Embracing Imperfection

I have a confession to make: I have been struggling with perfectionist tendencies since I was a teenager. If you’re a carefree spirit who lives by the Y.O.L.O. mantra, this is not a big deal. You’re on the outside looking in at a situation which needs more than getting laid a little more to get it fixed. My perfectionism was rooted in the need to control what I could around me. I knew I was brilliant, just not at Math and Physics, and it drove me insane to watch other students excel academically with a lot less effort than I put in. So I made sure I kicked ass in my English class, that I knew a lot more theology than the average Joe, that I read Sigmund Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams while everyone else was doing devotionals or romance novels, that I knew about temperaments and personality types and disorders and body language before most of my peers at the time. If I could not be good at one thing, I had to be great at something else.
And there was the cleaning and organizing. Even my mother and I differed over how I wanted her house to look. Shoes had to be dusted and kept in a straight line, pegs and hangers were colour coordinated on the clothesline and in the closet, respectively, and the house was dusted and mopped twice every single day except Saturday. When I hosted, which was almost every weekend and some days of the week, I had to do the cooking myself. I was also particular about how the dishes were arranged on the rack. I listened to the same music when I did laundry at home – Enya, for about three hours straight – and I grew cross with my roommates when they touched my stuff and forgot to put it right where they found it or when their guests sat on my bed and left butt prints behind – I expected them to straighten up like I did whenever I sat on someone’s bed. I was exhausted a whole lot, but too busy to take seriously the jokes made by my friends about my being obsessive compulsive. Deep down, I was a little proud of the acknowledgement of my efforts; they noticed that I was extraordinary at something.
In 2012, I met Sir Ken Robinson and Brene Brown. I have not been the same since. I realized that there was nothing wrong with me, that I was enough, that being vulnerable was not a bad thing since vulnerability allowed me to love and empathize and reach out with stories of my own personal fears and failings. I have been reading Brene’s book, Daring Greatly, and have discovered more and more about how I have been holding myself back than I ever did. I have grown more receptive of risk taking and communicating my feelings and fear to those I love and I have especially come to appreciate that I am enough.
As a result, I told the boyfriend that I missed him and wanted to see him only to learn that he had booked a flight to come be with me for two weeks. For those of you who didn’t already know, I have been in a long distance relationship for about 6 years. It’s both amazing and dreadful because you relish and take note of the little things that many people in “normal” relationships have confessed to take for granted, but it can also sap your energy and drain you emotionally and leave you feeling lonely and unfulfilled. I also went on my first real road-trip with friends in 2015; the others were more about the destination, but I have had some good times with friends on the road. Last weekend, we went to Meru and I was thrilled by the whole experience – the comfortable van we took, the frequent stops we made, the hotel rooms we checked into, the services at the hotel, seeing our mutual friend break down when she saw us at her wedding, watching our mutual friend match out of a limo and down the aisle to exchange vows with her college sweetheart, dancing all night at the after party, hitching a ride back into the capital in the (wait for it) the same limousine used by the bride and her maids. A small personal detail is that my period came late, for no reason at all, and that gave me a chance to really enjoy my weekend getaway. Now, my other friends want to be included in whatever future plans we have for a road-trip over the weekend. I have a trip to Ahero, near the lakeside city of Kisumu, scheduled for next weekend with the boyfriend where we’ll be visiting his parents. I can’t wait. I especially can’t wait to receive him at the airport! I’ve started spreading my business options and I’m focusing on sales and marketing which I am rumoured to be naturally good at. I especially enjoy being able to be genuinely honest about what makes me feel shameful or vulnerable.
In short, I feel that I am learning how to live a fuller life and I simply had to share my joy with you all.
Cheers good people!


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