Sometimes we wish we could erase all the bad stuff in our lives. That we could see our lives with the only the good parts. You know, the parts of our lives that people see on our social media timeline. The "couple goals," the wanderlust adventures, the "I woke up like this" feelings, all perfectly edited, all presented for all to see in perfectly captured candids. Basically, we want to live our perfect lives instead of having to live our actually quite imperfect lives. Real life, the life that exists without the careful polishing we find in our social media timelines, is unedited.
It’s life with no makeup.
It's covering up your greasy hair with a hat of some sorts.
It’s wearing sweatpants instead of designer jeans.
It’s standing there before God and everybody with tears streaming down your face.
It’s arguments with boyfriends.
It’s mental instability.
It’s double chins.
It's leaving the house realizing you forgot to brush your teeth.
Real life is ugly. Well, at least parts of it are. Those are the parts we don’t want to show anyone. Living life, we want to bask in moments of bliss – and that, most definitely, is all we want to show other people. But that raises the question: why are we so afraid to show the world all of us? The good, the bad and the ugly. The honest to goodness human in us.
Sometimes, especially when life isn’t heading where we want it to go, we have to fake it till we make it.. We have to tell ourselves that our little lives actually are perfect. When you fake it though, you have to believe what you’re faking, and believe it pretty hard, to the core, otherwise you come off as confused and unconfident – or worse, self-delusional.
Imagine, what would it be like if we could erase the bad stuff? If we could actually forget the things that, in memory, still cause us so much pain. Sounds ideal, right? But without the bad life-experiences, what do you have to compare to the good things in life? Without the pain, what in your life gives you perspective? What helps mold you?
The moments we want to erase are actually essential to our growth – they are the moments we become warriors. They are the unforgettable moments that create small and big life victories. Erasing the bad stuff would be like ripping out bad chapters of a book. Sure, you can do it, but if you do, what you create won't be a clean break. You’ll rip the pages. The binding may break. The book won't be finished. There will be missing pages to the story and it’ll never come full circle.
As you go fight on through your perfectly imperfect lives, remember that in this life, perfection doesn’t exist. Sure, each of us aims to reach that glorified picture of life. Myself included. I am in fact a perfectionist in my nature. So we go through life thinking that money buys happiness. We think being skinny is the key to love. We think that being hot and sexy and perpetually 25 is the key to good life.
But we’re wrong. Money buys stuff, but stuff doesn’t give happiness. People who “love us” for being skinny aren’t worth loving back. Being hot and sexy and 25 is just a way-station in a journey of three score and ten (or more). In all reality, it’s the quirky stuff, the imperfect stuff, the dork in you that brings you closer to perfection. It’s the way you snort when you laugh, it’s the fact that you get blueberries stuck in your teeth after drinking a smoothie, or when (and how) you bite your nails, chew your food a little too loud, or get bread crumbs on your face without noticing.
People make fun of me because when these things happen to me … all of these things … I just laugh and tell people “it’s character,” then they laugh at me once more before moving on. Honestly though, I love these silly, somewhat embarrassing things about me. They are all part of what makes me, me. They are what separates me from you, and from others. They make me a real person. In fact, I think they are what make me cool.
Embrace your imperfections. Embrace your little character traits people laugh at you for. If we focus less on what perfection is – and what we’re “supposed to be” – and instead focus more on just finding happiness in your everyday life, you’ll live a better life. One with less pressure and less nonsense. You’ll feel lighter on your feet and move through life a little easier. As if your dancing on cloud nine. You will start enjoying life, even the way it is.
It’s all about perception. Whatever you perceive as perfect or perfectly imperfect. Striving for perception, sometimes that means embracing self-talk. Telling yourself that the imperfect parts of life are what give you greatness - those imperfect parts make you appreciate the authenticity life has to offer. People often ask me how to be authentic. No insult intended, but I find that a silly question, especially considering the road to becoming authentic involves being you, doing you, and owning who you really are. It’s not molding yourself into a shape you’re not meant to be in. That’s “fake authentic,” not the real thing.
This is where the perfectly imperfect life comes full circle. At least, this is where that life starts to makes sense to me. When I use the imperfections – things that society still thinks – and I used to think of – as wrong, then use those prefect imperfectionsto help others. I use that pain and tribulation to tell my story. I use it to inspire, motivate and thrive under all conditions.
You can, too. All you have to do is get honest with yourself, then try to do it. You won’t do it perfectly, but then again, you’re not supposed to. It’s OK to come in last if you did your best.