…lessons from an anti-hero

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You guys, sometimes I am so sucked in by beautiful people doing beautiful things wearing beautiful clothes and smiling beautiful smiles. I see them in magazines, on Facebook, Access Hollywood, the news and every where we turn. I can’t seem to get away from beautiful, successful people and frankly, I don’t want to see it all the time because I then start using them as a measuring stick to where and what I am supposed to be and it sucks up so much air in my space that I can’t just like what I want to like and smile the way I already do smile. It all makes me feel like I am supposed to fix something broken about me – like I better buy more and do more and say more because what I am right here in this moment is clearly not enough because it does not look the same as what they are doing over there.

Please tell me you feel me. How could you not?

I don’t blame us because we are saturated with all these messages telling us that we are not fine just as we are. Before I start sounding too cliche, let me introduce to you my hero if you have not met. My anti hero. Lena Dunham. Let me caveat this by saying that her show Girls is not for everyone. Its raw and raunchy at times and can even be too much for me, but I’m not talking about the show as much as I’m talking about Hannah, the protagonist.

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When I say I’m taking lessons from her, I’m totally serious. She is unapologetic for who she is. She is often misguided, totally irreverent, quasi childish and often inappropriate. But, she is also beautifully sensitive and in tune to what works for her despite the pressures around her. She does not even seem to let these influences affect her unless it comes in the form of her relationships, which she is often entangled emotionally. She cares deeply, talks bravely and moves through the world at her own speed, albeit often at a zig zag.

I find myself thinking about Hannah in the moments that I question myself or find myself trying too hard or shaming myself for not being something that looks more pleasing than what I present to the world. At the end of the day, no one is really is paying that much attention, are they? At the end of the day, it’s truly how I feel and what I take away from the experience. I think if we let others see our disheveled, human side more often I think we could make deeper, more meaningful connections, but also rid ourselves of the constant shame that we are the way we are. What if the way we are in all of our imperfectness is what will really set us apart from all that is perfectly beautiful and therefore lead us to live a more authentic life? Maybe the tide would turn? Or maybe it wouldn’t. But, maybe we could at least feel a bit more comfortable in our less than perfect skin and hair and enjoy the feeling of wearing something that we like vs. what someone else may think is beautiful.

I get it, Hannah. I get the too short shirts, the wide jeans, the cutout red swimwear, the exasperation, the analyzing, the parents, the tattoos and the cake. I want that cake and I will eat it all too.

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Comments

  1. Sharon says:

    Hi Christen, It’s funny you should write about this! But you should know that YOU are my hero! You are all the things I wish I had been when I raising my kids but letting my dreams get pushed aside. I have longed to decorate ever since childhood. Now with grown kids and many grandchildren, I am able to finally fulfill this by having a shop while still working full time at the real paying job….hopefully they will switch roles soon….but you are what I wanted to be and now I am becoming more like you, minus the raising of children. I feel all your furniture and colors and paint and staging…I feel your house but am not where you are yet because you are so good. You’re my inspiration to let me be me….and not care what others think about me. So anytime you feel the need to be more or criticize yourself – remember that I am just one of many out there liking that you share your life with me – the bad days and the good, the messy house days and the photo op days. I hope this makes sense to you and you understand that I am saying what is my opinion – YOU ROCK! Be YOU, cause “YOU” is great!

    • christen says:

      crying. thank you sharon.

      • Kimberly says:

        Sharon,
        Your comment was so eloquent and sincere. I wanted to respond to Christen, but you pretty much summed up everything I feel and think! Christen, you are absolutely amazing. You are the person that so many of us want to emulate! At 50 years old and preparing to retire from my “paying job” soon, I could only wish to have half of your talent! Keep it up, I’m always excited when I see a Blue Egg, Brown Nest e-mail in my box!

  2. Michelle says:

    Hi Christen,
    Your work is amazing, you have such flair and style. I wish I had the confidence to do what you do and make a living from it. You should be so very proud of your achievements and I’m sure that your family are. I have spent most of my life worrying about what everyone else thinks and trying to measure up. At 53 I’ve decided that measuring up is OVER RATED!!! I will now do what suits me and don’t give a toss what others think so much anymore. It’s time to be my authentic self and if I can’t be that at this stage in life then I never will. I also have 3 children who are almost at the stage of being independent but I remember the challenge of juggling 3 young children, including twins, and living in a remote area, this has been quite trying at times. You do amazing things and don’t let anybody tell you any different. I follow your site regularly and look forward to your posts.
    Best Wishes to you and your family xx

  3. Connie says:

    It made me cry too.

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