Curate…This word has been bouncing around in my head for weeks, and I’m not sure why…I’ve always loved the idea of being a curator. What a luxury to carefully select the most treasured pieces to display in a collection. In the definition of curate, “elect” is the first synonym listed. “I elect you, ceramic bowl, to grace my breakfast table.”  A bit dramatic maybe, but sometimes I feel this way. Do you?
When you take it out of the context of a museum or gallery, we’re all “curators” of our surroundings. We obsess over gorgeous rugs, stalk the latest pillows on Etsy, and bring home far too many paint samples as we agonize over the perfect shade of gray. One small piece from a flea market can complete a book case that we’ve been working on for years.

At times I’ve wished that I didn’t care so much about how my surroundings looked. It can feel a bit like a compulsion. I’ve even tried to suppress it at certain periods of my life, equating it with vanity. But I have always been this way. My parents used to chuckle and encourage me when I drew up “floor plans” for my next bedroom arrangement at age 9. I took it very seriously and discovered at a young age that all you need to move a chest of drawers across the room is determination and your body weight.

I’ve realized that I don’t feel at rest until the aesthetic of a space has been tended to. This realization does make me feel a little like a weirdo, but blog land has let me know that there are many “weirdos” like me. Sadly, it also makes me look back on my 20’s with a bit of regret, wishing I had pursued what I love and done more to cultivate my ability to create inviting spaces as a career.Some  brightly colored poster with modern font on Pinterest would probably have a quippy saying that glosses over regrets and attempts to make readers feel better about their situation. I’m all for words’ power to inspire us in a low moment, but sometimes I don’t think those catch phrases are always a good thing. I think that being honest about how we’ve “curated” our lives is good, even if it means you face hard truths of some “elections” you now regret.

When I sat down to type this, I had no idea where it was going and wasn’t even sure if I’d publish it. I hope it’s made some sense. If it did and you can relate, I would love to hear your thoughts…just to reassure me that indeed I am not the only “weirdo” out there.

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14 Comments Filed Under: Ramblings

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    1. Anonymous says

      I haven’t thought these thoughts so eloquently, but I have thought many times that I wished I’d been more attuned to my interests and skills and more aware of opportunities in those areas before choosing a career path. I think I was so worried in my twenties about figuring out what I was “supposed” to do that I overlooked the things I would love to do.

      ( I also used to obsess about room decor and I draw diagrams of apartments and furniture arrangements when I was a kid. Funny.) — Kara B.

    2. says

      I am terrified of this very thing. I am in my 20s and about to change jobs for the third time since graduating college. I’m desperate to keep paying the bills (my student loans are around $700 a month). Then, There are things like rent and car Insurance to consider.

      I’m passionate about my handmade business and busting my bum to make it work and make it my career.

    3. says

      Thank you friends-I am already feeling better about actually publishing that post!

      Kara- I did exactly what you described, and the “supposed to” didn’t leave any room for the “I love to”.

      Beth-YES, it is exhausting! Especially when there’s a blank wall staring back at you or a party to plan.

      Kasey-Man, if only we didn’t have stinkin’ student loans…Can you imagine the freedom?? Keep doing what you’re doing, so you can look back on your 20’s without regrets. I’m shooting to do the same for my 30’s!

    4. says

      I love the idea that “we all are curators of something” and it makes me pay attention to what I’m “curating”.

      p.s.- How much awesomeness is rearranging furniture? I <3 it!

    5. says

      Wonderfully put! I am definately a “weirdo” curator. Welcome to the club! Sometimes my house only get’s clean because I’m curating. It’s hard to express to other non-curators out there what we are like but it’s nice to find others here in blog land.

    6. Anonymous says

      My sister and I spent hours drawing up floor plans and coloring them in with our colored pencils. It was so much fun and I wish I had done something with it career-wise, but I didn’t. Now, I’m a stay at home Mom and I don’t really have time to pursue it, maybe someday. It’s never too late. By the way, you are far from a weirdo. I really enjoy your blog and I know I’m not alone. Please don’t regret your choices, they are what got you to this point and you can’t change the past anyway, but you can make choices today that will put you closer to the future you want. I hope this isn’t too preachy, it was meant to encourage and I’m talking to myself as much as you if not more. So, please be encouraged and have a wonderful day :)

    7. says

      I looked up the definition a while ago, because I too love the word and think of myself as a curator. I must have used the wrong dictionary, because I like your definition more than the one I found, which was not me at all. Yes, you don’t need a museum to curate beauty in life! Best to you!

    8. Stacia says

      So much of what you’ve written here resonates with me. I too have underestimated and neglected my creative talents in the past. And I feel like I am only now (in my early 30s) truly embracing them. How thrilling to discover that we are all curators of our own lives! Thanks for the reminder.

    9. says

      I’m a fellow weirdo as well! I often kick myself for not paying enough attention to what I love to and choosing interior design as a career. It seems so obvious a choice to me know, why did I not think of it much, much earlier. I guess though it is never too late?

    10. says

      As you know, I completely relate.
      When I got out of high school my first goal was to be an interior decorator. While that’s not exactly what I want to do now, it’s so much more in line with what I want to do and there is a part of me that regrets not going down that path. At the same time though, the path I did take taught me a lot, and I’m sure I’ll be able to use those skills whatever direction I do take. Same with you. Don’t lose sight of what you have learned and done. Find a way to incorporate it into your next journey. And who knows, perhaps doing this now opposed to your 20’s, you’ll be more ready for it.
      Onto the next chapter!

    11. says

      Funny thing, I had these exact same thoughts and feelings just a few days ago. I was rearranging my living room for the gazillionth time and began to wonder if I had a “problem”. I lie in bed at night and let all of the crazy creative thoughts run as I doze off to sleep. Of course I have a problem and I LOVE it! I,like you, also thought up floor plans and often rearranged my very own bedroom at a young age. I am now 28 and have a short two years left in my twenties. I’m DYING to pursue a career in the design field but I’m a chicken and I’m overwhelmed with all of the other amazing talented designers out there. I have a MAJOR fear of failure in this area for some reason? We’ll see I guess!

    12. says

      It’s always surprising to find out that others have the same experiences and fears as you do. It makes us feel so much more normal! :) It’s never too late to change your career path, if it makes you happy; never stop changing.

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