In the spring of 2015, I was a 44 year old woman on a plane to a professional conference, reading Brene Brown’s book, The Gifts of Imperfection. In it, I read this:
Where perfectionism exists, shame is always lurking. In fact, shame is the birthplace of perfectionism.
I slammed closed the cover on my e-reader. And I thought – well, shit. She knows. All this time I have been framing myself as a Type-A who likes to push myself to get it right. And Brene knows that what I’ve really been doing is, in her words, hustling for approval. Who else knows??
Here’s what this blog isn’t. It’s not a narrative about how a successful hard-charger realized at the pinnacle of success that there was more to life, liquidated her stock portfolio, downsized to a smaller perfect house, and began painting carousel horses. No. I’m a frustrated perfectionist (oh God, I can’t even get perfectionism right!), one who could never quite make the pieces of my life fit together in a way that matched the image that I had in my head.
One who has made myself and sometimes my loved ones pay dearly for falling short.
I’d like to stop that.
I’m on a messy wandering journey to (in the words of Dr. Brown) put down my shield and pick up my life – to live with joy and peace and radical compassion for myself and others, in spite of (or maybe because of) life’s imperfections. Won’t you join me?