People don’t change.

The last decade of my life has been consumed by self help books. Somewhere along the way, I developed this idea that I needed to be fixed, improved upon, or changed. That there was a better version of me just one revelation away.  And perhaps with the right combination of thoughts, practices, and force, I could become her. I had an idea of who I would become after ‘doing some work’ on myself. That I would have a before and after story (plus photo) to share with everyone. Well, lets just say those 10 years were draining and at the end of it all, I’m still doing the same shit I was at the start.

Today for some reason, I started to think about who I was as a kid. And, wait for it….. I was exactly as I am right now. Well, maybe a little more joyful and a little less weathered (aka bitter). I have always tried to make humor out of life situations to help make things easier for others (and myself). I have always been blunt and to the point. I question everything. I have been extremely interested in how people think. I can’t lie. I have a strong moral compass. I take people at their word (this has been called “gullible” and “can’t take a joke”). I like to share stories to help others feel relatable. I think fart humor is funny. I hate horror movies. I can’t stand animal cruelty, human too. I want to help sad people feel happier. I am stubborn and obsessive. I am extremely focused and determined when I set my mind to something. I am all or nothing, and commit fully. I go full steam ahead on the things I am passionate about and enjoy.  I enjoy creating something born from an idea – mind to matter. I like to work with my hands. I love to solve problems. I love naps. I love snacks. I love to laugh.

What I realized is that these are my attributes. This is the fabric of who I am. It is unshakable and important. Because when it comes to the work that is true to my heart and what I am here to do – it’s necessary.  This is my toolbox to do my job. I can’t change it, because it’s too valuable.

I spent a decade trying to change those things because they were not appealing to some. Some people didn’t like some of my God given traits. I was also given a strong empathetic bone. I care very deeply about other people, and want everyone to be happy.  I took it on as my job to help others be at peace and find joy in life. But when I was the source of their unhappiness (or at least I was told that “blank” bothered them about me, etc.), I did everything I could to change that. To appease. To bring peace, at the cost of my making. Not everyone likes a blunt answer. Not everyone likes poop jokes. What happened was I lost sight of my design and tried changing for everyone around me.

It took me a loooonnnggg time to ‘come back to self.’  It took depression cycles, prayer, and questioning why I am here. It took searching for that small voice within me, that actually has been pretty damn loud and in my face. The most ironic thing about it is that while I was searching so hard for myself – or this ‘best’ version of me – I was here all along. All I needed to do be okay with my making.

Finally seeing who I am (and always have been), I started to look at who I am as a mother. I am a pretty damn good mom. What I realized is that I am not a good mom, I am just myself as a mom. I have always been nurturing and caring of others. I have always been invested and attentive in others mental and emotional well being. I am a ‘good’ mother because I am simply in a role that fits me.  Just as I was a good hairstylist and business owner, the roles fit my personality.

“Through out life, we simply take on new roles, and we ‘succeed’ at the ones we were made for.”

Tweet that shit. You’re welcome.

People don’t change. I have not changed. I am the same little passionate girl who won’t give up talking about something I want or something I want to do, until it’s done. Persistent AF. I am still the same girl who falls for “gullible is written on the celling,’ because dammit I take people at their word!

I have noticed that with each season of life I amadjusted. Becoming a mother, I have adjusted, to say the least. Kids are basically a giant windfall of change. My adjustment post children was not easy – I love to fight the current. So I floundered around for awhile until I eventually let life take me and teach me. Right now, this season has adjusted my priorities (less is more) and my pace (slow and steady wins the race marathon).  I have adapted to a slower ‘smolder’ pace when it comes to my plans and dreams for my life. This causes less ‘burn out’ too, which is helpful! (I have literally only 1-2 hours per day to commit to things outside of kids.) I also have simplified and prioritized; my home, my plans, and my projects. I reduced my focus down to 4 things that take up my energy. I think of my energy as a stove top with 4 burners. I have enough fire to keep 4 things simmering warm. My four are; my kids, my spouse, my writing, and my artwork.

I have also decided to have faith in God’s plan for my life. I’m kind of starting to see that my children really are unique and have their own quirks. Just as I did, from the beginning. I see some personality similarities to my self and my husband because that would make sense. That would make sense that God put these children with us.  We can relate and support someone who thinks similar to ourselves. And we have an understanding of what it’s like to be in their shoes, and perhaps know how to nurture them. I have faith that all of my attributes are what they need from a mother. I have faith that my kids also are made in a likeness that supports who I am (a nap lover!).

I have always felt very passionate about people being supported in who they are. I plan to do so with my children.  To help them focus on what they are good at. Teach them how important their attributes are to this world and what that are here to do. With hopes that they love and accept their making, despite what ‘some people’ may say. Because like every parent hopes for their kids, to save them from the hurts we have endured. My hurt was self hatred, and I pray they never have to endure that pain. And I pray that you don’t either.

xoxo Chelsea

Funny Plans.

While rocking in the recliner and nursing my baby, I glanced over to see a stack of notes. On those notes were thoughts and ideas to expand on. Like a bunch of little nuggets that couldn’t be forgotten. You see, I have probably close to 30 notebooks bursting with “Ah Ha” moments, new concepts of thinking, and ideas worth expanding on. My mind has soo many ideas of what to write about or business adventures to start, that there isn’t enough time in my lifetime to pursue them all. I realized how cluttering it was. To live with all of these thoughts and ideas hanging around. To have so many plans for where I want to go, that it’s actually suffocating and daunting. It feels as if I can’t trust life as it unfolds. That I must store up all my ‘goodies’ and plan for the future. All of these plans and storage for the future makes it challenging to enjoy the new shiny inspirations in the moment. I feel like a squirrel hiding all of his nuts for winter, while I’m currently starving in the fall.

All this saving for the future and planning makes me feel weighted down. I’ve got so many plans for tomorrow and who I want to be that it’s hard to just be. This also leaves no room for inspired living. Ya know, when life happens (as it does) to change your desires and gives you a new life direction. Having all these plans, doesn’t leave much room for the ones that God may have for me. What is even more overwhelming, is I carry all the plans I have with me, as if I must do them all.

I have goals from high school and my 20’s that still reside in my mind, as if I must accomplish them as well. I may be the only person who tries to become all the things she had hopes of becoming, and if I am good, because damn it’s exhausting! I still need to become the girl who can wear a bikini to pierce my belly button. (That one is a high school goal/plan obviously, I would never pierce my belly button now that’s so 2000’s).  I want to have a collection of my art be on display in a gallery. I want to backpack across Europe. I want to be a published author. I want to write and illustrate a children’s book. I want to own a salon and spa. I want to be a life coach. I want to be a photographer. I want to be an interior decorator. I want…. I want… I want….

All of these ideas and plans for who I am supposed to be is totally robbing me of enjoying my life. It feels impossible to be and do all of these things. It may not be impossible, and perhaps I will accomplish them at some point, but I need the freedom to choose them again. Right now, in my season of life as a stay at home mother, I wake up feeling like a failure. It feels like I am failing myself and my dreams. Every day. Keeping all of these plans and ideas that I had for myself and my life at one point in time as ‘must do’ in my mind, doesn’t allow me to evolve and just be the person I am now. It doesn’t allow for new dreams and new plans. It doesn’t allow for me to be the person that life has shaped me to become. All of these rigid plans for myself, while originally constructed in love, are now hurtful. Those plans and dreams used to feel exciting. Now they feel like promises that I couldn’t keep to a girl who had big big dreams.

I am still that girl. That girl with big dreams and big plans, only life has shaped me in unplanned ways. By letting go of who I thought I needed to become, and allowing myself to be and do what I have chosen now, I can be happy. Life feels lighter, and less cluttered. It’s as if I am free to wake up tomorrow and live a day unplanned. To let life inspire my direction and let myself choose where I am going in the moment. I feel like I have faith again in myself and God’s direction for me.  Living without a pre-routed trip could allow for some really fun detours on my destination to nowhere.

As a recovering perfectionist and control freak the idea of living without a plan seems irresponsible. When I ask myself, have long-term plans been good for me? The answer is, No. I can plan ahead, wayyyy ahead all day long, but when I get there it’s never how I planned it. Reflecting on the evolution of my career as a hairstylist, nothing I did ever aligned with my long term plans. Yet, I ended up having a very enjoyable career and loved having my own business. My plans were to become an educator and travel with a company to teach other stylists new techniques. Those plans never panned out. When I moved from MN to ND, I never planned on booth renting and starting my own business. I ended up being (not so gently) guided to doing so as a ‘last resort’ option. It became a journey that I truly loved and enjoyed. It ignited a love for web design, branding, marketing, and business while I also learned many new skills. If you were to ask me what my plans are now, it would be to go back to styling hair when my children are older. But I know better now. Perhaps it is true, God laughs at our plans.

So, is it actually irresponsible to live without a plan? I feel more responsible to choose to live in a way that is good for me and brings me joy. And that is to let go of my long-term plans and live inspired. I have no idea how the next 2 years will shape me and what I will feel inspired to do, let alone the next month. All I know is in the moment it feels good to write this and share it with you.

Happy trails! – Chelsea