This is a guest post from one of my very best friends, Kara Mosley, who is also a contributor to B+B. She’s amazing, and this post is insightful. Make sure to keep reading, she takes a spin I think you won’t expect!
Defining a Personal Identity
Throughout my teens and even my college years, I struggled almost unknowingly with my own identity. Little things such as being asked my likes, dislikes, favorites and preferences literally made me anxious. I’ve always had opinions, but never a true grasp on my personal self or knew where I gained inspiration or how to properly express it all in words. I knew my creative instincts existed, but I never knew what drove them.
Somewhere in college, as my faith began to mature and my relationship with the Lord gained some lasting foundation, I started to wrap my head around the concept of “finding your identity in Christ.” I agree with the importance of that statement wholeheartedly. But for me, that means not giving into the world’s perspectives of what’s cool, acceptable and beautiful; to walk in the fruits of His spirit and to strive each day to love well and live near. These are the roots of who you are and why you’re here. It shapes the things you value in life, such as depth of relationships and moments of solitude.
However, using the phrase, “I’m a Christ follower” to answer the question, “tell me about yourself,” is simply a crutch. Yes, your faith will speak volumes about who you are, but we as humans are vastly different. The Lord has placed different personalities, interests and desires inside each of us and we are meant to explore these parts of ourselves. While I knew the importance of this exploration, I couldn’t figure out how to discover these things that I knew existed within me.
Over the last few years, however, this identity crisis has slowly vanished. Yes, I’m sure I can credit general maturity and increased confidence to some degree, but I’m also certain that Pinterest deserves some serious credit for helping me define myself as well.
Now, I promise this is not as blasphemous as it may sound. And I’m certainly not making a blanket statement that social media should define you. But over the last three years, Pinterest has been a huge outlet of inspiration and expression – helping me to explore those personality traits, interests and desires that I’ve been given.
While it’s somehow gained the reputation of a female social media site used for collecting images of weddings, do-it-yourself projects and nail art – its ability is far beyond that. If you spend enough time finding the right followers and sifting through content, Pinterest can act as the best visual representation of who you are. You will find yourself drawn to certain things, becoming inspired, and those things can and will filter into your real self if you let them.
What I’ve learned about the world and myself, via Pinterest…
Pinterest has made me aware of the qualities of myself that are God-given. I’ve discovered the kind of words that inspire my days and touch my soul, the joy of children, a love to make and create and the beauty that I’m drawn to. It’s helped me identify my personal style and preferences when it comes to things like decorating a home, dressing myself and buying products.
It’s easier to grasp where you stand on a topic when you pull all of the things you’re drawn to together in one organized board. By looking at my “home.” board for example, it’s now obvious that I like mid-century style interiors and furniture – a phrase I didn’t previously understand. And while yes, my Pinterest closet doesn’t mirror my actual closet quite as well as I’d like it too, I can visually see that I’m drawn to things like neutrals, mixed patterns, stripes and comfortable, airy materials. I’ve learned that I crave fresh light, warm environments and have a desire to package gifts and incorporate unexpected details into the things that I touch.
Maybe its the beautiful infiltration of Kinfolk in this world, in timing with a sermon series at my church, but the phrase “At the table,” started to mean something to me. Pinterest has helped put together a tangible visual, even clarify a vision that we as humans should commune together. That our evenings should be spent soaking up the outside air with the people we love and the people we are learning to love and cultivating lasting relationships with the world around us; eating, laughing, drinking and sitting in community together.
Many of you might think that I’ve simply fallen into the trends of the world – and let it shape me. And perhaps I am inspired by what’s popular, to a degree. But I honestly believe that I’ve always been drawn to beauty – I just didn’t know how to wrap my head around it. I once heard the late Issac Hunter say (something along the lines of) – “Our desire for beauty, our awe of the scenes of this world exist because we were created in the image of God’s beauty.” If we were combusted from stars, what in us would trigger a desire for the beauty of this world? We wouldn’t have emotion, we wouldn’t be drawn to things, we wouldn’t have wonder.
I won’t say I have it all figured out, or that I don’t still get a little anxious when asked to give someone the rundown of ME, but I’m exploring it. I’m learning me. Continuing to discover the person that God made me to be. And throughout that, I get to grow myself, stretch my abilities and interest and develop further into the maturity of faith.
Kara carries a love for unexpected details, minimalistic design, inviting atmospheres and all things cozy. To follow her Pinterest boards, visit www.pinterest.com/kararachelle.