WHY I'M NOT A DESIGNER + HOW I AM LEARNING TO EMBRACE THAT TRUTH

Over the 7-8 years that I’ve chosen to go the home decor, interior styling, DIY -route I’ve had countless people ask me what I do. Typically when they find out what I do, the response is usually always the same: “Oh! So, you’re a designer??!” In turn, my response is typically always the same: “Actually, no I’m not. Maybe it’s complicated?” And then, I walk away. Just kidding. I only want to normally. The introvert in me is exhausted just thinking of how to explain what I do to folks half of the time or the impending look of confusion on said inquirers face is really all it used to take to shut me down and make me wonder why I was here in the first place.

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To be honest, it’s really not anyone’s fault. Until recently, I’d struggled for a long time with what to call myself or what direction to take this blog and brand I’ve so affectionately given the name Restoration House.

The anxiety I feel most of the time when someone asks what I do can totally be linked to my own insecurities and internal battles of questioning why I do what I do around here. I’d love to say it’s something that I never think of or question but that wouldn’t be the truth.

photographer |  ryan flynn photo

photographer | ryan flynn photo

Over the past couple of years I’ve dug a bit deeper into that feeling of insecurity and found a place where the beauty of that insecurity and my true purpose collide. I’m not one who subscribes to the idea that each of us has one purpose in life. My mission stays the same but my purpose changes in each and every season—always lining up of course with my mission: to bring the same freedom that knowing God has given me, to others. It’s pretty simple. But somehow something so simple, when tied in with life’s ups and downs, can become ever-so-complicated. It’s one of life’s greatest mysteries, I think.

Even with all those sometimes cloudy thoughts swirling around in my head I’ve miraculously come to the conclusion that I don’t necessarily need the title of designer to run full-speed ahead in what I have I have been created to do.

This year I am honing in a bit more on sharing the things I love and the term “designer” just seems to box me in a bit more. Aside from the fact that I am an Enneagram 7 and just refuse to be anything but a free spirit, I don’t like the idea of limiting myself to being a designer. (Notice I didn’t say JUST a designer. Mostly ‘cause anyone who holds that title is so much more than that anyhow. But, we know that. )

I express that I am not a designer mostly because what I do around here encompasses so much more than home design. Would you agree? I also, quite often, need to remind myself that I am not. It frees me up to not have the pressure of being something I’m really not meant to be in the first place.

I talked a bit about this on Instagram last week but it is not lost on me that I hold a unique space here on the Internet as a woman of color who believes in Jesus, speaks confidently about her faith while also sharing my love for home and design, but also engages in meaningful conversations that hopefully stir many of you to action and affect change in your hearts and minds. It’s a lot sometimes, even for me, to grasp. But, I keep going because, to be honest, what’s the alternative?

There is something that burns deep inside me to share with each of you the beauty that home can bring and that it’s so much more than just pretty things. I desire more than ever to express to the world that our homes are a representation of more than just who we are but of WHOSE we are. It’s a concept that even for me at times is incomprehensible which, in turn, compels me to lean in even more to this conversation.

I know the natural question here is now, “Well, what exactly are you, Kennesha? What DO you do?”

Well, I am an encourager. A storyteller. A life-breather. A creative. An influencer. A stylist. A gatherer. But, most of all? I am a woman who loves connecting with the hearts of others through home. I am a supporter of just about anything that involves the idea of bringing people together in a space for the purpose of not only creating community but opening up our hearts and mind to thoughts, ideas and ways of living that some of us may have never considered or though of without the proper prompts.

photography |  ryan flynn photo

photography | ryan flynn photo

I guess if I think about it with those points in mind, I am a designer of sorts. Just not in the most mainstream or common sense. I very much exist as a conduit for healing and freedom and sometimes that just happens to come through a place that I am completely obsessed with—home.

I’m also obsessed with you (in the most healthy, non-creepy way of course) and all that you offer to me here.

In just a couple of short months I’ll be traveling around this country of ours talking about this obsession I have through my book Restoration House. Amongst many other things, I will speak of this passion that God placed in me a long, long while ago to connect people and distill our lives down to the most simple of forms. I’ll talk about God and how He has been my ‘home’ and used the ones that we have lived in to help and heal and nurture the gifts inside me and those with whom I’ve had the privilege of connecting and building relationships with in them. It’s really an honor— all of this. I couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunity to be whatever it is this season and God is asking me to be.

I’m not along for the ride, I realize that. I choose each and everyday to join the adventure. A task that I’m not exactly always up for if I’m honest. It’s frightening to think of putting myself out there in this way knowing a lot of people will accept and love and validate what I am doing and the message I carry while also realizing many just won’t. I guess that’s ok too. We’re all entitled to our opinions. I’ve just decided not to allow others’ opinions of me to control my listening to Him and what He says about me. Sometimes that is easier said than done.

So, now, I turn the question to you: “Who are you and how are you learning to embrace the truth of who you are?”

Need my help to start your affirmation? Well, what I can tell you is that you’re here and that makes you 1000% more successful and leaps and bounds ahead of those who are not. In that, you have the advantage. Want another lead? You were amazingly called and created to be right here at this time for this and whatever or whoever you believe yourself to be, good or bad, He says you’re even better than that.

I think there is value in recognizing who we are not. This realization opens up a world of possibilities and opportunities for who we are to become. That is the most beautiful truth of all truths.

I think there is value in recognizing who we are not. This realization opens up a world of possibilities and opportunities for who we are to become. That is the most beautiful truth of all truths to me. I think that’s the beauty of His design.

xo ,

Kennesha