As a little girl I’d change my room around at least once a month. I loved the “new” feeling of a fresh room. A fresh room that I’d organized and arranged all by myself. A bed just made. My toys put away right where they belong.
To this day, a clean house makes me calm. It’s a visual of “everything is okay in the world.”
Or is it?
I turned 27 this year and find myself grieving perfection. The more I get in life that I’ve always dreamed of, the more I realize that life is still, not perfect.
I’m grieving perfection.
Today I share this post with you in hopes of having a heart to heart. In hopes of you feeling okay, in knowing you’re not alone. In your own imperfection.
I trust that if I’m experiencing these feelings, that someone else out there is too. Is it you?
When I was little, I can remember dreaming up the day I’d have my own house to decorate. I imagined how it would look. I dreamt of the day I could drive a car. The day I’d have a boyfriend. The day I’d be done with school and not have any more homework. The day I’d have a job and make my own money. I wanted to “adult” as a kid.
Don’t get me wrong. I had a FUN childhood. I was completely my own little girl. I wasn’t popular, I was nice, shy, I wasn’t into sports, and I wasn’t the kid on the playground to go up to other kids and ask “would you like to play?” (What if they said no?)
I kept myself safe, which I still do to this day in ways (in a lot of ways, I push myself past fear, too). I learned a lot of strategies to avoid hurt.
Today, I still have strategies to avoid hurt. I’ll share mine if you share yours?
I love gratitude. I eat it up. I can be having a terrible day, feel anxious, or be losing my own mother to cancer and find the gratitude in something (sounds insane as I write it, but somehow it “works”). To me, gratitude is like an instant super power that gives me perspective and shows me that even on a shit day, all will be okay.
Spirituality. I love my Jesus. He gives me hope that even when the storms hit, I will be okay. I feel safe with God. I feel taken care of. I am able to surrender, to not carry everything on my own. I can pray that things will get better, in hopes that they will.
Cleaning, organizing, and planning. These tools are my BFF’s. When my mind is chaotic or my heart is heavy I can organize and clean up my surroundings to make me feel safe and at home. Here, is where I relate to Marie Kondo. I can set up my environment to bring me peace.
Success. I didn’t realize it until recently, but I love to the feeling of success. The feeling of “YES!” the feeling of something working out. The idea that there is something to celebrate. That all is working out. I live for this too.
And even so, with all of my safety tools and all of my buffers and all of the things that I cling to and wrap around my neck for comfort, life isn’t perfect.
I can have everything that I want, and life isn’t perfect.
I can be married to the man I always hoped I’d fall in love with (and did), and our marriage isn’t perfect.
I can have a career I never dreamed of having, that I eat up like it’s candy (I love this career so much) and still, each workday is not perfect.
I can buy a house I never dreamed of buying at the age of 27 and I can love waking up to this cozy couch (sitting here now as I write to you), having friends over for dinner, organizing and decorating my space to feel CALM just like I always wanted, and still, life isn’t perfect.
I can look at the overview of my life and truthfully say: most of the people I love are healthy, my career is thriving, our finances are doing well, I have a happy and healthy puppy, am married to my best friend, and even so life is so far from perfect.
Relationships are messy. Careers are messy. Homes are messy. Adulting is messy.
Life isn’t perfect.
I’m grieving perfection today. Think about it… doesn’t it make you just a little bit mad that it doesn’t exist? What if it did? And what if it were easy? What if life were perfect and we loved it?
I want the happiness everyday. I want the perfect happy marriage where we get along 24/7, we’re deeply in love everyday and are having fun. I want to never be afraid and to just go for things.
But life ISN’T perfect, and those things DON’T exist. (Sigh.)
So what are we striving for? What am I striving for? Are we striving for happy/great/perfect in our careers? Marriages? Friendships? Parenthood?
I’m at a place where I am in the midst of recognizing just how imperfect life really is.
This morning, as I took Abby on a little walk to potty I saw a dad loading up his van with kids/their things, getting himself together, and speeding off to start the day. It was 7:00 AM.
I thought to myself, about how long he’s been awake already today, that he’s working at least 5 days a week (I believe he’s a doctor). I wondered “Did he and his wife argue over who’d take the kids to school today? Do they have a schedule? I wonder what life is like for them?”
Yesterday, a man came to the house to fix a couple of our cabinets and we got to talking. He shared with me that he used to have his own business, but that about a decade back a terrible flood took it all away.
He was so kind, so hardworking, so polite. He shared that he and his brother both work for the company they’re now with and that they’re paid well enough. But he misses how he got to do things in his own business.
Before he left he thanked me for my kindness. It was so nice… and at the same time I thought to myself “How many of these jobs does he get where people AREN’T kind? Where people DON’T respect him?”
Today, I’m choosing to grieve perfection.
Because a perfect recipe for failure and a life of being unsatisfied and wondering what we’re missing, is aiming for something that I am certain, at least for myself, doesn’t exist. This world is (clearly) not perfect. My life (and your life) weren’t DESIGNED to be perfect.
But from the age of TINY, didn’t most of us dream for better? And when we dream don’t we typically imagine something darn near perfect? We would never dream of a mess…
When I say I wrote this post so that you would feel less alone, it’s true. I want you to know that I am human with normal human experiences and emotions. I love to teach. I love to be grateful. I love to celebrate.
So when I write posts on marriage like this one, and I write posts about buying a home like this one, and I share testimonials like these, please know… that none of it is perfect. No one’s journey is perfect. My life, my feelings, my emotions, my happiness, all of it. NONE of it is perfect.
So today, I’m choosing to grieve perfection. To let myself feel anything that comes up as I truly surrender to the fact that it doesn’t exist.
And instead, I’m choosing to embrace imperfection in everything. To recognize that life IS imperfect, and to not make the imperfect, messy moments, bad or scary.
To recognize that life is vulnerable and to live a fully expressed and explored life… we have to be vulnerable.
That’s where a life, fully lived, fully committed to, and fully signed up for lies. In the imperfections.
The imperfect home.
The imperfect career.
The imperfect friendship.
The imperfect marriage.
The imperfect parenthood.
The imperfect vacation.
The imperfect everything.
Will you grieve perfection alongside me today? Will you aim for the imperfect in everything? Will you redefine your values with me and take them from “perfection” to embracing what is? To not making everything that isn’t great, wrong? And will you let even THIS process be imperfect?
I love you guys. I hope you really FELT through this post with me. If you think someone else needs to hear it, please, share the link. Let’s remember today that none of us are alone.
Thanks for hanging with me in my imperfect morning, with my imperfect feelings, as I embrace what is, right now and choose, in this moment to be uncomfortably okay with all of it.