July 10, 2013

I'm Not Perfect…But I Am

I am not perfect.

I know you all know this about me, just as you know it about yourselves. But what I really mean to say is this…

My body does not meet the body ideal our society has set forth. It doesn't even come close. And when I was a teenager and it probably did come close, I was far too busy being insecure and thinking I was fat to even notice. But now, at 39 years old and with two beautiful children that I carried and birthed and nursed, it is so far from the ideal that I sometimes just shake my head and sigh. My belly is squishy, my upper arms are bigger than some of my friends' calves, and don't even get me started on my legs and butt. And I have a ginormous head. And a lengthy list of other physical flaws.

I am not a perfect mother. My kids are not always well-behaved. Sometimes I yell at them in a totally lose-my-cool sort of way. Sometimes I am totally frazzled and crazy. Sometimes they are absolute dreams, and sometimes they are not. Sometimes I am a genius with discipline, and sometimes I am the furthest thing from. Sometimes my kids do things and I wonder how they got to be so amazing. And sometimes they do things and I worry they'll grow up to be not-so-nice people…at least to each other.

My house does not always look clean and awesome. Sometimes I do my best and my best is good enough. Sometimes I don't even do my best. Sometimes there is no dust. Sometimes there is dust but I don't care because there are more important things in life. And sometimes there is dust and I think why the heck can I not keep this place clean?!

My relationship with my husband has its ups and downs. I love him dearly and he is my best friend. But sometimes he drives me nuts and I'm sure he'd say the same about me. And I am not the sex goddess that Fifty Shades would have me be because I'm tired as hell most of the time and I have little people crawling on me all day long, so really all I want is a nice back rub with no strings attached. But then I find myself racked with guilt over not being a Goddamn sex goddess because society tells me I'm supposed to be. Fucking marketers.

I have, as yet, unrealized dreams and a backpack full of insecurities and inadequacies and fears that sometimes hold me back. For as long as I can remember I have wanted to be a writer. And for many years growing up there was no doubt in me that I would be. But somewhere in that transition to adulthood I lost the confidence in my abilities and replaced my dreams and aspirations with those of society. And I lost my way. As with many things, I find it is much harder to get back on the wagon once you've fallen off, than it is to stay on in the first place.

I love being a stay at home mom and I almost never miss my former career, despite the fact that I was quite successful at it by our society's measures. But what I do miss is the perception of success that came with my former career….and the money. (Yeah, the money was nice.)

I sometimes buy stuff I don't need just because I feel like buying something. Never expensive stuff. Nothing that causes debt. Like, Target stuff. A t'shirt or random socks or lotion or a candle or a toy for the kids. I don't know why exactly I do this, but I do. And I like it.

Sometimes I am this super confident, happy-as-I-am woman and sometimes I am my old teenage self struggling with the insecurities that developed between ages 10-20. And sometimes I couldn't care less what others think about me….and sometimes I do care. And sometimes I feel like I don't measure-up. And sometimes I try so hard to be perfect and do perfect. I try to control everything so that there is no room for judgement. But it doesn't really work and it's exhausting.

So I'm laying it all out here. Exposed and vulnerable for who I am. This imperfect being. This non-sex symbol, not powerful business woman, still trying to grow and evolve, person. When you see me out and about, please do not be surprised by my squishy belly and leg-like upper arms. When you see my double chin and wrinkles in photos with my kids on Facebook, just smile and know I'm enjoying those kids. Try not to judge my messy house or my screaming kids or the fact that I have trouble juggling it all even without a career. Please don't shake your head when you see the contents of my cart at Target…you're right, I don't need another t'shirt or that bag of chips…we both know it, and that's okay.

Let's all join together and promise not to judge each other, or, more importantly, not to judge ourselves for all the things that make us not perfect. Let's all just sigh a collective sigh of relief and have a glass of wine and some cheesy spinach and artichoke dip and let the kids run around like crazy even though it's bedtime, and let the dishes sit unwashed and the laundry sit unfolded for a little while.

Let us revel in our perfect imperfection. Because none of us is perfect. Not a single one. None of our bodies are perfect. None of our lives are perfect. None of our marriages or children or parenting styles are perfect. And yet we are all perfect. And it's time we loved ourselves. Just as we are.

Until next time, go love yourself. And know that I'm here loving you-- another being trying to make it the best you can in this crazy world-- just as you are.