Perfecting the Imperfections

I have written about this a lot. In my journals, poetry, words to get out, to help me heal, personally in private. I have debated a lot about whether or not to post this, I have debated with myself that to post this is to open myself up in a way that for a long time I haven’t been able to. It allows me to be vulnerable in a way, that I ever rarely am. (except teacher trainings:) But to be vulnerable is also to be human, it isn’t a weakness because we as humans have them. Madeline L’Engle said it best “When we were children, we used to think that when we were grown-up we would no longer be vulnerable. But to grow up is to accept vulnerability… To be alive is to be vulnerable.” If we don’t share our vulnerabilities how do we ever grow? But most important how do we find peace? In a world so fraught with violence it is important now more then ever to find that and it begins with in ourselves. To let go of the stereotypes, the judgements, the gossip, and be true to ourselves, because if we are true, we can be honest, and that honesty breeds  peace with-in ourselves and spreads through out the world.
Bear all or part of the weight of; hold up.
A thing that bears the weight of something or keeps it upright: “the best support for a camera is a tripod”.
sustain – maintain – uphold – bear – back – favour
prop – backing – help – assistance – aid – rest
For me I was always that pillar of support. People gravitated towards me. Friends. Family. Strangers. Little old ladies who would start telling me their life woes in the dentist office (because cleaning plaque and filling cavities is a real support booster). I guess I just oozed it. Come to me please. Tell me your hearts woes.
Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t mind. I have always been a people pleaser, I think i was born that way. Being the youngest bounced around from one siblings play to another’s sporting event. Being laid back was ingrained in me.
What wasn’t was leaning on others. I guess I felt guilty. Why tell someone my life woes when theirs was so much worse. Why stress my parents out when they were already stressed out. Failed that test, I’ll get the next one. Black and blue from a jump gone wrong, just ice it.
The whole nothing is wrong, just shoot the breeze kind of approach came easily, I made a lot of friends. but it also became my armor.
I was the easy one, every ones rock, but when you are a rock, you can’t crack, because when you do, you shatter, and who wants something that is broken?
So perfected the care free approach, the easiness, the easy daughter. Good grades, good behavior, hard worker. Sounds perfect right?
What sounds perfect, usually isn’t.
And I was far from it.
I might have seemed it from the outside but on the inside I was self loathing, never perfect enough to my standards, never easy enough. Just not enough. Not anyone else’s standards, but my own.
People think it has to do with Hollywood, with the fashion industry, and they certainly don’t help matters. But they are also the “perfect” example of type A perfectionism striving to be perfect in an industry that demands perfection.
To be perfect.
How quaint.
I had just moved to New York, and finally sought help unbeknownst to my family and friends, when I went to the Prada/Schiaparelli exhibit at the Met. One of the things that touched me, but also made me want to weep was how insecure Miuccia Prada was.
A brilliant woman, a woman who brought the strength out in other women, who said why not whear a suit and be powerful, was deeply insecure and unsure about her clothes and herself.
It was remarkable to me, that a woman I admired, could be fighting similar demons.
That the catty bitchiness in lots of female stereotypical industries most women suffered from the same thing. Not being perfect. not being enough.
It wasn’t soon after that day, that I stood in my hometown outside Tj Maxx with a friend, tears running down my face and told her what I had been doing to myself.
Instead of judging, which I had unjustly done thinking I would be ostracized or talked about even more then I already was, she gave me a simple hug that spoke volumes, and has become one of my strongest supporters. One of my pillars.
Because everyone needs one, even when they aren’t coming out of hell. Best friends aren’t just made through the good times, but also the worst of the worst.
And it was in that moment that I realized even if I lost friends, even if I was the talk of town, I had to open myself up and be honest with my friends and family. If for nothing else to heal.
Because when you live in the shadows, it is so easy for the insecurities to take over again. For them to consume you and revert back to those comforts. The comforts of control. Of addiction. Of relapse.
Because when you have been there once and no one knows, going back when you get swallowed in Dante’s Inferno makes it that much easier to return, like a baby’s blanket, or a childhood stuffed animal.
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