Friday, August 8, 2014

My Messy True Self

Be ok with who you are, because that may be the only person you get to be.
- Paraphrased from the movie "Tiny"

Last night Emily and I hung out in our friend's 160 sq. ft. tiny home before watching the documentary "Tiny" and talking with the makers of the film. The film documents Christopher Smith and his girlfriend as they create a tiny home and question what "home" means and what values they want to live into.

"Home is never something we build alone," he says. 

During the last year of my life in Houston I created a home with six others, delving into shared life, shared meals, shared space, and shared visions. The only reason Houston became home was because of the people who helped make it home.

Since leaving that community I have discovered a whole lot about myself and the changes that have taken place within me, several of which I didn't even realize until these last few days. 

I started filling my days with meetings and friends, getting in my car to jump from one place to the next on my time, on my schedule, on my own. This thing that I thought I missed so badly while I was in Houston--the ability to go where I want, when I want, as fast as I want--suddenly felt foreign. I crave a slower pace. I crave going places with people. I decided to take the bus, and as soon as I sat down in those familiar double seats, I felt at home. This was familiar. This was what I actually wanted.

I started going through my things, glancing over all the pieces of memorabilia from my history: the notes from high school, car part receipts from several years ago, clothes that had sat at the bottom of my drawers because of their sentimental value, shoes I thought I might wear someday, knickknacks and trinkets that just took up space. I looked at all these things and realized I didn't need them anymore. They had served my life for a purpose, but they no longer served my life now. I took pictures of the things that meant something, then threw/gave it all away. 

I'm wriggling out of the old skin and letting it fall to the side. I've no need of it anymore. 

I value people. I value diversity. I value inclusion. I value the freedom that comes from making intentional choices to slow down.  I value simplicity. I value late night drowsy conversations with housemates. I value spending time with people. I can let go of the things. 

Taking the bus keeps me from filling my schedule too quickly, reminding me to be intentional with my time. 

Moving into intentional community with my friends Emily and Justin allows me to live consciously, continuing to seek my true self, true inclusion, dialogue, and diversity with other people who are seeking those same things.

I feel new. Recreated.

This last year has been a year of letting go and making space. The people I've lived with have helped peel away layer after false layer, helping me to let go of the boxes, the impossible standards, the control, and the perfection. They helped me embrace my messy true self, with all the beauty and darkness that entails.

This next season is going to be so beautiful. 


  1. What a wonderful story. :) Glad you're back, wish we could have seen you before we left though.

    1. Me too! I told Emily the other day, "I really wish I'd gotten a chance to at least get drunk with Jenna before she left!"