Trying to be myself at PumpjackPiddlewick

In this modern day age of advertisements, YouTube and social media it is really easy to be bombarded into believing we should be like everyone else. In a slow measure of emancipation, I have begun to be mindful of not trying to emulate others. Rather, to be myself.

Lifestyle Suggestions

I do love a good how to or lifestyle suggestive blog post or video. Something that makes me enjoy the moment the creator is in. Or perhaps the culmination of what they have created. But these days, rather than try to copy, I prefer to extract elements that suit me, my life or my home.

Setting the Scene

I’ll give you an example. First, I will set up the scene. I live in a long term project restoration home. Think run down 1950s shabby chic (not) interior meets medieval exterior. Not very easy to picture, I know. Which means I can truly make it all my own as there is nothing to compare.

Let’s add in that I am a closet mindful minimalist. Not in the not having any furniture to sit on method, but rather that each item has a purpose, preferably two. And each has a story to tell. (It’s a whispered tale I hear each time I look at or use it.) Clutter makes me lose sight of the memories, so I am mindful not to add things into my life for the sake of it.

Learning from Others

With this in mind, it probably would come as no surprise that I adore looking at tiny home videos. I love big open rooms, lots of space and lots of feeling of space. But I am inspired by the creativity that people go to to fit out and make purposeful these little spaces. And because they are little they have to consider every item they put in it. (There’s that mindful thing again.)

There are a lot of incredibly inventive people out there. Adapting spaces to their desires and needs. And that is the point. Although I love watching these, their space is not my space. To be myself this means not copying what they have done, but learning from it. Taking elements and ideas and maybe incorporating or adapting further into what works around me.

Making It My Own

This journey to be myself has been a long time coming. Life has always been lived to the fullest and at full speed, but awareness of influences around me has been slow.

Possibly moving to France and not fully understanding the language has clarified the strength and regular attempts at influence that are all around us in our every day lives. Not being able to understand everything means what I can understand is better understood. Does that make sense?


I’ll give you another example, and what prompted me to write this vignette. When I started my Pumpjack & Piddlewick shop I read many blogs and watched many videos on everything from set up to advertising, from promoting to understanding stats. And then tried to copy them in hopes of gaining a modicum of their supposed success.

I spent a lot of time reading, learning and emulating. A lot of time. Too much time. Way too much time. Time that could have been spent actually on my shop. But rather like Pinterest fails (and some of these are truly funny) their successes were not necessarily my successes. So with the move to my new home and a new life, I decided to stop letting other people influence me. It has been rather liberating.

What Works for Me

Similar to the tiny house videos, I have learned to pick and choose ideas that work for me. But mostly, and more importantly, I have given the time I gave to trying to emulate others’ success to my own projects. And consequently I can see my actions bearing fruit as a result ~ and gaining momentum.

Some of these successes are small and only of consequence to myself, like pruning my rose bush or building a container wall. But others have impacted more strongly, such as my French Silk Scarf Shop. Once I really focused on it, it grew by leaps and bounds. The same for this website.

Being Myself

I guess what I am rambling on about is that to be myself I had to actually look to myself, and not to others. And with that focus has come tranquillity, strength of purpose and a quiet fortitude.

So give yourself some time.

(But don’t let me influence you. Instead, I’ll just pass on the thought.)

More Musings

For more of my musings, check out Finding a Simple Life.

If you enjoy what you read, consider joining in and nourishing Pumpjack & Piddlewick.

Of if you are into one of a kind ideas, items and gifts, I hope you will check out My Shops. Here’s a taste…

(Simply click on an image to see more.)



  1. I can certainly identify. Life on the AT with everything one would ever need in life is on ones’s back makes life mighty simple. However, once back home it is so easy to forget.

    1. So true. I know I forgot 🙂 Well, not completely, as I think the lessons from the AT, and any other life experience never leave you. But sometimes things get so hectic, it’s easier to just do or be. I am so very much enjoying the journey life is handing me, more so for taking the time to slow down, simplify and look.

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