If you know me well, which most of my readers (hello family and friends) do, you know that I have always had some obsessive, perfectionism issues. Most of my irritating obsession is stylistic, aesthetic. I've struggled vainly and with a lot of genuine disappointment. I started noticing it when I was about 11 years old, maybe even younger if I really get to thinking about it. I would get one new outfit, and if everything in my life: clothes, surroundings, makeup, attitude, musical taste, etc...didn't line up in some way I would become distraught and hate my life. I spent a considerable amount of time dwelling, wishing that everything would just coordinate perfectly.
This continued all the way through high school (okay so I still really struggle with it sometimes). It was like I was trying on different lifestyles and different people looking for the right fit. None of it seemed to work out for me like I wanted though. To some degree we all go through the trying out different lifestyles to figure out who we are. The extent and extremity that I wanted to adopt them was unhealthy though. I went through a lot of weird obsessions like Care Bears, then Bambi, then owls. There was a Pilates obsession, a Special K diet, and lots of single color shopping binges ( hello all orange sunglasses, flip flops, nail polishes, belly ring, and shirts). I wanted everything in my life laced with whatever I was loving that week, month, or year.
One of my obsessions was with how I thought my mother just had no idea who she was as a person because she didn't fit into a certain style or taste. I thought it was silly that she loved kitschy Hello Kitty crap, but also 40's and 50's antiques. It drove me nuts that one day she would wear her pajamas all day, dress in some bohemian get-up the next day, and wear patched up, punked out hoodies and Dr. Martens when she was around her brothers. One day she'd be cleaning while listening to heinous country music, and the next trying to listen to the hip music stations, or dancing around the living room with us to the Cure and Nirvana. I thought it was about her wanting to be cool and feel in place, or about adapting to and changing for people she was around. Lately though, I've found beauty and inspiration in her jumbled style. She didn't, and still doesn't, care if her purse that she loves doesn't match the shoes she's wearing for comfort. She likes what she likes, whether it clashes or not, and I've come to a place of admiration of that. I've noticed that in my life now, instead of wanting only things that match I want things that I find beautiful or meaningful (whether they line up on an aesthetic level or not). Instead of wanting to replace things that don't suit my taste anymore, I think of ways to make what I once loved desirable again.
There is this beauty that comes from passion, confidence, and life LIVED in enjoyment rather than wasted on petty things like whether the shampoo bottles hiding behind the shower curtain match the soap dispenser or toothbrushes on the counter. I never thought I would get to the place where I am now in letting go of my silly hang ups. I will always posses very intentional taste, but also practical, and realistic. It's okay for me to like my ugly little 70's couch and love my art deco pink kitchen canisters. It's fine that one day I want to channel Edie Sedgwick and the next Drew Barrymore. Life is about enjoying what you love, and what you find beautiful. Loving a mashup of things that have nothing to do with each other makes us unique. How many other people might I find in the world who appreciate the animation of Bambi as much as they adore a hammered copper clawfoot tub? My guess is not a whole lot. So today is for getting over matchitude, and loving whatever you love, oh and appreciating your eccentric mom. ;)