The Weight of Perfection

Currently the muscles in my neck are so tight that my jaw is twitching. I wonder if that’s normal, or if it has anything to do with all the caffeine I drank today. I really meant to take a nap, but sometimes your day doesn’t turn out like you think it will. That is to say, sometimes your life doesn’t turn out like you think it will. (Am I right or am I right?) This morning I got up early to go to therapy, and when the conversation turned to age–specifically, my age–my therapist said I wasn’t allowed to complain about being “old” until I was on “the other side” of forty.

I don’t know who makes these rules.

Today my therapist and I talked about insecurities. I feel like I sprinkle them around this blog every day, every damn day, so I’m not sure I’d like to list them again as bullet points. In fact, I would not, but suffice it to say that all of them center around looks, talent, money, and love-ability. I mean, that covers the bases, doesn’t it? The whole thing came up in the context of hypothetical relationships. That is, I’m not currently in one, but I’d like to be one day, provided it doesn’t turn out to be a shit-show like some of my previous ones. You know how it goes. Anyway, my therapist said that she sees “all kinds” of people–the beautiful, the talented, and the rich. “WE ALL have the same insecurities,” she said.

Seriously–that’s good to know.

I spent a couple hours this afternoon with another therapist, my friend Deborah. She owns Anchored Hope Counseling in Fort Smith. She and I were just catching up, but if you need to go there as a client, don’t hesitate. You’ll know you’re in the right spot, since they have anchors EVERYWHERE. She said, “We may have overdone it.” I said, “Yeah, you really went OVERBOARD.” (Waka, Waka.)

This evening I taught dance, then I spent about an hour feeling sorry for myself. I didn’t really mean to do this, but I think it crept up on me because I’m tired. Not that it matters–it happened. The mood probably started when my therapist and I talked about my wanting to be in a relationship one day, a conversation that highlighted the fact that I’m–well–not in one now. I realize for some this may be an enviable position, since the grass is always greener. But after dance, I called to make dinner reservations for my birthday, and the reservation was for an odd number, meaning I’m going to be the only person there without a significant other. So unless the dessert menu is truly exceptional, it’ll be one more birthday I go to bed alone.

As I was processing all this, I really was trying to be grateful and see the bright side, but it was a losing battle, so I eventually cried. What pushed me over the edge was thinking about seeing Deborah this afternoon because she’s a “touchy” person. I mean, she’d make a joke, reach over, and touch my arm or shoulder. Well, I’m not a touchy person. I usually show affirmation through words. (Surprise.) But I kept thinking that positive touch really is healing, and it’s something most of us don’t get enough of. Deborah probably didn’t think anything about it, but I realized that when you’re experiencing loneliness, an affirming hand can really make you feel both “seen” and “okay.”

Y’all, crying really is great. You should try it. I mean, you don’t have to sob and boo-hoo, although that’s okay too. Personally, I only cried a few tears, but now I feel so much better. It’s easier to see that I’m not the only single person on the planet, I have a lot to be grateful for, and if it’s meant to happen, it’ll happen. All that from a few tears! Well, all that from a few tears, several tacos, and a chocolate chip cookie, since I believe in combining different forms of therapy.

This afternoon at her office Deborah showed me a collection of mixed-media art she calls The Sisters. The Sisters are basically five different women, each in her own frame, each with her own inspirational saying. They’re pretty awesome, and my favorite was the one with this woman in–honestly–a rather frumpy, mismatched outfit. Beside her it said, “She released the weight of perfection and decided to become herself.”

The weight of perfection–isn’t that powerful? I mean, I think we could stop there and call it a night.

Life is never just so. Honestly, it’s a big damn mess most of the time.

But really, when I think about wanting to be in a relationship and even all my insecurities, I know my desires and fears are all centered around this idea of perfection, that I’d be happier if life were just so. Of course, this is a heavy burden to carry around, and life is never just so. Honestly, it’s a big damn mess most of the time. We want something, we get it, then we don’t want it anymore. We get worried people won’t love something about us, but the truth is that people love us not in spite of our so-called flaws, but because of them. This is a lesson I’m being reminded of over and over again–no one is alone, we all have the same insecurities, and all of us are not only worthy of being seen, but also more than okay just as we are.

Quotes from CoCo

"Kindness is never a small thing."

by

Writer. Dancer. Virgo. Full of rich words. Full of joys. (Usually.)

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