reading Brene Brown’s Daring Greatly.
She’s a researcher on the topics of shame and vulnerability, and how the first can
keep you from embracing the second, and thereby keep you from “daring
from some of her interviewees. This mantra, cribbed from Voltaire, is my favorite so far: “Perfectionism
is the enemy of the done.”
more spot to scrub, one more hair to fix, one more jiggly arm skin to poke, one
more class to take, one more edit to make.
satisfaction and contentment are perpetually elusive.
of my blogs. She reflected that she always admires my writing, but this one in
particular should be submitted. To the New York Times.
woman. And she would be someone to know what she’s talking about.
looked up the submission guidelines, and promptly forgot them.
this morning, I printed out the blog, and edited it. Then went back online to
see the guidelines: 1500 words. Mine is currently 700. I need to double
around with me to read and make notes of what parts I’ll focus in on to expand
precisely this perfection that cracked. I was no better or worse than I’d been
for years. I had no more or less experience than I’d had before. What cracked
was my commitment to perfection. “When I practice, then I can play. When I’m
better then I can reach out to them. When I get lessons. When I …”
was entirely to eschew perfection. I
used paint on paper…without sketching it out first. There were no “mistakes,”
even though the lines aren’t perfect. There was no starting over, even though I
wished I could. My entire purpose was to put something down on paper, and to be
done with it. I’d had the idea of this art piece for quite some time, and I was
finally willing to do it imperfectly. And it hangs up on my wall, with lines I still fantasize about perfecting, my idol to “done.”
taken these few weeks to look back at it, because I have those gremlin thoughts
that say, “The NEW YORK TIMES?! Are you out of your MIND?! Who do you think you
are??” That say, What’s the use, it’ll never be used. That say, If you don’t do
it perfectly, you’ll always be a secretary.
day before, I reached for a coffee mug. I dug behind the enormous ones I
usually use, to find a modest sized one with something printed on it.
shadow of habits that draw me back into being small or angry or disconnected.
In the face of a choice to let myself be seen, as imperfect but good enough as I am, I reaffirm something preciously true: I