I’m not Usher.
And I really don’t know how to say any of this today,
but I’m going to try.
I am not perfect.
I don’t know the last time I said this and actually meant it—really, really meant it.
And it feels so good to say right now; to really own it.
I am not perfect.
I’m not talking about my appearance: the pimple on the bottom right of chin, or my lanky legs, or my short torso. I’m not talking about the fact that I’m clumsy, or that I suck at math, or that didn’t floss today (or yesterday), or that I just ate an entire frozen pizza for dinner. I’m not even talking about my regrets or mistakes.
I’m talking about the things that are actually hard to talk about.
The kind of imperfections that I bury deep within myself and choose to overlook, in hopes that one day, they might just disappear.
These are the kind of flaws that I don’t want to admit to—because then it means they’re really true.
And it means I have to face them.
But here’s the truth today.
I am not good at not getting what I want, or what I think I deserve.
And I hate it.
I’m not spoiled. I’m not “privileged.” I would never cry because “Daddy didn’t get me a Mercedes Benz,” or the “new iPhone 6.” I don’t get upset when everyone chooses here instead of where I wanted to go.
I’m not a brat. I don’t have melt-downs. I don’t start screaming, or yelling, or throwing things.
But in the most mundane way possible, I internally just don’t process it well when I am determined to get something, or when I work hard for something, or when I envision something—and I don’t get it.
Yesterday was a perfect example.
But people would never know, because I rarely ever show it or express it.
Determination is good, but it’s also my downfall.
What makes my imperfection ten times worse is that I’m very hard on myself—to the point that when I say or do something wrong or stupid—I beat myself up about it way longer than the average person should. I repeat it to myself over and over; I replay it a million times in my head. I know that everyone says they do this—but sometimes I wonder if they’re anything like me. I wonder when enough is enough.
I bring this up today, because my imperfection was put to the test once again.
When someone else got to do something that I had the same opportunity to do and wanted to do so badly instead of myself—I was extremely upset. Internally, of course. But upset, nonetheless.
Lucky me, I couldn’t go anywhere, or get my hands on something to distract me from my own mind. I had no choice but to sit there and reflect on how upset I was, even though it was the last thing that I wanted to spend my afternoon doing. I had to address this certain imperfection. I had to face what I’m not proud of. I had to confront what I want to change. I had to dig deep, yank it out by its root, and examine what and how and why.
Of course it stings at first. But in the end, it was the most alleviating thing I’ve done in a while. It honestly feels as if a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I feel a lot more clear-minded just by acknowledging it; by finally saying to myself: “Hey, I do this. And I need to figure out how I will handle it better.” It’s like airing the dirty laundry, or unloading the dishwasher.
A few months ago, I attended a wonderful poetry reading by an incredible poet, Kamilah Aisha Moon. She read from her moving and phenomenal book of poetry, called She Has a Name. The collection sheds light on her sister who lives with Autism, by taking on different perspectives of various people in her sister’s life. It explores the human mind, love, appreciation, and life.
During the Q&A, I asked Kamilah: “As someone who has a cousin with Aspergers, I know this book must have been hard to write at some points. Was is it challenging? Was it cathartic? Or was it a little bit of both?”
She answered with this, and I don’t think I’ll ever forget it:
“Claim the truth, so that it has no power over you.”
By acknowledging an ugly truth about myself today—I claimed the truth.
And when you claim the truth, you give yourself power and control over it; over how you will let it affect you.
I feel as if “I am not perfect” is something we tell ourselves to convince ourselves that we are not.
We tell ourselves we aren’t perfect, but do we really, truly accept it?
My question for you today is this:
What truly makes you imperfect? What are you keeping yourself from acknowledging, but really want to or need to accept?
I know it’s probably the shittiest thing you’ve ever been asked to do—sorry.
But sometimes, we need a perfectly
rude good awakening.
And the best kinds are the ones we bring upon ourselves.
So will you challenge yourself to that?
This is just one of my many imperfections.
But today, I learned this.
I am not perfect.
I’m truly not, and I know this.
But I am working every day to learn from it, handle it, accept it, and be happy with it.