Settling In

Every time I walk into my hair salon, I am armed with no less than five pictures. I prop them up against the mirror and tell my stylist to work her magic.

She will do her best to tame the curly mop on my head, and with a lot of work, I can usually make it resemble the pictures for a couple of weeks. Then I get lazy and it goes back to being what it always has been. Big, blonde, and curly. It’s just me.

For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be someone else.

As a teenager and on into my twenties, I would carefully study the older women around me, often picking one or two that I wanted to pattern my life after. I would observe the way they dressed, the way they decorated their homes, the way they handled their children, and the way they talked about God.

I would think, “I want to be like her when I grow up.”

At almost 32, I am struggling to accept the fact that I have grown up. I want to pretend that true adulthood is still years away and that I have plenty of time to figure life out. I still find myself looking to women around me to emulate, and I realize that many are now my age or even younger. I look in the mirror and see my skin changing as I begin the early aging process of the thirties. I pluck the occasional gray hair peeking through the highlights and I scream inside because I don’t feel ready to grow up just yet.  I still need time to figure out who I want to be.

There is a quote hanging in my office that says…

“What you’ll be tomorrow is the result of the decisions you make today.”

So while I am trying to figure out who I want to be, I am already being someone.

Yesterday, I told you that I am entering into a new season in my life. The best way I can describe it is that it’s a season of settling. Not settling in a “well, this is just my life and there is nothing I can do about it” kind of way. No, I mean settling like the third year of living in your house kind of way. You know, the first year you are still unpacking and rearranging furniture to figure out the best layout. The second year you are painting rooms and hanging pictures and really making it your own. By that third year, you’ve hit all the rooms in some form or fashion and the house finally feels like home. You are settled.

I’ve been doing some serious unpacking and rearranging these past few years. In searching for my identity as a mom and a homemaker, I experimented with just about everything you can find out in the world of Pinterest and mommy blogs.  I feel like I now have a good understanding of who I am and who I am not. I know how to run my home in a way that keeps me sane, I know how to homeschool my children in an eclectic style that works for our family, and I know which creative outlets bring me pleasure and which ones bring me frustration. I also know that no matter how cute vintage dresses look on Elsie, I’m a 50 Classics kind of a girl.

I’m settling in.

In her book Bittersweet, Shauna Niequist wrote a chapter called Things I Don’t Do. It’s a great chapter where she talks about letting go of the “DO EVERYTHING BETTER” mentality. A friend gave her great advice…

“It’s not hard to decide what you want your life to be about. What’s hard is figuring out what you’re willing to give up in order to do the things you really care about.”

As I settle into who I am, I find that I am okay with having a “Things I Don’t Do” list of my own.  I no longer feel that I have to do everything that everyone else is doing, the way they are doing it. I can just be me, and that’s okay.

So today, I will stop looking at the women around me to see which ones I want to be like. Instead, I will look into the water and embrace the reflection looking back at me.



photo credit

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  1. I met a girlfriend for lunch yesterday and was swooning over her big, dangling, obnoxiously fake diamond earrings. On top of that she was sporting the “all the rage” geek glasses. They are SO her!! She pulls it off with amazing finesse and class and I wanted to be that. Driving home I wanted to stop by the mall so I could re-create the look, but I knew without a doubt I would look ridiculous. I am a pearl earrings and tortoise shell glasses girl. My biggest bling is my chunky while MK watch! Thank you, it’s nice to know I’m not the only grown up still trying to emulate people 🙂

    • Amanda Medlin says:

      I hear you! I went digging through my jewelry box the other day to retrieve my Brighton necklace and silver monogrammed ring. Cool or not, it’s me. Thanks for letting me know I’m not alone either!

  2. I feel like I’m not quite to this point, but definitely headed there. It’s my third almost 4th year living in this location and I think that has something to do with it. But I’ve recently gone through some revolutionary life-changes (more internally than visible things that other can see) that have really brought me to a point of “this is who I am, and I’m loving it, regardless of what I *think* I should do differently. This is me, and it’s working.” And it’s so freeing to get to that point.

    PS. i love that photo!

    • Amanda Medlin says:

      Sometimes I still struggle in someways with my identity, but I feel more settled than ever before and it is freeing!

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