Friday, 8 May 2009

Imperfection and Life

"I have not failed 10,000 times.
I have successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work."
- Thomas Edison

I’m a perfectionist.

“I have high ideals,” I tell the friends who ask about why I’m letting opportunities slip past. “When I do start, it will come naturally to me,” I try to convince my skeptical self as I spend day after day avoiding doing the things I dramatically plan to do. “There’s no point doing something if a million people can do it better than I can. Better try only when I know that it will go to plan, and that I’ll be better at it than everyone around me,” is what I tell myself as I look through Amazon at all the beautiful books about everything I yearn to do, and the even beautifuller books that I yearn to have written myself.

Now, though, I’m having radical thoughts. I’m considering the idea of allowing things into my life that I know won’t, and can't, be completely perfect. I've started doing little things (like sudoku) imperfectly, but as far as big things are concerned... well, such dangerous ideas have never been allowed to exist outside my head. Once the first steps down such a revolutionary path have been taken, there’s no telling where I’ll end up.

I can allow myself to try things. I can accept that I will fail a dozen times before I succeed, and realise that there is no shame in it. I can be open to the knowledge that my relationships will never be completely perfect, no matter how many self-help and chick-lit books I read, and allow them to blossom anyway to their fullest extent. I can accept my skills the way they are now, and accept the areas in which I fall down. I can stand up, brush myself off and continue on my way with the new lessons learned, and with compassion and love in place of judgment and embarrassment. I can learn to take baby steps towards my ambitions, instead of giant leaps that cause me to fall flat on my face and cower in fear of falling again. One baby step at a time. One page of writing, one friendship, one scale on the guitar, one small sketch at a time.


becky said...

Good plan. hehe

I want to write our books, please. And I wonder if you've started playing guitar again after lesson, I hope so.

Imperfections are what make people perfect. Because there's no such thing as "perfect". xx

SisterJulia said...

There's little more freeing than spending an entire day trying to get everything wrong! :)

Lilly Rose Chen said...

Wow! Evie you go girl! BTW Tikki is up for adoption, but I guess it's a little far...