I live alone in a studio apartment that I’ve meticulously decorated to be as girly as possible. In my head, this apartment is my last “hurrah” to singledom; it’s unapologetically feminine and completely selfish.
When my married friends come over they gush over how bright and un-boyish it is, how lucky I am to have a place that is so unequivocally mine. I can’t help but agree. One day I will have to compromise on decor, but for now, I can use white and blush and coral with reckless abandon.
My home is my safe place. It’s comfortable, inviting; a setting where I can take off all the layers of the day and just be. There is something so refreshing about coming home. It revives my soul.
I am realizing, this idea of “home” does not just apply to the confines of my four walls, but to any instance where I can just be. Where I don’t have to try, impress, conceal, or entertain. I can show up, be myself, and that will be enough.
When you’re true to yourself, you take home with you wherever you go. You leave anxiety at the door, shake off the stress, and rest in just being. You’re in your element. You’re safe in a way that makes you feel free.
I find myself gravitating towards the people and places that calm my spirit; where I feel surrounded by love and acceptance, even if it’s just me there, loving and accepting myself. In those moments, there is an ease in just being present. Things align. There isn’t discord or a disconnect.
I think this feeling, the feeling of being at peace, stems from being true to yourself.
There is a heaviness we carry around when we are trying to fit in. It’s fear-based and restricting. Will I be rejected? How will this person react? Will they be understanding? Will they like me? Am I worthy of their love, acceptance, approval? Can they handle the truth about who I am?
The moment we try to suppress a part of ourselves to appease someone, we have misled not only them but ourselves. Done often enough, we risk diluting the parts of us that make us feel alive. Those “flaws” and insecurities, those quirks that make us different, those are the things that make us, us.
No not everyone will like or accept them, that is true. Some people might try to shame you or will tell you you’re unlovable because they are battling their own insecurities. They will try to convince you you’re not enough. It will hurt to hear. It may be so painful, in fact, that you might feel this part of you needs to remain hidden.
But those differences are the tools God gave you to set the world on fire. There is so much power in owning that, in knowing who you are.
Before you can tap into it, however, you first have to be honest; with yourself, with those you surround yourself with, and the situations you place yourself in. Sometimes being true to yourself requires a deeper look.
- Who are you when no one else is around?
- What kinds of things do you enjoy?
- Do you recharge alone or surrounded by people?
- What situations make you thrive?
- When are you most in your element?
- What kind of advice do people come to you for?
- What would you do even if you weren’t being paid?
- Who can you talk to for hours?
- What do you talk about?
- Who makes you laugh?
- What do you laugh about?
- Who are you with when you forget about time?
- What are you doing?
- What makes you tick?
- Who feels like home?
The answers to these questions will give you a peek inside your soul. Budget and guard your time accordingly for if you gravitate too far away from that which makes your heart sing, you are steering your life towards discontent.
Obviously, not all situations that scare you or people that make you uncomfortable should be avoided. Conquering fear (and navigating awkwardness) is a necessary component of living a life of purpose.
Yet, there’s an authenticity that should follow you into the unknown. A quiet confidence that is with you wherever you go and no matter who you’re with.
It’s a steadiness that comes from knowing your inherent worth, and furthermore knowing that your worth is not determined and cannot be deterred by anything or anyone else. It’s understanding your values and sticking to them despite the consequences.
It’s reserving your time and attention for what truly matters. It requires you to be honest and brave and to let go of control of the outcome. You have to be okay with not being liked, knowing that what matters is you like yourself.
That way, no matter where you are, you’ll always be home.
When do you feel most at home?