Breathe, Stretch, Shake, Let it Go
I decided to write about this because it is on my heart. Some of us unintentionally strive to reach perfection even though we know it is not a real thing. We often forget that only our Maker is perfect and He is the only one that we are here to please.
Some of us unintentionally strive to reach perfection because that is what other human beings expect from us. Why would you want to put that label onto someone? Why would you push someone to strive for perfection? Why not just let them be who they are and what they want to be?
Children, teenagers, and adults feel this constant pressure to be better than someone else by being the best at something. Sometimes, being the best at something is a lonely ride; striving for perfection can be very depressing.
But you know what really sucks? When you strive for perfection and you fail at something. It hurts. It hurts pretty effing bad. It hurts so bad because you're not used to it. It hurts because, not only did you let yourself down, but since you've been carrying this burden of "having to be perfect" for so long, you feel that you've let so many others down as well.
Sometimes it seems that people don't expect top performers to have flaws but it's not true. As human beings we ALL have flaws. When top performers trip and fall we too want someone to pick us up and dust us off and place us back on the horse but we somehow don't get that helping hand. We get one of two things....
The expectation that you will bounce back immediately by yourself
We get shunned/made fun of/talked about
But why on earth do people do that to others?
I usually don't talk about personal things but I may be able to help someone and this is really on my mind.
All my life, I've pretty much been a top performer but when I got to college I struggled. I took the LSAT and I struggled. I took the GMAT and I struggled. I struggle with memorization. I struggle with tests. I just do. NEVER in my life has a teacher made me feel smaller than I am for struggling and I've never shared my testing scores with other people. My teachers cared about me enough to give me remediation and help me actually understand the subject matter rather than memorize it. I have 2 degrees and I earned them because I had a community of people who understood the job of the teacher is to teach those who desire to learn.
I was highly embarrassed.
I'm in a class with 7 other adults and we took what seemed to be a simple test today and I was the only one who failed.
The teacher kept saying out loud in front of everyone "are you serious" or "did she seriously fail" or "thousands of people have taken this test and this has never happened before" or "are you ok" or "is something wrong with you".......
Let's breathe for a second.
I was embarrassed. I still am. I have to face these people tomorrow.
I am the only Black person in my class and I'm one of two women in my class. I tried so hard to do my best but I failed. I tried to carry a torch for every Black person and woman after me but I failed and what really sucks is that someone made me feel like sh*t about it in front of everyone else.
I'm embarrassed. I shouldn't have failed but I did.
What can I do about it?
I'm going to get up tomorrow. I'm going to look in the mirror and do my superhero stance. I'm going to go in and pass my final. I'm going to retake the test I failed yesterday and pass it. I'm going get my graduation certificate. I'm going to go home and I'm going to get over my embarrassment. I'm going to continue to be a #girlboss.
Just like that.
But what I am going to ask of my readers is this:
Be someone who lifts others up
Be aware that everyone is not the same
Be aware that people have learning disabilities
Be aware that someone who seems perfect is really not
Be aware that we all have flaws
Be aware of others' feelings
Be aware that when someone is already a unicorn 🦄 with 1 horn it really sucks when you make them feel like they have 2.
Just be effing aware so we can cast out anxiety, worry, doubt, and depression from people's lives by being good, genuine human beings.
I love you for who you are,