I decided my New Year's Resolution this year would be to start a blog. I love to write, I love to read other people's blogs, so it seemed like a resolution that I could actually stick to. So...did anyone notice the date? I think that the fact that it is January 16th and I am just now starting the blog should be a great example of why I decided to name my resolution blog "Why I'm Not Perfect." At this point in my life I have come to realization that "perfect" is not going to happen. "Perfect" is a word that is no longer an acceptable goal.
A little background on my "perfection" situation.
Growing up I was always told that I could be anything I wanted to be. I was encouraged and loved and given opportunities that other people could only dream about. I'm not bragging--just being honest. My parents were great people who cared about raising a woman not just a child. I was very lucky. I was also told that it was OK to fail as long as I was trying. As long as I put myself out there the end result really didn't matter. My parents also told me to ignore the naysayer's. That it didn't matter what anyone thought of me as long as I was OK with myself.
Sound "perfect" right?
The only problem was that while all of this parental encouragement and ego boosting was occurring, I was also under a microscope. I lived in a town where literally everyone knew my name. And not in the happy "Norm!" way on Cheers. My dad was an important guy in my town. He owned the local radio stations and had a daily radio show. He used this show to talk about local current events, interview important people and embarrass his children. OK...I don't think he really meant to embarrass us, but he did on an almost daily basis. (I'll try and share the "my daughter became a woman" radio show at some point, if I can stand the horror in actual print form.) Everyone knew my dad growing up. Add in a grandfather who was almost more popular than my father and it was difficult to go anywhere without running into someone who knew me. Or at least they thought they knew me.
So the struggle to look "perfect" began. I had an image to keep up. I didn't want to embarrass my family or start the rumor mill going with some mistake that I made. Sure--as I got older I rebelled against, well, almost everything...but I still was hyper aware of my public image. I tried to move away a couple of times but it never stuck. Then I realized a few years ago that I not only grew up in this world but I had embraced it as an adult. I took jobs that put me in the public eye. I volunteered and got involved with my community. I put myself into the position to continue having a "perfect" public image. I guess it wasn't that bad after all...
I am known to plaster a smile on my face and I always respond to people with "Doing great! How about you?" even when I feel like my world in about to explode. I try and wear the right thing, drive the right car, be friends with the right people. All in the name of perfection.
And I have done it to my children. My daughter is six and already understands about putting on a face for the world. And I hate that.
So, why am I now deciding to admit my imperfections? Why now on a blog that the world can see? Because four days ago I sat in a doctor's office with my ten month old son while a doctor discussed all the reasons why my son isn't perfect. No--I am not talking about not being perfect because he wore the wrong label or didn't get in to the right Mommy and Me music class. My son is not perfect because he potentially has a genetic syndrome that has hard wired his body to fail. A doctor pulled apart my son's features, his beautiful face and body, and discussed how his eyes were too far apart, his ears tilted a little too far back, even his toes curled the wrong direction.
And the entire time she was talking I wanted to grab her and scream "Don't you see he is perfect? Don't you see the incredible little person he is? I made him! I made that little guy that you are so easily seeing as some sort of genetic fluke. He is perfect."
And he is. He is perfect in all of his imperfections. Just like me. Just like my daughter and my family and everyone else in this crazy world.
Now I have decided to celebrate the imperfections of my world. I am going to embrace the fact that I sometimes give my daughter chocolate cereal for dinner because I am too tired to cook. I am going to celebrate the fact that I have a room in my house that I don't let anyone in because I throw all of the junk in there when they come to visit. I have picked my nose, farted in public and peed my pants. WHOO-HOOO!
Instead of waiting for the test results to come back and tell me that my son is not perfect, I am going to tell you right now that he isn't. And that I am just fine with that diagnosis. He is exactly who he is supposed to be and he is loved more than he will ever know because of that.
I invite you, whoever you are out there, to enjoy the journey of acceptance with me. Not in a self-help book kind of way...but in an honest, who really gives a damn, let it all hang out kind of way.
If you were able to make it this far you now understand another couple of reasons I'm not perfect...I can't spell and I don't know when to stop talking!