Tuesday, December 14, 2004

A Wildly Perfect Place

Who would have thought I would be comfy with 'shitty first drafts'(kudos to Anne Lamott for that phrase) being posted for anyone to see. Ok, so I am not comfortable with it. But I'm doing it anyway. It's a leap of faith - a leap of faith in myself. I do like to write. I usually spend hours polishing anything I write. I am my harshest critic. I am choosing to believe that showing up here everyday will make the process easier and that at some point in the future I will be ok truly ok, with my own shitty first drafts.

One of the things that kept me from starting a blog in the first place was that I was leary of it taking over my life. The possibility of searching for the perfect word, perfect phrase, perfect sentence consuming me. From where I am sitting I'm having a hard time accepting less than perfect as progress. But it is.

It reminds me of what my ideal flower garden used to look like. I wanted symmetrical. It wouldn't have been beyond me to get out the ruler and place those flowers exactly 6 inches apart. Oooh, I wanted perfection there too. Now that kind of garden doesn't interest me in the least. I still like looking at them but I don't want one in my own front yard. Now I dream of having an English garden. A wildly perfect place. Riots of colour pushing against one another as if they reaching up, cheering me on. The thought of it delights me. I know it is progress for me to go from wanting to get the ruler out to wanting everything to be wild. I know it means something in me has changed. For the better.

Who am I kidding. I wanted perfection in every area of life. Perfect kids, perfect marriage, perfect everything. My identity rested on it. I wanted the white picket fence, pefectly groomed lawn, kids, car, life. I was so sure back then that if only I could attain this view of perfection I would be happy. It was horrible. It was a horrible lie.

This past weekend I was talking with my adult daughter about a man who used to have the answers to everything. She was telling me he had changed. She said, "Mom, his kids went through puberty." We laughed. We both knew that when she went through puberty I changed. For the better. My daughter's puberty was the biggest gift of facing my perfectionistic demons. I remember telling her at one point: "I will not have a rebellious daughter!" She looked at me and very calmly told me that I already did. Oh shit. So much for perfection.

Eventually I was faced with a choice. I could use all my energy trying to keep the facade of perfection alive or I could join her in humanity. We are both grateful for the grace to be human.

One of the dearest people in my life said to me not too long ago, "You are the closest thing to 'Jesus with skin on' in my life. But I know you aren't perfect cause you say words like 'fuck'." It's a wildly perfect place to be.


steveroni said...

"Be perfect like Jesus is perfect"...but do say "fuck" once in a while....
Unsigned -grin! Oooops!

steveroni said...

I think it would be fun to have a "go back to the first blog" day in our AA blogland...Whatcha think???

I'm gonna suggest it on my next.

Steve E.

BTW, your first was/IS and excellent read. Thanks.