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unnamedThis picture is from a few weeks ago. I know its small. Sorry. I had friends visiting from New York, and I was sitting on the couch one day and happened to glance over at the entryway of my apartment. It was littered with shoes. So I snapped the pic, counted the shoes, made a funny Facebook post about 4 girls and 14 pairs of shoes and forgot all about it.

But that picture came back to me. And I realized something. During that week, I had some of my best friends with me. There were four of us in my apartment, but it never felt cramped or too full. It instead felt warm, homey, cozy, comfortable. There were shoes all over the place, and bags from shopping, and forgotten coats, sweaters, socks, wine glasses. But not once did I think “my house is so messy. I wish they would clean up their stuff, we should probably tidy this place up” I never thought that! Because slowly, VERY slowly, I am realizing that I don’t need my home to be stark and spotless, I need it to be cozy and comfortable. Warm and welcoming. I need my house to be a home. And I need to stop caring so much about whether or not its all clean, if people will judge me because I haven’t vacuumed in two days, or if the dishes aren’t all put away.

I feel like I focus so much of my time and energy on keeping this perfect, when in reality that is not what I need. I need relationships. Friendships. Quality time. I need people to feel comfortable and at home. I need my home to be welcoming. Slowly, I am letting go. I leave the dishes and sit down and listen. I choose comfort over cleanliness. Togetherness over tidiness. Come over to my house. It’s not perfect, but you are welcome anytime. Add your shoes to the pile.