I have a confession: my bathrooms are covered in wallpaper circa 1989. You know the kind: dusky blue wagon wheels with mauve highlights? Yep. I just need a few beribboned geese hanging on the wall to make it complete.

And while I’ve removed the wallpaper covered in blueberries from my kitchen walls, my cabinets, knobs, and countertops all suggest that my kitchen is in that rough historical spot –  dated, but not quite dated enough to be considered vintage or even retro.

Sigh.

And while other parts of my house have been updated, my decor will never be worthy of Pinterest. There are dandelions in my yard that threaten to overwhelm what remains of my lawn each spring, mostly because I forbade the use of pesticides when we had two toddlers crawling and tasting their way through whatever they could find in the backyard. And while we are finally starting to fight back, it is a battle that will not be won quickly.

Despite my imperfect lawn and my ugly kitchen, my husband and I regularly throw open our doors and invite people into our house, into our imperfect lives.

I’ve stopped caring (well, at least not enough to be deterred) about perfection when it comes to welcoming others into my house and into my life.

Being real, being authentic, and inviting people to journey alongside without any pretense of perfection is honestly so much easier than trying to pretend to be something I am not.

I’ve discovered that when I’m willing to let my “real” self be the person others meet, they almost always respond in kind. And wouldn’t you know that meeting the “real” person is the most interesting, most delightful, best part of anyone I’ve ever met?

I would rather snort-laugh and ugly-cry with a new friend over hopes dashed, dreams dreamed and everything in between while holding coffee mugs curled up in the armchairs of my living room then sip champagne, smile politely, and mingle in cocktail dresses over small talk with a room full of Important People.

Life is too short not to be authentic. Please don’t let all of the imperfect things in your life convince you to put off living fully for another moment.

And so, tonight we fling open our doors, open our lives and pack 40 acquaintances-soon-to-be-friends into our dandelioned backyard and into our hearts.

Julie Fisk

Author Julie Fisk

Julie is a wife, mom, and author who happens to be an attorney in central Minnesota. She loves going on adventures with her kids, growing heirloom tomatoes from seed, and looking for agates along the shore of Lake Superior. She is passionate about encouraging women in leadership at their workplaces and in ministry. You can follow her and her co-bloggers at theruthexperience@blogspot.com.

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