My home is my special place. It’s a place where I feel comfortable to lay on the floor with the kids watching a movie, where I pile the books I want to read, where the laundry sits waiting to be folded. I should love it; I did love it, until I decided to open my doors to others.
I have this tendency of imposing outside guidelines on my life, my family, and my surroundings. How my kids behave in public, what I choose to wear, how my home looks, I find I sometimes use these to measure the type of person I am. Why do I do this? Is it because I view outsiders doing this to me and to others? Is it because the media tells me that I dress frumpy or my wall colours are too dark?
When a woman shakes her head at my loud kids on the way home from school, I read this as a judgment on me. Their behaviour is guided by my rules and my example. I’m very good at ignoring these reactions but it doesn’t make it any easier to digest. I shouldn’t care what others think, especially strangers, but there’s this side of me, of all of us I believe, that wants approval, that wants to be accepted, that wants to be viewed as ‘doing the right thing’.
And now it’s coming into my home.
I agreed to host some people at my house. These aren’t complete strangers but they’re not family. As the day gets closer I start to notice the flaws in my home and in my house keeping. We have cracks in the wall (the house is 1909 plaster and lath). We have unfinished renovation jobs. We have piles: things to donate, things to read, things to wash, things to fix. All of these flaws have never bothered me so much but now others will see them, see these flaws in my home, see these flaws in me.
This is the part of my life that’s the secret, that’s personal, and now it will be out there and my stomach is in knots. Even as I sit here writing, I’m anxious about admitting my fear of being judged, I hate this weakness in myself. I’m suppose to be strong, not affected by the thoughts of others.
My online world enables me to hide these things, about my home, about myself. I choose what to show and how much to show. But life isn’t all online and even as an introvert I know I need to live outside of my digital world. My family needs me to live outside my digital world. And so I’m hosting people at my house.
It would be easy to fane an excuse as to why I needed to cancel (and I almost did cancel) but then I’m just giving in. I’m agreeing with the whisperers and articles that I have it wrong. Sure my home is flawed but it’s my home. Some of those flaws are why I live here, some of those flaws push me to try new things and do things for myself, some of those flaws bring up memories, and some of those flaws are imposed by me.
I need to love my flaws, in my family, my home, and myself. We all need to love our flaws. The more comfortable we become with these faults the less they will be viewed as issues and instead be looked upon as unique signatures and styles.
So, welcome to my home, my life, flaws and all.