Being the Ideal You

Among the many lessons I learned growing up, one major one was about being “perfect”. Whenever teenage me complained about things like “my mildly gap teeth” or being teased for my freckles but there’s no makeup that covers them for me, my parent’s would always say the same line: “That’s the way God made you.” That was their way of saying deal with it; I thought anyways. They really just wanted to instill an acceptance of these are things that I couldn’t change, or rather I’d spend a lot of money trying to change. That it was better to accept them as part of my character, as something that made me unique. And they certainly always accepted my unique self. (Except my freckles. Me and my freckles were never friends. And Bare Minerals works wonders on them.)

This made me to accept that this idea of “perfection” is really a state of mind. Everyone can probably think of one person that they think is perfect, but another person can easily point out every single flaw that you may be oblivious to. That’s because there’s really no such thing as “perfect”. There’s no such thing as a perfect mom; only great moms. There’s no such thing as a perfect partner; their imperfections are what become perfect to you. Everyone is different and you have to the choice to accept that about yourself and others, or you can just be a miserable human being. You do you.

For example, my husband has this birthmark on his cheek that looks like a bruise. When I first met him, I considered asking him about the fight he got into because of the bruise, but I figured I’d let that come up naturally. After a month or so, it was still there and that was that. I never mentioned it. It never made him less attractive. It was just a unique feature he had. Other people point it out, saying he should get it laser removed. Because there’s this ideal of perfect that they have for him. He doesn’t seem bothered by it, so there it is. If it was something that bothered him, I would encourage him to do something about it. But it doesn’t bother either of us, so there it is.

Which brings me to the next point of this: just because you think people should stay “The way God made them”, that doesn’t mean everyone else feels that way. If one of my friends felt like plastic surgery was something that they needed to feel good about themselves, that’s their life. They should do what they need to so that they can be happy and confident. However, if they’re doing it because a boyfriend got in their head and convinced them to do it, I would fight them tooth and nail about how the only thing that needs to be removed is the boyfriend.

It’s all about your state of mind. If you are confident and happy with yourself, there’s no reason to change it. If you feel like you need changes to be happy, you shouldn’t be judged by that. You have to live up to your own ideal, ignoring everyone else’s fight for the ultimate perfection. Because it’s a losing battle. No one is perfect.

And She Said, “I Refuse to Change”

I typically caution anyone who interacts with me that I am who I am. If that’s an issue, it doesn’t bother me; that’s not my problem. I wish I could say that this was because I’m 34 and I’ve learned who I am. No, I’ve known who I am for a long time. My epiphany came at some point in high school when I just decided, “who really cares?” I said whatever I wanted, and if people didn’t like that they could choose not to hang out with me. I refused to change. Correction: I still refuse to change.

The belief that I have to fit into some ideal norm bothers me. This takes any autonomy away from me. Just assuming that you are one way and I have to be that way too is a terrible assumption. I’m never going to fit in at any office place. I may never fit in outside of the house, working in my own little corner of the world. I’ve always been much more successful at things when people just let me be and do things my own way. More often than not in those cases, I exceed expectations. I don’t fit into any normal box. I can’t manage a store or an office. Hell, half the time I can’t even manage my own household and I’m supposed to be a “supermom/stay-at-home goddess”. My house never looks like a museum. In fact, I can guarantee that even if I do clean it to the best of its ability, it will still just look like a house that has 2 boys and a man-child. Part of being confident is knowing these things and being okay with it. My house isn’t a museum; it’s a home where my boys and dogs run around and play, leaving a trail of Legos, candy wrappers, and chip bags. Yes, my kids eat junk food. I’m a terrible mother.

I’m okay with it. I’m okay that I just turned around to see 100s of Nerf bullets on the floor. I’m okay that my teenage son wasn’t listening to me so I shot him with a Nerf gun to get his attention. I’m okay that I’m 6-year-old spent an hour screaming about how I was the worst mother on the planet because despite my telling him not to do something, he did it 5 more times and he ended up losing his computer time. I’m okay that people lecture my parenting or decide that just because I can’t keep a house clean after the tornado and hurricane known as “my children” come home, I’m somehow less than. I’m okay that people think because I stay home that I’m not actually working. That my streaming video games is just me playing around, not as part of a way to build up my brand because it’s not easy being noticed as a writer and you need every little bit of attention that you can get.

I refuse to change my shortcomings. In most cases, there’s nothing that I can even do about them. They are part of my personality. I’m sarcastic and abrasively rude. I go crazy if I’m not using my mind to create something. These are things that make me who I am. And I’m not that bad. Maybe.