I'm Not Even Close to Perfect, But Parts of Me Are Pretty AWESOME!
As the year is well underway I’ve been reflecting on the past year and thinking through what I want to learn from, leave in the past, and take with me into the future. I spent the latter part of last year often feeling dissatisfied, stressed, confused, and down at times for various reasons and circumstances that came about. I had to sort through things that frustrated me about myself or things I felt were holding me back. I got caught up in all the thoughts of if only’s. If only I didn’t do this, or if only I didn’t think that. If only I didn’t feel this, or if only I didn’t feel like that. If only this didn’t happen or if only that did. If only I didn’t care like this or if only I didn’t hold on like that. It’s easy to think about how things would just be better if only….but then I started thinking about what that would mean in it’s entirety
I thought to myself ….
If only I weren’t so darn emotional! Sometimes the depth of my emotions is annoying and scares me or causes hurt too deep for too long. If only I didn’t feel so deeply I wouldn’t hurt so deeply at times I thought. But then I realized…. it is the depth of my emotions that also enables me to love deeply and whole heartedly. It’s what enables me to open myself up and to see the depth of other people… and I don’t want to lose that!
If only I didn’t care so much about that person, it would be so much easier. For the love of God I could just turn the page and not think another thought or hurt another hurt I thought. But then I realized…. one of the greatest fulfillments in life comes from being able to be vulnerable and to truly love someone for who they are in all their faults and that, yes, caring so much comes with the risk of getting hurting but it is also the risk of being happier than you’ve ever been, and I don’t want to lose that willingness to take risks and care whole heartedly! The greatest reward comes from taking the greatest risks!
If only I had the strength to walkaway sooner whether from a job situation, a personal situation, or a relationship. I wouldn’t have wasted so much time or energy or emotion and could be even further along than I am on this day I thought. But then I realized…. that staying through thick and thin, through some hurt or stresses, and through what were also many additional good and rewarding times is what may cause frustrations along the way, but seeing it all the way through, wherever that may lead, is where I also learn everything I need to learn and exhaust all options. And doing everything I can and exhausting all options is what enables me to walk away from anything with zero regrets. Walking away with peace of mind knowing I did everything I could and can walk away free of regrets is a wonderful freeing thing and I wouldn’t want to lose that!
If only I didn’t overthink things so much! My wheels are constantly spinning and inside my brain is like New York rush hour at all times. In the morning, during the day, at night while I’m trying my darndest to get to sleep. I think about what to say, what to do, how to solve problems, how I did good, how I could’ve done better. I’m thinking, thinking, and overthinking and if only I didn’t do that I could just be at peace and get a good night’s sleep I thought! But then I realized… that as annoying and sometimes exhausting that can be, that is the very trait that enables me to solve personal or professional problems and come up with the best solutions having thought through all options and intended and unintended consequences. It’s what enables me to be organized and plan from concept to detail and enables me to consider anything and everything and make well thought out decisions. It doesn’t mean I don’t make choices that end up being a wrong choice, but it means that no choice I make comes with regrets of being hasty or making knee jerk decisions. It means I can look back on my decisions and know I made them for the right reasons and put a lot of thought into them. I make mistakes, but they are my mistakes. I make good choices, and they are my own good choices for my own reasons. I certainly am far from perfect but I know when I go to sleep at night I can rest assured that I am living the life I want to live, not that someone else wants me to live or in a way someone else wants me to live it… and that’s something I don’t want to lose!
If only I wasn’t so hard on myself and wasn’t such a perfectionist. There is no critic out there that could be as hard on me as I am on myself and if I could just give myself a damn break sometimes I could feel so much more relaxed and less stressed I thought. But then I realized… that while the journey to perfection has no realistic destination, that journey has still resulted in a lot of great things and big accomplishments along the way. That desire to constantly be better and do better may be frustrating but it is also that same trait that has turned good into better and better into best at times and I am proud of those accomplishments!
If only I was more like everyone else, the norm, in whatever way. I would feel like I had more in common with more people and would fit right in wherever I went and whoever I was with and whatever I was doing I thought. But then I realized…. I don’t know what’s worse, that I don’t fit the mold anywhere or that I don’t want to. Feeling like the black sheep can be lonely at times, but it’s also quite liberating. I know that everything I have and everything I am today is because I stayed true to myself. There is nothing I had to “sell out” for and as I see so many people playing the games, doing things that they do or will regret and for all the wrong reasons, that is something I’m most proud of. Following the road already paved might gain the popular vote along the way and might be easy, but paving my own road is what is fulfilling and it’s what makes me who I am, in all my quirkiness! It makes my life truly MINE!
If only I didn’t constantly feel like I wasn’t doing enough, helping enough, accomplishing enough. I have been plagued constantly with feeling like I’m still not quite making a big enough difference with my kids, with my friends, at work, everywhere! It has left me feeling inadequate or unfulfilled even though I know I am working very hard all over the place. Oh if I could just be content and maybe even be a little complacent, if only for a moment, I thought. But then I realized….it is that feeling that drives me to want to help others. It’s that feeling that keeps me thankful knowing I am SO fortunate and have so much to be thankful for and that for that reason I should help those less fortunate. It’s that attribute that drove me to sign up to volunteer weekly through hospice 2 ½ years ago and lead me to meet Edna who has become a very dear friend. It is that trait, although sometimes is a frustrating feeling of never doing enough, that also keeps me striving to create a legacy and make sure that when I leave this world I will have made some difference to someone, somewhere, who will hopefully pay it forward!
So the lesson learned is to be careful what you wish for because if that wish comes true you could be wishing away some of the best things about yourself or someone else. As I sorted through all of those things, and many more, I came to realize that all of the things I thought were weaknesses, were also some of the things that made me unique, made me successful, made me ME! And likewise, some of the same things that have frustrated me about other people I realized were also twofold….and were also some of the best things about them. I again was reminded that within all adversity lies a gift if you’re willing to see it.
I still have A LOT to learn and a lot of growing to do, no doubt! I’m better than I was a year ago, a week ago, a day ago….and not as good as I will be tomorrow, a week from now, a year from now. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about what I can do better or how I can be better because I know I have my faults and I know sometimes I’m my own worst enemy… but I also know parts of me are pretty awesome! It doesn’t mean I think I shouldn’t or won’t still always look within and try to be better, it just means that along the way I can still appreciate all of my attributes because maybe those things I think are the things holding me back are also some of the things that make me a good person. I am not perfect, I am not even close. But maybe, just maybe, I’m perfectly imperfect? Maybe we all are?! I hope that you too can embrace all of your imperfections because I have a hunch that within your imperfections lies a whole lot of greatness!
I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions but this year I felt compelled to make one as I closed out the difficult year and wanted to be rid of the internal turmoil that plagued me this last year. And my resolution is quite simple. I resolve to add everything I ponder or face into one of two lists: the bucket list or the f*ck-it list. It’s time to retire the ‘things I worry about and have no control over ‘ list. The bucket list is for those things I value and are worth the effort and energy to see through, whatever it may be. The f*ck-it list is for those things or people or thoughts that no longer serve a purpose or add happiness in my life. It’s for those things that either bring continuous dissatisfaction or that I simply have no control over so there is no sense in wasting time and energy worrying about it. And you know what, so far my year is off to a WONDERFUL start!