Poor Connor got so upset tonight. He was carefully crafting a card for my mom for Mother’s Day. When he showed me, I noticed he’d written all the letters from right to left. He argued with me briefly that he always writes that way before admitting that he’d written the “G” like an “e” and decided to write the rest of the letters to the left of that so it wasn’t apparent. Then, he cried.
Do you remember those peer-selected titles that everyone was given senior year in high school? I certainly do. There were a couple that everyone thought fit me best, but the one that I’ll always remember? Most likely to succeed.
At the time, it felt like it made sense. I was at the top of my class (of 98 … which I know is small, thankyouverymuch) and I guess it seemed like everyone thought I was headed for big things. Oh, and I was also voted “teacher’s pet”. Hmph.
I’m not sure if I can attribute my issue with perfection to that season in time but it hit me at some point that I had something to prove. What it was … I still have no idea. To be honest, there are a myriad of insecurities that plague me … that I’m not pretty/smart/skinny enough; that my place will never be perfectly appointed or clean enough; that I could never work hard enough; that my photography will never look professional enough, etc. The list goes on and so could I but what I can safely say, now fourteen years later, is that I’m nothing close to perfect, or likely what everyone who voted for me thought would equal success, and I’m coming to terms with it.
To be in this place of acceptance (albeit with one foot in the door), is a bit of a success for me. I hope to have more small successes and realize that no one gets to define that for me, but me (and Connor … his opinion of me will always matter).
I wrote last night about screwing up and about how those are the most teachable moments. When Connor cried tonight, I was able to tell him that what happened is perfectly fine. I didn’t love him any less for writing the message backwards. In fact, I was quite proud of him for sounding out all of the words on his own. And, sometimes, if we write the story backwards, we can just take a fresh piece of paper and try again.
Imperfections are not inadequacies; they are reminders that we’re all in this together. -Brene Brown