I am a lot of things. I am a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a youth leader, an employee, a colleague... the list goes on and on. That's not really what I mean though.
I am a bit of a hippy, but also a tiny bit hipster. I am an environmentalist. I believe in fair trade, and in making socially conscience decisions and purchases... but I am also a sucker for a good deal and often shop at Wal-Mart. I have recently turned into a bit of a health nut, but still love a good plate of greasy nachos.
Not everything about me has a contradictory trait, but it is seeming to be a bit of a trend. Does that make me a hypocrite?
Gosh, I hope not. I am not saying that there aren't things I stand for. Things that I won't budge on. Absolutely there are. What I am saying is that I allow myself to not be stuck on something. I need a little leeway in life. Even though we don't buy pre-packaged foods anymore (canned sauces and soups, kraft dinner etc) sometimes this girl just needs a big bag of Cheese Puffs. Not to mention our once a week frozen pizza on Wednesday nights (We don't even go home Wednesdays because we have youth ministry at the church) 80% is better than nothing, right?
When I was in high school there was this guy on my bus who dressed like a full out punk rock kid.
****Side note. Please look at this AMAZING picture of my husband when he was in high school. He could very well be the person I am talking about.... except we didn't meet that young. Regardless- is this picture not GOLD?? Thank the Lord I have such a wonderful Mother in Law that keeps all these old pictures and newspaper clippings (He was in the Gazette with this pic!)
Anyways. Back to the guy. Mohawk, studded leather jacket, collar with spikes, big black boots. The whole works. One day he got on the bus wearing a simple grey track suit. He had buzzed his mohawk down, taken out his piercings and was wearing runners. My immediate reaction was that it was a dare or a joke, but in the following weeks it became clear that this was the new him. Punk rock to....seemingly quite "normal" He still hung out with the same crowd, it just seemed he had out grown the style.
He allowed himself to be more than just one dimension. He wasn't just "punk rock guy," he was a person that had other tastes, likes and dislikes. I think so often we choose to identify ourselves with a style- whether it be the way we dress (boho, indie, hipster etc), a genre of music (metal-heads, country, electronica), a cause we are completely sold out to (environmentalists etc) or maybe it's a way we live our lives. Do you pride yourself in the fact that you are ____ or are not ____? Is it something people know you by?
One example of this was how Chris and I chose our wedding shoes. We both wore TOMS - shoes that we both love because of the One for One business model they have. For each pair of shoes you buy, TOMS donates a pair of shoes to a child in need. Between the two of us we have purchased over a dozen pairs for ourselves, family and friends. Not just because they are awesome shoes (which they are) but because of the One for One principle. Wearing TOMS has become a very tiny part of our identity, and so it was given that we both wore them on our wedding day. No one was surprised (Ok, maybe my Dad was a little surprised)
Now this is all fine and good. TOMS are good. What would not be good is if we felt like we had to continue buying them just to show people that we are those people. People that always wear TOMS. People that always choose their footwear with other people in mind. If we continue to buy them for that reason alone then we will have moved into a space where our choices are no longer really our own, but instead dictated by the style we have chosen to identify ourselves with. Not because of our likes and dislikes, but because of our appearance.
Let yourself be whomever you want to be TODAY. Don't feel held down by what you have said or done in the past. Stop worrying about sounding like a hypocrite, because first of all the situations I am describing is pretty far from a true hypocrite.... it's actually just called changing your mind. I don't know about you, but I would take that any day over being a liar. Lying not only to other people about what my true likes and dislikes are, but lying to myself about how and why I make my choices. We will never have room for growth if we don't allow ourselves to change a little, not to mention we will never form true relationships if we are always putting up a front. It's ok if you tried cloth diapering and just found it too hard. If you claimed you were going to walk to work every day but then went back to driving after a week, I won't hold it against you. Don't worry if you attempted to go vegetarian but missed bacon too much. (We all understand) Why can't we admit defeat once in a while?
I reserve the right to change my mind. I like to keep you all on your toes anyways. ;)