I recently started watching White Collar on Netflix and I have become enamored with Neal Caffrey. There is something about his confidence, style, intelligence, and sophistication that draws me in. The same qualities make Raymond Reddington from The Blacklist, Agent Rossi from Criminal Minds and Dr. Henry Morgan from Forever (Sidenote: I'm still completely bummed this show wasn't renewed) men that I love to watch. But its not just the men. It's the world and people that they surround themselves with. It's a world full of culture, style and sophistication. It's a world that I've always wanted to be a part of (not any of the criminal aspects). I'm also fascinated by the leading ladies to these men. They are intelligent and quick-witted, stylish and slender, and they seem to constantly be put together, something that as a mother of two I rarely seem to feel anymore.
And that brings me to reality. I am a stay-at-home mother of two gorgeous (if I do say so myself) and amazing little people. And I love trying to be the Pinterest mom. I admittedly love to try to do all of the crafts and DIY costumes and birthday decorations. But all of that does not fit in to the worlds that I described above. And that, I think, is the struggle. It is hard to define who we are.
I have always been very good at compartmentalizing. My parents divorced when I was very young. And I became very good at "switching" from mom's house to dad's house. I knew that there were certain attitudes and behaviors that were expected at dad's and different ones expected at mom's. The key was allowing myself some time to acclimate when going from one house to the other. Now, as an adult, I find that I am still very good at compartmentalizing, I can easily turn off my other personas to be a mom, but I have a hard time turning mom off and putting it back into its little box so that I can be wife, friend, and just Erika.
The world wants who we are to fit into these perfect little boxes. Even in the blogging world, one of the first things that any potential blogger is told to do is "find your niche." So when I started I thought that I would focus on our gardening and small farming efforts, but I found that once I started writing and sharing...I have so much more to share and say! And in the television shows I mentioned above, the characters are written with all of the qualities I listed and "complicated" backstories, but they are still very neat and tidy. Can you imagine if Neal Caffrey had kids? How would that fit into his lifestyle of expensive wine and suits? Or could you imagine Raymond Reddington liking literature and the theater, but also raising his own chickens? Nope. Neither can I. So how do we do it? How do we be real and true to ourselves? How do we let all of the personas out to coexist together instead of letting the world or ourselves define us by just one of those personas? How can we manage to be a "woman of intrigue" when we are wiping dirty bums and putting away our husbands underwear?
This is where I'm supposed to give you the answer to the question I've just posed. Unfortunately, I don't have the answer. I am working on it. Part of my goals to complete before turning 30 are meant to bring me closer to the answer. And I have big plans for 2016 that I will share after Christmas. What I do know is that God made me and you unique. He gave us all certain gifts and talents and affinities for specific things. Psalm 139:13 says, "For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb."
I especially appreciate that the verse says, "you knitted me together." God didn't box us up. When something is knitted, it is connected through a series of stitches. If you unravel a knitted item, you'll get one long piece of yarn or string. I believe that is how we are meant to live our lives, not compartmentalized, but continuous.
I'd love to hear your thoughts. How do you live a life of "intrigue" while still attending to mundane, real-life tasks?