The DESIGN YOUR LIFE series is back! After it’s vacation this summer, the DYL series is refreshed, slightly tan, and ready to start inspiring all over again. For those of you who are new, this series is where different people each Thursday share their intentions for their life and how they then “design their life” around those intentions.
In keeping with the theme of the week, I’ve asked Kendi our Diversey lookbook model and blogger behind Kendi Everyday to kick off the series this fall. If you haven’t seen her blog yet, go check it out. Her writing is as funny as her husband Bryan’s photography is great.
DESIGN YOUR LIFE: Kendi of Kendi Everyday
Are you guys tired of me yet? As I’ve been masquarading all over Jess LC and Makeunder My life, Jess thought it would be appropriate to have me write the Design Your Life post for this week. I was a little surprised when she asked me to write for this post, as I’ve admired each and every author of Design Your Life but I’ve never actually considered my life designed, unless you count a sink full of dishes as abstract art. But I have been trying to realign and redesign my life with intention over the past two years. During that time, I started a style blog called Kendi Everyday, a venture I never would have dreamed of in a million years. And now at 25 years old, I’ve feel like I’ve hit the stop sign to where my life was going and now I get to decide where I want it to go. This is what I’ve learned.
Three years ago if you would have asked me who I was I would have answered with this: someone’s daughter, someone’s fiance, someone’s employee. I had no idea who I was. I listed off titles of what I was to someone else, and although they were true and perhaps a part of my identity, they were simply parts to a whole.
A few months after getting married, my husband moved me to the smallest town I’ve ever lived in. Ever. It was his hometown so he was a local name, people knew him, his family, his history. I was just an extension of him. After introducing myself as his wife (and hiding behind that title) far too many times, it finally hit me that I didn’t know anything about who I was or what I wanted in my life.
After this revelation, I started listening to myself more, asking myself what I wanted and how I would do things. After about a year, I decided to take a risk and start a style blog. Let me re-phrase that I started a style blog in a town that could care less about fashion and even less about blogs. But even so, I knew I wanted to write and I wanted to be heard. I’ve since found a path that I’m excited to take on the journey of self-discovery all due to a risk I took a few months ago while trying to find who I am. And while I am still all of those things — a daughter, a wife, an employee, I now know that I am so much more.
The other part is understanding that who you are as a person is not yet finished. But to know who you are at this exact moment is priceless.
That’s right, I said unrealistic. Realistic goals are boring, do-able, expected. Unrealistic goals are bold, risky, and unpredictable. Why would you ever give yourself realistic goals? Where is the fun in that?
As a pessimist by nature and probably by nurture as well (hey Dad), that small voice is always at the back of my head giggling at my unrealistic goals. So paired with my lists of goals are normally my reasons as to why they could not happen, what deems them truly unrealistic. This is when my husband stops me and says “Why not?” to each goal I read aloud. I give him a laundry list of reasons why I would I fail to which he looks at me blankly and says “It seems like you’re the only person that’s holding you back.” And as much as it pains me to say this — he’s right. Dream big, no one is stopping you but yourself.
In the book Through the Looking Glass, this sentence sticks out the most to me: “Sometimes I believe as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” (Well said, Lewis Carroll.) Make this your goal, think of 6 impossible things for your life each morning. We have imaginations for a reason, for which I like to think is to dream. Dream up the most amazing story of your life, who says that it can’t come true?
Let’s stop for a second and be honest. On your path of life one thing is for certain: You will fail. It’s true, no one that has ever succeeded has failed to fail. (That was a tongue-twister.) As a perfectionist, this statement make my stomach turn. I hate to fail at anything. If I burn dinner you would think that I had just burned our house. I cry over spilled milk, can you imagine how I react to failure? Let me tell you, it’s not pretty.
Kendi Everyday is my third attempt to a style blog. I can’t say why the other two failed, or even if Kendi Everyday has succeeded but I do know that I stuck with it. And that in and of itself is a success. I was afraid to fail but I kept going because I knew that it was what I wanted to do. It’s never an easy route but as I’ve learned if you are afraid of failing you will never try. Try to fail, at least you’ll be trying.
If laughter is the best medicine, then pour yourself two tablespoons and call me in the morning. Some days are just bad days, there is no way around. Some days are downright horrible. On the days when it is hardest to smile, just go ahead and make yourself laugh. Finding a positive light in a situation is tough, but find it. Positive thinking can change your outlook and way of life. If there is nothing else left to do, then laugh. You might just laugh yourself happy again.
(Also, laugh lines are much prettier than frown lines.)
This is not a plug for the Jess LC Franklin Collection necklace. But it’s found here.
I am a dreamer. My brain is always in constant motion of impossible. I think of at least 6 impossible things before lunch and by the time lunch is over I’ve tossed those aside and I’m on to 6 more. There is an upside to this but there is a downside as well. Sometimes I’m so busy with my future plans that have not yet happened that I forget to be where I am, that which is happening. I forget who I’m with, I forget to enjoy what is happening right in front of me. (See? Being a dreamer is a blessing and a curse.) Too many times I’ve looked back at a situation in our lives and I don’t remember it. I let my mind go elsewhere instead of dealing with the present, which as I’ve learned is important if you want to deal happily with your future.Â I’ve had to learn to slow down. To be present to what is happening around me and not just in my dreamy little head. Be present to your life now and be hopeful for what’s to come.
This won’t be the last of me, just the last of me on someone else’s blog. Find me at Kendi Everyday.
Check out past DESIGN YOUR LIFE interviews.