A few years ago, I was onstage and asked to describe my marriage. My response was, “perfectly imperfect.” After, someone quickly approached me and inquired why I would admit to something like that. I sat there for a moment and went on to explain my thoughts on those who live in glass houses – which we all know shatter. My marriage isn’t perfect. My life isn’t perfect. And I am perfectly okay with that.
We don’t learn by pursuing some disillusioned idea of perfection. We learn by accepting our imperfection and realizing there is beauty in all the things that make us less than perfect.
But, sometimes it seems we live in a world where there are missed opportunities to connect because we are too busy chasing perfection, afraid to just own the fact that our lives are anything but.
Some of the people I hold nearest and dearest to my heart are held in such esteem because of the simple fact that we are real with one another – we celebrate imperfection and we say it exactly how it is.
So, let’s get real this week and talk about it. I’ll start.
I suck at filtering and can’t sugar-coat anything to save my life. While my intention isn’t to offend anyone, it has happened. I have an opinion (be it right or wrong) and am vocal about sharing it. The intent behind it is always good and usually coupled with humour, but not everyone is keen to celebrate brutal honesty or hear opinions they don’t agree with. It may not make me a ton of friends, but it has certainly pointed me in the direction of the right ones.
Last year, as I was approaching 40, my body started going completely psychotic. After meeting with my doctor, I was informed that the massive amounts of stress I was under had brought on early menopause. One of the joys of such a momentous occasion in a woman’s life – skin issues. And, this isn’t your regular “I ate too much chocolate” brand of breakouts. This is the stuff that makes you question what has crawled up and died underneath your skin. After a few unsightly bumps had my daughter thinking mommy was turning into a unicorn, I quickly booked in a trip to the dermatologist. She let me know just how common this was in women between the ages of 35 – 45. I found solitude in knowing other women were going through the same thing. I have been on medication since that keeps my skin healthy, along with a scoop of collagen peptides in my coffee each morning and a skincare routine that resembles the makings of a 5th grade science project.
I am my own toughest critic, see the above referenced comment to the unicorn. It paled in comparison to what growing a horn might actually look like.
When I wake up in the morning, I look more like the crypt keeper as opposed to some fresh-faced beauty who just jumped out of bed ready to conquer the day. Coffee, a shower, and good makeup techniques help me to look human.
Next, my ass. Now, if you ask my “blinded by love” husband he would tell you it is the makings of all things glorious. But, that simply isn’t true. We ladies all know what our backsides look like after the age of 35. If you happen to have grown humans at any point on top of age, things get really interesting. Too much sugar, carbs, or alcohol will quickly take up residence and rent out space that was previously reserved for your favorite pair of jeans. I don’t know about you, but mine hasn’t seen the sun since tanning beds in the 90’s, enough said. And then there’s the little dimple closely inspected during what seems like a contortionist act in front of the mirror, which may or may not reveal the ever-dreaded appearance of cellulite. Yep. I said it. Unless you are genetically blessed or gravity is still working in your favour, we all have it.
I haven’t seen my natural hair color in 20 years. I have a “good side” in photos. And, I actually enjoy working out, which is equally balanced with my love of French fries (chips), wine, and candy.
My parenting style is a well-meaning combination of bribery, threats, and talking it out.
And, going back to my original sentiment, my marriage isn’t perfect. We have had our ups and downs, have faced challenges, and continue to work hard. We have grown as individuals and as a couple for having gone through these things, but it hasn’t always been easy.
So why share all of this? It reminds me that as humans, we are called to support one another – to throw down the stones and remember the common thread that binds us all – we are a collective group of people who are imperfect. All of us.
This week, let’s all get real. Whether it is a physical imperfection, owning a character flaw, or admitting to our own shortcomings in a situation – let’s challenge ourselves to laugh at those things. By being honest about our own imperfections, we stand to create a world that is more authentic, where relationships are genuine and the idea of what is beautiful isn’t wrapped up in some superficial idea that perfection is attainable.
Cheers to a new week and embracing our collective imperfection!!!