Sunday, September 20, 2009


When I was in the 2nd grade I cried because I got a 95 on a coloring assignment. When I went to plead my case to the teacher and beg for the additional 5 points, she refused to change my grade because, unlike the other students, I had not outlined my picture with marker. However, I held my ground and pointed out that I, unlike the other students, had taken the time to outline my picture with a darker shade of crayon, which, by the way, is much harder than outlining with marker, thank you very much. My perfectionism was a force to be reckoned with, and I was not going to back down. So my teacher, wise woman that she was, gave in and awarded me the 5 extra points.

I would like to tell you that I have since abandoned my young and stupid ways. That I no longer seek to be perfect and please others. But the truth is, the grip of perfection has only gotten tighter as I've gotten older. So tight that I was beginning to suffocate. And perfectionism's old friend, anxiety, had become a driving force in my life. By the way, did I mention that I feel anxious about the fact that I just started a sentence with "And." That is what I would call unperfect grammar. But I'm going to leave it there (just like I'm leaving the "But" at the beginning of this sentence), because I have decided to take delight in unperfect things.

I mean, who decided on standards of "perfection" anyway? When you really think about it, societal standards of perfection are often arbitrary and unfounded. The other day Christian and I went to a fairly nice restaurant and our waitress had sleeve tattoos. I loved it. I loved the fact that the manager at a nice restaurant would hire her, because, let's be honest, you don't see a lot of tatted up waiters working in classy restaurants. Despite the fact that tattoos are no longer as taboo as they once were, there is still a societal stigma of DANGER! associated with them. Christian and I had a 10 minute conversation with her about the artist who designed her tattoos. She was delightful. And did I mention that she was one of the best waitresses we had ever had? I shouldn't have been surprised, but I was. Shame on me and my ridiculous standards.

So I am trying this new thing. I am finding beauty in the unperfect things. My sister told me a few weeks ago, "I have decided to eat breakfast every day, no matter what time I wake up.....whether it's 8:00AM or 8:00PM!" Why shouldn't she? If she likes breakfast, why not? That may seem like a no brainer to you, but in my sick mind, it was a revelation. I thought, 'You can just do that? Eat whatever you want when you want?' I know. Sick. But that's the small box I have been living in. Everything has rules. Everyone has a standard, and if you don't measure up to someone's standard, if you don't please everyone, then your world will fall apart. But guess what? I ate breakfast today at 1:30, and it was fabulous. I had Christian's mom over the other day when our house was a wreck, and she still loves me. I have started displaying my animal greeting cards like art in my house. Weird, yes. But I like it. I am going to learn to play the guitar. I will never be good at it, but I don't care. I'm going to do it because I like doing it. And I am writing this blog entry even though I'm not sure anyone will A) read it or B) like it. I had fun doing it, so why not?

Did I mention that "unperfect" is not a word?

It is now.

"There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear..." 1 John 4:18
"Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom." 2 Corinthians 3:17