Last week in Panama City
strolling the streets of the old town, surrounded by stunning Colonial Spanish architecture
I was drawn to the dilapidated remnants, rather than the completed renovations.
Peeling patina revealing layers of the past.
Empty interiors allowing nature to take refuge.
Inhabited yet disheveled buildings made charming when donned with Christmas lights.
And marveling in their imperfect beauty, I began to ponder my own obsession with perfection.
Mornings I felt ugly because my clothes, my hair, my skin, my body did not look as beautiful as someone else’s.
Meals I begrudgingly served guests knowing they needed more salt, less oil, to be cooked longer, cooked less.
Words that stayed stuck in my head long after they left my lips that did not sound as intelligent, as interesting, as kind as they could have.
Projects I completed, products I designed, art I created that somehow should have been
How I criticized the appearance of my home for not looking like an Elle Decor spread
when others entered in awe.
How I gave up theater, my passion for years, because after continuous rejection I believed I could never be the best
and instead pursued business, because I knew that there I could succeed.
How it took me nearly a year to start this blog because I did not think it could be good enough for someone to want to read
and that even now, each time I publish a post, I hesitate whether to dump it in the trash instead.
How when friends, boyfriends, strangers, hurt or dismissed me I thought it was because in some way I had failed them
by not being enough.
How I made the people I loved most feel like they weren’t enough because they could never be as perfect as I needed them to be.
I spent so much time holding myself back
and not being happy
by thinking everything I did had to be so perfect
because if it wasn’t, then I wasn’t
and in not being perfect, in every way, to everyone, I wasn’t worth everything.
If you struggle, like I do, with wanting, with trying, to be perfect
find peace in knowing
that you are perfect
without even trying
because where you are right now is exactly where you are supposed to be
and if you were already what you thought was perfect
how could you possibly grow?
When I let go of my ideas about what I thought I should be
what I thought others wanted me to be
I opened myself to freedom, creative expression, and acceptance that I never imagined possible.
Sing because it lifts your spirit, even if you don’t reach all of the notes.
Dance because it makes you feel alive, it’s ok if other people stare.
Speak another language with gusto, regardless of your many mistakes.
Express yourself, in some way, any way, that feels good without judging the worth of it.
Rise on one foot with grace.
When you lose your balance, know that one day you will stand steady, and the next day you might fall.
And love your perfectly imperfect self who can and will change every day.
Wherever you are, whoever you are with, whatever is happening. It is all perfect.