This past weekend, while out to dinner, Dan and I got to talking about goals and dreams we hope to accomplish professionally. And I told him I felt guilty for not having made more money these past couple of years. One, because I want to be a contributing partner in this marriage, but two because I don’t want to just get married and lose sight of my own journey. I want to accomplish things on my own, outside of my marriage. Personally and professionally. And one of my big goals is to do more with my writing, and hopefully one day be able to make money from it. Not because that’s the end goal here, but because how incredible would it be to make a living doing something you truly love? That’s THE goal, if you ask me.
This past year I haven’t been able to give as much to this blog as I would have liked, because I was focusing on wedding planning and learning the ropes there. And now that I’m one year in and I don’t feel like I’m on such a learning curve, I feel I can have more balance between the two- writing and wedding planning- another, more immediate, dream of mine. Which also requires that I manage my time better- something I need to work on. Because I fill my time with distractions and things that make me feel safe. Like cleaning my house, running errands, reading articles, the list goes on. I constantly give myself tasks that really don’t need to be done right then, and my incessant need for things to be “perfect” before I can get to the real work, is holding me back.
A book I’m reading talks about how we move toward distractions so as to not have to deal with the thing that makes us feel uneasy. And usually the things that make us feel uneasy, that scare us, are the very things we need to do to reach our goals. To leave our mark. But instead, we tidy up and get other things done. Anything and everything that is not that thing. She writes about how to choose a writing space or any space for creativity, and how too perfect of a space is reflective of fearing your own mind. Your need for control. And how a place that’s even just a little bit messy can help the creativity flow- because you’re letting go. You’ve lost control and you’re okay with it. In fact, you’re thriving in it.
Real creativity and flow do not require perfection. They don’t need a clean desk or a perfectly organized bookshelf to be good. In fact, they’re better off with quite the opposite. And I’ve begun to think that the same applies to living a good life. It’s all a flow we’re just trying to get into. And sure, maybe after we’ve cleaned the kitchen, cleared our skin, or gotten our dream job, can we really start getting into it. Start enjoying it. This life we’ve been given and the people we’ve been blessed to love and who love us, and all the memories and dreams that make up our existences into something meaningful. Something good.
But why can’t we do that now? While loving our kitchens and our skin and our professional trajectory and everything else, right where they are? While loving us, right where we are? We’re worthy of that, even in the imperfections. Actually, because of the imperfections. Because they’re what make us human.
Ed Mylett was on a podcast a while ago and something he said I’ll remember forever. It was something along the lines of how the very thing you feel shame around is the very thing that provides you the ability and the gift to help someone else who’s found themselves on a similar journey (I included this in my list of lessons I’m bringing into 2022). No one is perfect, and being able to authentically connect with others you can relate with and who really get you and love you and accept you, that’s the foundation for a good life. Not perfection, but connecting in the very opposite.
So the next time you look around your kitchen and see dishes in the sink and crumbs on the counter, but you look over and see your friend or partner or child or fur baby wanting to talk, play, connect… choose them. The next time you see a pile of laundry and a floor that needs to be vacuumed, but you suddenly have a rush of creative inspiration, choose that. Because these are the things that are going to fill you up and push the needle, personally and professionally. These are the things that will, overtime, build the life you’re dreaming of. Yes, you may dream of a clean kitchen too, but there’s plenty of time for that. And, let’s be honest, the kitchen of our dreams isn’t just clean. It’s the kitchen we’re looking into after we’ve worked hard and loved hard and can gather in with all of our loved ones, clean or not, perfectly imperfect.
Just the way we like it. <3
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