Happy hump day my lovely peeps!
How was everyone’s Wednesday? Good, I surely hope 🙂
Today I found myself in somewhat of a hairy situation, pun intended. You see, today I attempted to french braid my hair.
Now for someone who usually throws her tresses back in a pony and calls it good, this was somewhat of a big dealio. I had managed to master the art of doing the double french braid a long time ago (two french braids which hang in a pigtail-like fashion) but for some reason, had never been as successful with the single french braid. Every time I try to do it, it always without fail ends up looking like a giant birds nest of tangles and flyaways going every which way…that is, every which way but in the way they were supposed to.
I spent a good 45 minutes standing in front of my bathroom mirror, twisting and turning my hair, trying to get that perfect tight but too tight look. After getting about halfway through, I gave up and would start all over. I think I did this about five or six times, getting so close but having to start over every time I got a bump or a piece of hair that would give me attitude and not do what I wanted it to do.
I stood there frustrated beyond all end. Why was this so difficult? And I’m not just talking about braiding my hair.
Why did I always have to have every thing so perfect?
Why did I constantly put so much pressure on myself to be the ‘best’, to be on my A+ game all the time, to never fault or make a mistake? Why couldn’t I just give myself credit every once in a while? Geesh!
It’s funny how we often fail to perceive ourselves the way we do others.
I love my friends and family, despite their imperfections. In fact, I love them because of their imperfections. I think the way my dog has an incessant need to pee while he walks disgustingly cute, even when he does manage to hit the top of my shoe in the process. I love the way my dad falls asleep sometimes on the couch while still holding the remote control in his hands or how whenever my mom texts me, I have to go into Indiana Jones mode to decipher her cryptic messages (even with autocorrect those things are ca-razy sometimes!). I love my family and friend’s imperfections.
So why don’t I allow the same acceptance for myself? Why do I uphold myself to unrealistic standards that I don’t expect from anyone else? To tell you the truth, being around people who seem to be “perfect” is kind of annoying. They radiate an aura of entitlement and superiority that’s extremely off-putting. Why would I want to be like that?
The thing is, I don’t want to be like that, I don’t want to be perfect, and it’s times like these when I sit down and write that I acknowledge that. I think I get caught up in the idea of perfectionism, so I strive for it, even if it’s not necessarily what I want.
I become kind of corrupted by the idea that in order to be “perfect“, I can’t “allow” myself to have an ‘off’ moment. I can’t put myself out there because what if I get rejected or turned down? I can’t eat that oh so delicious double-cheeseburger and french fries because those aren’t the healthiest options on the menu and to be perfect, I should only allow myself what was healthy. I can never ask for help because perfect people can do everything on their own. This journey of my recovery should be easy-peesy, lemon squeezy, no stumbles or potholes or surprises along the way, because what kind of a perfect recovery would that be? I can’t even wear my hair in braided mess because a braided mess is not, well, perfect.
But like I said, I don’t want to be perfect.
You can’t control what others may think of you or how they treat you. Striving for this non-obtainable perfection will not get you any higher in their eyes. In fact, it might deter you more than if you took your shortcomings with stride.
What you can do, is treat yourself the way you treat others. I’ve heard this many times before, but have not fully grasped how powerful this suggestion is, and can be. Every once in a while, you need to give yourself a pat on the back, a high-five, a fist pump and a chest bump. Acknowledge how great you really are, imperfections in all. For it is in those imperfections that you derive character and uniqueness. It is in those imperfections that give you the tenacity to do well and learn from your mistakes. It is in those very imperfections that make you the amazing and spectacular person you are.
I’ve been on a serious mission to stop putting so much darn pressure on myself, to start accepting and loving myself for who I am, imperfect french braids and all. I am finally realizing that ‘perfect’ is a word I no longer want to have in my Rolodex, my dictionary, my vocab. Unless it is describing me as perfectly imperfect.
I am perfecting imperfection.
and so can you.
If you allow yourself.
I promise that made sense.
So after my legs were about to go numb from standing so long and my hands had a cramp the size of the moon (can you even compare the size of cramps to the moon? It sounds impressive so I think I’ll just run with that), I finally did it! I kind of created a french braid. Although it was a bit messy. And a tad bumpy. And okay, maybe it zigzagged a little in the back and had a few pieces of hair missing. it wasn’t perfect, but you know what…I liked it even more because of the fact.
Now that is something I can strive for!