Saturday, October 2, 2010
Weekly Reflection (week 37): Imperfection
The timing couldn't have been better for a Perfect Protest. Yesterday was one of those days when all my raw, ugly bits decided to pay me a visit. As often as it happens, I am always caught off guard. Spiraling high after some amazing experiences - Squam, 21 Secrets (gasp - I have 55 students in my course!), new session of Fearless Painting - I know the next cycle is a downward one. I know, but the funky funk still bites.
So all week long I was bashing my head against the rocks of "ought to's" - all the things I believed I should have been able to get accomplished but which not only sit unfinished, but have been joined by additional projects. Feeling frustrated with myself, I then chased my tail by comparing myself to others and believing myself to be the odd woman out. You know, the always uncool girl with braces and geeky sense of humor. That was and still is me.
So today I got up knowing I needed to shift my attitude. As a Scorpio, it is my tendency to want to sting something or someone, myself if nothing better presents itself. I wish I could say I am like Elizabeth Gilbert in Eat,Pray, Love sending Light and Love to those who have wounded me ... but I'm not there yet. And I think before I can do that, I need to be able to do so for myself.
I've said it before: I am a recovering Perfectionist. Today I am considering the ways Perfection has hindered me. In college a professor once said "Show me a straight A student and I'll show you someone who hasn't prioritized their life." This statement was like a bucket of cold water over my head. How long had I been working for the grade to please someone else rather than working to learn what I deemed important? I was desperate to prove I was smart, but what did I take away from the exchange?
What has Perfection cost me over the years?
It has prevented me from trying new things for fear I would look silly or incompetent. It has prevented me from asking questions out of a fear of appearing stupid. It has kept me from getting to know other people out of a fear of rejection. It has kept me from traveling too far out of my comfort zone out of a fear of needing to ask for assistance. It has kept me locked in jobs I hated out of fear of trying for something else and being turned out. It kept me from pursuing what I loved - photography - out of fear of criticism. It kept me from being fluent in foreign languages, kept me silent so as not to make a verbal blunder.
Today I loudly and proudly am proclaiming: "Perfection, be gone! I choose to embrace my messy, imperfect and unique self."
J'embrasse mon individu imparfait.
Ich umfasse mein unvollständiger Selbst.
And if my translations are incorrect, smile and just nod anyway.
I think I can send Light and Love to that crazy woman above who has good intentions in her heart even if the execution is less than elegant or skillful. This is a good place to begin.