makes me happy. it's a work in progress.

    Thanks for sharing and posting!

    ~Courtenay

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  19. I totally understand. My Mom is 81 and told me a friend was mad at her, I asked what she was going to do about it and she said "Nothing, at my age who cares if she never talks to me again, it won't be that long term a thing" ! I LOL.....I guess as we get older, there will be even more things we won't care about LOL!

    Carol

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  20. I love this so much. I wrote a post about 6 months ago about coming to terms with my older home. You hit the nail on the head about how real people live, and a house that is you is so much better than anything else. A friend once told me she was so excited because she and her sister in law in TX had "the same Pottery barn living room" - I shuddered - that sounded awful to me.

    I do love chalkboards still...I just don't post them...I hate cake pops (brilliant idea in the beginning) and cupcakes.

    This post is perfection!

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  21. What an awesome post Maggie and happy early birthday!!! I love that you are comfortable in who you are. I know it takes a lot to go through to get there...I am right with you sister! ;)

    I had to laugh we don't have a flatscreen either, although my husband keeps trying to get the boys to break our big ugly tv we got as a wedding present 11 years ago...I just tell him if it breaks there will just be a big empty space ;)

    Hugs my friend!!

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  22. The people who count will walk into your family room and make themselves comfortable amidst the Lego chaos. They are the ones who matter most. I am also defining my design style, and although I can admire other homes and images, I am learning what works for us and our (almost non-existent) decor budget.

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  23. Maggie, I love this post! I think if most of us were honest, we were the same way for a long time...if not still worried about what people think! Thanks for pointing it out, calling it out. I love just being myself, but I'll admit, it's intimidating and scary sometimes! I'm so glad to have found your blog and you, Friend:)
    Love, Heather

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  24. I love what you wrote, and commend you on posting it.. just because it puts your real feelings out there. That is awesome, and brave! I went to a woman's house once for a shower or something, and she gave us a tour... she seriously had a breakfast tray out on her pottery barn-ish bed and on the breakfast tray was propped an open book of scripture and a single rose in a bud vase. I thought "is this your real life?" and swore I would never try to be someone I wasn't. I love your comment about cake pops -- never really got the hype about those myself. And personally I think it's better to be close and bumping elbows in a kitchen than having to yell across the room because it's so giant. So glad to have found your blog, for this post among MANY others...

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  25. Amen, and well said, I actually learned this lesson rather young and it's so freeing and joyful. I've never been into modern minimalism. I'm a romantic to my bones and I love English Country. I make no apologies for it, and surround myself with things I love and that make me happy. I also realize that a loving family lives in our home (it's not a museum, or a showroom ) One of my favorite expressions is " Excuse the mess, but we live here". It always makes me giggle because it's so true.

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  26. Love this Maggie! I think the saying, wisdom comes with age, is so true. Not that we are old! Just much wiser. I too have stopped a lot of the same things you had mentioned. Life is too short to not do what make you feel good.

    I cracked up what Carol's mom said about her friend. That is such a great attitude!

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  27. You are preaching to the choir! As you can tell by the other comments, we are all right there with you. Being the poor kid growing up, I always wanted what everybody else had. Now I just want to do my own thing. This has been the best thing about blogging. You connect with so many people who think and feel the same way. They can relate to you or can appreciate your take on something. Do your own thing and continue to inspire those around you to do the same.

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  28. As the time passes by, we learn a lot of things what we really want. It's a matter of knowing what your happiness lays to.. Anyway,your post is quite inspiration to us all.

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  29. very cool. it's funny because over the past week or so I've been asking myself what MY style is. I find that I'm getting lost in all the eye candy and can't seem to hone in on what I really want in my space. so I too am trying clear my mind of all that to create a space that is truly "us". great post! (stopped over from midwest bloggers) I'm from Michigan, how about you?

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Thank you so much for leaving me a comment! I so appreciate you taking the time to write...xoxo

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