perfect isn’t perfect

I’ve been trying to get the blood to flow back into my life lately.

The last year has left me feeling a bit numb, due simply to the fact the chances for magic and synchronicity are severely diminished when you can’t leave your apartment. I’ve been trying to open myself to chances for life to surprise me and so far, life hasn’t disappointed.

The most recent surprise took the form of joining strangers for a drink a French cafe in my neighborhood. We sat and talked about everything from rocket science to Jimmy Carter’s Crisis of Confidence speech, but the topic that struck me most was the cultural phenomenon of perfection.

I’ve spent quite a bit of time thinking about how our we’re too quick to dismiss one another for our shortcomings, for making mistakes, for those moments when we don’t know better. But this conversation was a reassurance, a reminder that so many of us want to give people the benefit of the doubt, want to forgive and provide opportunities to learn. We want to provide space for others to be imperfect to balance those moments when we ourselves are imperfect.

It reminded me of Nicholas Cage’s speech in Moonstruck:

We aren’t here to make things perfect. Snowflakes are perfect, the stars are perfect. Not us…We are here to ruin ourselves. We are here to ruin ourselves and to break our hearts and to love the wrong people and die.

Life isn’t for being perfect. It’s for learning and growing and changing. And in order to do this ourselves, we must also cultivate space for those around us to learn and grow and change too.

As one of my mentors used to say, “Have fun, make a mess.”