So I have this weird thing with perfection. You may not think that by looking at me, but it’s true. Perfection in my appearance? Not so much. I have literally been wearing the same leggings for 7 years. I’ve worn them so much they are actually baggy on me now. Baggy leggings. Can you imagine? I’ve got a load of curly hair that after 31 years, I still don’t know what to do with and I usually speed right past the time of month when my upper lip wax is most needed. And let’s not forget that I’ve had to be reminded by boyfriends in the past to ‘include my knees’ when I shave my legs. So, me, the literal picture of perfection? Not quite.
Another thing I don’t give much thought to? Things. Possessions. I’m talking material goods. Taking care of stuff, packing stuff, returning stuff, storing stuff, sharing stuff, protecting stuff, treating stuff well…I currently have personal belongings – – clothes, make up, furniture, jewelry, books AND electronics – – at 6 different homes in 3 different countries. That is no joke. How does this happen, you may ask? I literally have no idea. Watch me shrug my shoulders and walk away. See: super NOT a perfectionist.
An incomplete list of things in my life I am not perfect at:
- School grades
- Keeping in touch
- Finishing books
- Planting gardens
- Folding laundry
- Proper meal times
- Opening my mail
- Medical checkups
- Tying any footwear
I once lived in an apartment where my bedroom wall was half blue and half white because halfway through painting I simply put the brush down and left it. It’s not that I don’t care about these things, that’s not it at all. It’s just that it would take a whole lot of commotion to get me worked up over whether or not my laundry is folded.
.:: On Blogging ::.
When I started Letters To Rayelle I had no idea what I was doing. I had been writing my whole life in notebooks and journals. I had heard of blogs before and had turned the idea of starting one over in my mind for at least a year, but I certainly hadn’t been following any. I just didn’t know how to start. What would I write about? Who would read it? How did I actually MAKE THE THING? It wasn’t until a conversation with a dear friend (Rayelle, obvs – keep up) that I felt like I finally had a topic to write about. I was going to write about the adventures I was having living abroad and the daily craziness of being a small town girl in the world’s greatest city. I was going to document the differences (there are SO many), share my photos (there are SO, SO many) and have a written account for myself of my wild two years in Europe. Not just my travels, but my everyday life. That was the initial plan, anyway.
Well, I just re-read my older blog posts and all I can say is, I don’t even KNOW (this is also my life motto). I didn’t stick with my plan. I now have notes in my phone, written posts in my drafts, and upwards of 20,000 photos of my time abroad.
So what happened? Why did I stop writing? Well, there are several reasons, one of them being that I somehow have developed a touch of Perfectionist Syndrome (I’m making that up but it does sound real). Like I said, I had been writing my whole life but always for myself. When I started getting readers? Whole.Different.Story.
“But my blog isn’t perfect!”
“But my words aren’t RIGHT.”
“But my photos aren’t edited.”
“But I’m not blogging like other people.”
“Everyone else’s blog is perfect and mine isn’t.”
“I JUST CAN’T DO ANYTHING THE WAY I NEED IT TO BE DONE.”
Being inside my head is a trip, for sure. *Side note: It’s been suggested to me several times that I should probably start smoking weed because it would help me chill. Ha.Ha. That’s a great idea EXCEPT PERFECT PEOPLE DON’T SMOKE WEED.
So it seems that perfectionism has reared its ugly head when I was least expecting it. Why couldn’t it just make me wash my hair more often? But nooo. It’s come for my writing. My creativity, the thing I treasure most, that I always kept to myself, that got me through hard times. That is what I was deciding now had to be perfect? I couldn’t make sense of it and when you are trying hard to be perfect you definitely need to be able to make sense of things and I couldn’t, so to me, that meant I was a failure.
Another reason why I stopped writing publicly on top of just NOT BEING PERFECT ENOUGH? Well because all these fun adventures I had decided to share and write about, I was actually living. And I desperately, even more than being perfect, wanted to live in the moment. I wanted to share my experiences yes, but I also really, really wanted to experience them too. I struggled to find a balance between living in the moment and pausing the moment to write about it. I knew I had a limited time abroad. I had goals. Writing about my story seemed to be the opposite of what I needed sometimes. So, no, I did not start smoking weed but I did attempt to chill. I put a lot of pressure on myself a lot of the time. It’s taken me years to realize this (and therapy, late night chats with friends and lots of lonely solo trips) but here we are. #LiveAndLearn
.:: Today ::.
I still have plans for this blog. I have so.many.stories. to tell. I have over 20,000 photos to share. But lots of the things I want to write about have already happened. How do I write about something in the past without making it seem like a boring re-telling? I’m not there in that situation anymore, so will I be able to write with the same excitement as if it had just happened? I don’t know. Is it still important to me to document these stories? Yes. So I will start there. If it feels like its not perfect, then maybe that’s my sign to keep going with it.
My new plan going forward is to just do it. No, I’m not stealing from Nike. I’m just going to attempt to write the damn thing. To share the photo. To publish the post. I want to share stories from my trips. I want to show you the random photos I have from my big, wild life. I want to share my thoughts from my day to day life now. Maybe things won’t flow well. Maybe my posts will seem scattered. Maybe my photos won’t match my words. Maybe my writing won’t be your cup of tea. I’m no longer ‘perfect’ so I can’t really predict how it will all look.
But I do hope you come back and visit once in awhile if you like, just please don’t expect perfection.
3 thoughts on “Perfection, Blogging + Living in the Moment”
Girl, your writing is fantastic! I was laughing the whole way through. I would be delighted if you told your perfectly imperfect stories…most readers want authenticity these days anyway, not cookie-cutter perfection. You’ve got talent, and I can tell you have the passion. I say, go for it and do it YOUR way ❤
Your words mean a lot. *Takes deep breath. Considers the fact that maybe I’m not a failure. Eats some pretzels and contemplates life.* Thanks. (So much!)