I am talking to a friend about my writing. They tell me it always seems like I’m going to go one direction with something and then I immediately challenge the entire idea and come out on the other end of the post with a new conclusion. I tell them they’re probably right. I don’t always know what I want to say until I am typing.
We talk about what it means to push back on our convictions or to be open to challenging conventional wisdom or other ideas. I talk about a post on this topic I’ve been working on for a little bit that I haven’t been able to get quite right. Then I think harder.
I suppose if there was an idea I wouldn’t want to challenge it would be the phrase, “live simply.” I feel like I try to incorporate that into every area of my life and have such a strong conviction related to the essence of simplicity.
I don’t remember what my friend says in reply, because suddenly my brain begins to take off on how I would push back on this. I cut them off. I need to write this down.
Live simply. It’s a pretty serious value of mine. So why challenge it?
Maybe because actually some of the most beautiful, messy, painful, and real things in our lives aren’t simple.
Maybe because complication isn’t always a bad thing. Maybe because things can’t be as black and white as my two word motto would have me believe. Maybe because there can be things so tragically gorgeous in the grey areas. Maybe because every experience is valid, whether or not it can be packaged into a tidy box and tied with a bow.
Live simply. Or don’t.
But either way, live authentically.
Trust yourself in the moments you are craving simplicity. Believe in yourself in the moments you sacrifice comfort to move through uncertainty. Show grace to yourself when you can’t figure out the difference.
I still believe in living simply. And I also believe in living out loud. Living messy, beautiful, chaotically good lives filled with late night phone calls when you have to be up early the next morning and chocolate bars for breakfast and caffeine after noon. Lives with laughter and dancing and loud music and unpredictability.
Lives that are complicated and disastrous and dizzyingly beautiful and real. And real. And real.