I am making a conscious effort to reject the idea of perfection. Okay okay I know what you’re thinking.. I have said this before. You’re right.. I have, and that just goes to show how insidious this shit is (at least for me). I am a very type A personality, with very natural tendencies to control and strive for “perfection” all while being a massive people pleaser. Here is where that thinking is problematic.. Not only is perfection an imaginary and arbitrary goal; it is not doing myself or anyone else any favors or adding any value to this world to be anything other than my real self. Which more often than not, is not going to look perfect.
We’ve all been in that moment where we are sitting on the couch scrolling through our Instagram feeds; subconsciously trying to numb out, when a perfectly posed, perfectly edited, beautiful photo catches our eye. Then all of a sudden.. “compare and despair mode, activate!” We are stuck conversing with this voice, “Oh she’s so much prettier than me,” “She is more successful than me” “She is happier than me” read: She is doing this right and I am doing this wrong. What level of that you want to admit to is yours but, we’ve all been there. No one can blame us, it’s this culture and world that we live in now. We are a culture of hyper-imagery. Everything is in our face and everything is beautiful.
Reality is not always beautiful.
So what do we do? What do I do? This is where I am at now..
I am taking a conscious vow to reject the pursuit of perfection. This is a hard fucking vow for me. Not in the sense of resisting the urge to re-do something that didn’t get done right the first time(let’s be honest I might never be able to let that go) but bigger than that. I am rejecting the idea that shit has to look, be, or turn out a certain way for me to be okay. I am disconnecting my self worth from how I show up or present in this world. I am giving myself permission to show up as messy as I need to and my voice is still worth being heard, and I still am worthy of taking up space.
It took me a while, but I did let go of perfection when it came to my appearance. But it was kind of like when an alcoholic goes to rehab and takes up chain smoking and Jesus as their new addiction. My problem transferred to other areas of my life. Was my work good enough? Was I successful enough? Was I a good enough mom? I had so much more time and mental space freed up from not worrying about my body that I got hit with a big ole’ “oh crap” about everything else.
Recently I have been taking note of some emotions (inferiority, general less than-ness) that come up for me, admittedly and embarrassingly enough.. on Instagram. Scrolling through my feed and seeing someones “perfect life” anywhere from friends to even peers doing similar work as me. My competitive side kicks in, and before I know it I am like googling the pair of shoes her kids are wearing. It’s pathetic. I did this before too, I had the whole mindset of, “if/then.” “If I get that skinny, THEN I will be that happy/successful/worthy of love.” I am so aware of it yet why is it still grabbing hold of me?
Here is where my new vow comes in. Not only am I making an effort to reject other people’s images as perfection and compare them to my own.. I am making an effort to show up just as I am. Because on the other side of this coin lies the possibility that in my effort to appear as beautiful, well lit, and well edited as some home girl I follow, I might have snuck into someone else’s head and preyed on their insecurities. (Of course none of this is intentional on any of our parts) So I am making an effort to intentionally show the wide range of moments in my life, if I am going to choose to share them.
This might look like me posting to my Instagram story because my kids are driving me insane and keeping me up all night and I have to share it so I don’t feel alone. Or going on a rant about something I feel passionate about regardless of the fact my hair looks like shit, there is laundry in the background, and I am not wearing makeup or a snap chat filter on my face.
Or it might look like me showing up to something new with out a clue as how to do it, taking a big risk with the very real possibility that it might all blow up in my face, or saying something that aligns with my values even if it goes against the grain. All while rejecting the pursuit of perfection.
It looks like unapologetically being ME and whatever that might look like at the time.
Here I am, totally imperfect. Take it or leave it because I don’t have a choice so I might as well embrace it.