Perfect. The dreaded P word.. Seven letters that are responsible for so much anxiety. When I think about the perfect cup of coffee, the perfect dress, the perfect job, it sounds blissful. But when I think about the impossible standards that I sometimes put on myself, perfect might as well be a four-letter word.
I started this blog for creative outlet. It took me a while, but I did it and was so happy about it. I then basically became my own worse critic. Hesitating to blog or post about my blog on Instagram, because I was comparing myself to other bloggers and trying to get the “right look”. All that got me was discouraged, and here I am several weeks (OK months. LOL) later, way overdue on blogging. Ironically, the thought behind starting the blog was me allowing myself to be free and do more, while expressing it. In actuality, and I ended up doing way less. Or I did things, but hesitated on how to present it.
I don’t really call myself a perfectionist. I just want things to be “just right”. The problem is, having things “just right”, often ends up with me having nothing. Quite often stuck, another unattractive word. Perfect and procrastination go hand in hand. They’re partners. A good example is when I decided that I wanted to go natural. I was waiting for the right time to go natural. I considered it for months. To be fair, like so many other black women, I thought about how I would be viewed at work. Let’s just say there are not many women of color at my place of employment. Would they consider me unprofessional? I wondered if I should do it in the summer, or the winter.. I wondered if I should transition vs cutting it all off. (big chop) All that thinking just resulted in me having perms for two years longer than I wanted. I finally just made a decision to stop perming my hair. I just did it. I’ve been natural now for about eighteen months, and honestly my hair is still not perfect. Because guess what? Natural hair just isn’t perfect. I’m very happy that I did it. I’m happy about making the first step, and being on the journey of loving the hair that naturally grows out of my scalp.
Waiting on perfect can stop you from living. It can stop you from entertaining in your home, because it’s just not right. I have always believed in only inviting people that mean the most into your personal space. The energy and space that you live in is sacred, so I only invite positive people that I love and trust. Now if that’s the case, those people probably don’t give a hot damn if your wine glasses match, or if your house is showroom ready. So here you are missing out on bonding and relaxing, sharing a meal, or having game night, not participating in fellowship, one of the best pleasures in life, all while waiting on your home to be perfect. It’s nuts.
I always say the most important job that I have is raising two successful humans. They watch everything I do. So when I noticed my teen-age daughter struggling with the same things, and procrastinating this semester, I know I need to lead by example. I’m not alone in this. I’ve had loved ones, quite recently, suffer from anxiety, and feeling pressured to perform to certain levels in everyday situations. We need to encourage and uplift each other. Bring a bottle of wine and share it even though the laundry needs to be done. Call your bestie up and tell her that you’re thinking about her and you appreciate her. Focus on the authenticity of the experience, not the extras.
It’s not easy, but i’m making intentional choices to relax myself, not compare myself to others and try to bring a little joy to myself and others every day. A life full of everyday joy is so much better than perfection. Enjoy yourself and each other this holiday season.