Any perfectionists out there? You know, those people who beat themselves up over not getting something right the first time? Or the ones who believe that they are the only ones who aren't absolutely brilliant at everything they do and hate themselves for it? Well, that's the perfect definition of who I am, as a dancer, a friend, a daughter, a sister, and as a human being.
I can not tell you when perfectionism first appeared in my life, in fact I remember being the complete opposite as a child. I was fairly laid back as a kid, if I didn't get that pirouette right away I wouldn't beat myself up, I would practice everyday until I got it right. Or if something that I was working on creatively/ artistically didn't turn out exactly as planned I would still hang it proudly on my wall because I knew that that was the very definition of art. I was not a child who cried over spilled milk, but broken dishes were another story... My point is, when did I make a complete 180 and become the perfectionist that I am today?
While looking back on my life I noticed this change in myself as soon as I became serious about my walk with God, my dancing, and my overall future. Once I started dancing with who I consider my current dance mentor, Michele, I had a major confidence boost in who I was as a dancer. She consistently made sure that I knew I was a good dancer and had major potential and corrected me as much as she could to help me grow. She stood up for me when others attacked me, she made me a stronger more confident dancer. With all of that positive energy came some bad with that too, I thought if I truly was as good as she says then I need to be better than I currently am and get myself the career that I have always dreamed about. I think thats how most dancers get once their beloved art-form becomes a potential career, one that you will always love but one that loses it's creative edge. You begin to lose the heart of dance for the technique of dance. You focus on how can I change myself to better fit the profile of whatever that certain casting director wants instead of putting who you are as a an artist out for the world to see and embrace. Why? Why do we do this?
Or lets talk about the little things in life, like a new job for instance. As some of you know I am one of the newest partners at Starbucks. I always looked at this job as one that would be fairly stressful but still fun and exciting, now that I am in my second week of working there I have other feelings about it. Don't get me wrong, I still think it's an amazing company to work for and look forward to the future it holds for me, but at the moment I can't help but beat myself up over the fact that I can't seem to grasp every little detail this occupation holds. For instance, not being as quick to helping people with their orders, marking cups, making drinks, or even literally spilling milk. All of these things have gotten me so stressed out to the point where people can notice, and all the other partners tell me to stop stressing and that I'll learn in due timing, but I can't help it. The great thing is that while I am punishing myself for not getting everything right as soon as I learn it, the other partners are so supportive and patient and helpful with me.
Let's talk about one of the biggest offenders of this perfectionist lifestyle, walking with God. Now let me start off by saying that when I first accepted Jesus as my savior and wanted to live my life to the fullest for God I was fully aware that I will never be perfect and that I am loved no mater what mistake I make. I would get right back up after falling down and making a little mistake or even a huge mistake. I knew and still know that I cannot change God's mind on who I am and how much he loves me, but I think all christians hit a time in their life where they try to meet the standards of "what a true christian is". We try our hardest to not show our imperfections, or our humanity, we try so hard to be like Jesus that we tend to forget that we are not him. Yes we are a representation of who he is and what he stands for and we should always try to follow in his footsteps but we should never completely break down when we take two steps back after taking one step forward. Instead of trying to be perfect and hiding our imperfections we should try to embrace them and learn from them. Not only that but others will see that we are able to get back up after falling far far behind and maybe that will inspire them to believe that they are worthy of a second, third, or infinite amounts of chances because we are loved even at our lowest points in life.
I don't understand how I got so far off track by trying to be perfect that I lost my ability to see the beauty and artistry in mistakes. This is something that I am constantly trying to remind myself of, I am not perfect, and will never be. I am not going to be instantly great at everything I do. I am not going to have perfect looks, poise, and actions in the life I live. I am going to say stupid things that I don't mean, I am going to lose friendships over uncontrollable events, and I am certainly going to make stupid decisions in my life. What is so great about all of this is that although we are so imperfect and full of disgusting habits, actions, and flabbergastingly stupid decision making skills, we still have an amazingly perfect father, creator, friend, mentor, and love that will forever desire our shallow attention and our imperfect love because he can see the beauty in his art, humanity. The point is I'm human. You're human. We're all human and we will never be perfect, therefor we can never be a true perfectionist.
Here's to embracing a life that consists of ups and downs, imperfect turns in the road, and what God see's in us no matter how much we may mess up.
Now I am going to finish watch The Notebook so I can fantasize about having an imperfect relationship with a gorgeous man that only exists in my dreams.... So I'll leave you with this,
Romans 8:37-39 - No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Till Next Time My Darlings,