Day 19: i want to be perfect

19 Jan

I make mistakes, namely typos. It happens.
Yesterday, I made a major boo-boo, misspelling the name of Shoes of Prey (that is the correct spelling.) All apologies.

I cringe when I find improper use of nouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives, pronouns or the conjugation-ness a mess.

I am not perfect. Even though I want to be.
The problem with making  a public promise to do something every day is having to do it.

My goal is to be as honest, real and as human as possible over the course of this year. I am opening myself up in order to open myself up.

Of course, I also want to be pithy and smart and funny and deep.
I want to be perfect.

But, I have a daily deadline to write something.
To the agony of my inner perfectionist, at some point I have to hit the “publish” button. I am both my own worst critic and editor.

The other side of my brain, the more enlightened side, reminds me of these three magic words:  Just. Do. It.

They are the same three words my father told me when I was agonizing about what major to declare in college. I loved art, history, psychology, sociology, sports studies… too many to declare even with minors involved.

The decision was larger than life and way too overwhelming.
In my brain, everything rested on me declaring the perfect major which would lead to the perfect internship, the most fantastic job, and the ultimate career.

I was stuck.
The deadline was looming.
How was I to choose?

I called my father for counsel on the verge of tears.
I was too young to mess up my life.
He just laughed, a very knowing and loving chuckle and said: “Jamie, just get the piece of paper. Just do it.”

So, I did.
I never landed or lost a job because I had a Women’s Studies degree or because I chose not to declare an Art Minor. It has not yet made me or broken me in any way.

When I am stuck I repeat those three magic words. When I make mistakes I take comfort that I am taking action and at least doing something.

I know I am going to make mistakes this year, but I am going to keep writing each and every day.

If you are on the verge of writing, dancing, painting, changing, speaking, seeing, loving, leaving, or some other form of personal commitment …
I have three words to say:

Just. Do. It.
And know, I will be here making mistakes with you.

2 Responses to “Day 19: i want to be perfect”

  1. Sunday Guthrie January 19, 2011 at 9:59 PM #

    You’re speaking loud and clear to Me! Perfection fuels me to make the most and do the best of any project I embark upon, but it can also paralyze me with fear. Unconsciously, I taught my two beautiful children to be perfectionist, too. Kent Devine reminds me that being a Perfectionist is not all bad; it is a great gift as long as we “just do it”. Thank you Jamie for the reminder, for sharing and being a real inspiration! 🙂

    • Jamie January 19, 2011 at 10:27 PM #

      Thank you Sunday, I agree it can be a wonderful gift. I love what you wrote! It is perfect.

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