Do I enjoy having my shit together? Absolutely. Is it a facade more than half the time? Definitely.
I used to care deeply about what people thought, and wanted to put out an image that I had it all together, all the time. Social media spurred these natural feelings of inadequacy and seemed to point out all the ways in which I was failing… first at starting a family or having the perfect job, then evolving into anxieties over being the perfect mom or having the perfect kids.
Recently I have been conversing within my tiny group of mom friends about the day to day issues we have each been dealing with… some big, some small. All much more manageable when we can share them with each other in a real, authentic way. In talking about our deepest fears, worries, and inadequacies we begin to see that truly, not one of us is perfect. We are all equal parts crazy, human, failure, success, and life is sometimes just plain hard for everyone. Now when I look at those “perfect” people on facebook, I am no longer jealous or longing for their lives. Know what? They have problems I don’t see, and they are probably ones I wouldn’t want to or know how to deal with.
I choose to look at most people nowadays knowing we are probably more alike than different. With time I have come to believe there are no perfect women, men, children, friends, mothers, or partners. It is really a blessing to have the knowledge that even the seemingly “perfect” people are most definitely NOT. I have also come to value and fully appreciate the gritty, resilient people who show that their success is at the expense of other sacrifices. They share their weaknesses and flaws in addition to their victories. These are my people.
Last week I went to my son’s field trip at the pumpkin farm before work in an effort to be an involved, attentive mom. Only after arriving at a vacant field did I realize that I needed to call the school. Guess what? I got the date wrong. I had promised my preschooler a pumpkin farm visit and he would surely be disappointed. Initially I swore quietly in the car, cursing my ability to keep my schedule straight, even with a color-coded beauty of a planner. My inner negative dialogue had a field day: How could I be so careless? How could I get these dates messed up? LOSER! I really hate failing. I subsequently vented to a good friend about it and shared my imperfection.
Hey, you know what? SO WHAT. I got it wrong. Nothing really happened other than I disappointed my little dude and got dressed for the cold weather unnecessarily. He learned (as much as a three year old can – he probably won’t even think twice about it) that parents make mistakes, and disappointing things do occur. My friend reframed the experience in a positive light, “Hey- you were just SUPER early for next week! GO YOU!” I love her.
Hence, sharing this little story now. I am not perfect, I never will be. I fail, I succeed, but no matter what I keep on trying again. Will I always love having my shit together? Absolutely. Will this be the case most the time? Absolutely not. I am learning to be okay with that and roll with the punches. We are all far from flawless, but that is what makes us interesting, fun, and human. May we all continue to fail and share our experiences, right alongside the successes. Cheers, weirdos!