I keep starting this and stopping three lines in.
Trying different titles, going down different paths.
Vulnerability, depression, strength, what it means to be human.
Every time I stop, because nothing feels right. Nothing feels good enough. Nothing feels perfect.
And that’s ironic, because really what I am trying to say is: Fuck perfect.
Perfect is a lie that we tell ourselves. Perfect is a mask that we hide behind. Perfect is a desperate attempt to find control within a vast and unpredictable universe.
But the truth is, you can be as perfect as you possibly can – you can get all A’s and get the perfect job and cook local organic vegetarian food and do yoga every single day and strive towards that unattainable cellulite-free ass – and the people you love will still get hurt. You will still get hurt.
We are human. We are boundless capacity for love and connection wrapped up in breakable bodies that come with unknowable expiration dates.
Yeah, it’s gonna hurt.
I am a self-confessed perfection addict. I crave it. I chase it, wearing myself into the ground in pursuit of something that I can never quite reach. The thought of making a mistake, of messing up, fills me with a creeping dread that I feel as a clench in my stomach, a shudder along my spine. It makes me physically ill.
This addiction has served me well in the systems that measured my worth growing up. It has earned me gold stars and high marks and even scholarships. It has landed me jobs and helped me keep them. It has honed the skills I have that are useful to other people, honed them fine and sharp and strong.
It has also paralyzed me and held me back from trying new things. It has silenced my voice almost every time I have tried to write. It has strangled me with my own anxiety, as I lie awake staring into the darkness and repeating an endless looping litany of every task I will have to perform.
And it has never, ever kept me safe.
You are not perfect. You are still worthy of love and belonging.
It’s okay to break and be broken. In fact, I suspect it’s necessary – or at the very least inevitable.
It’s okay to be hurt, to be weak, to fail and to fall down.
And it’s okay to blaze with joy and drown in delight.
It’s okay to let go and lose yourself – in grief or in beauty, in search of a truth of in search of a breath that comes just a little easier. You’ll find yourself again, I promise.
We’ll be here waiting for you when you come back.