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A beautiful mess

The lesson I learned…

Be perfect. If you fail and there are signs of imperfection, hide them.

Never a kid that presented a beautiful mess

of an art project.

Everything I did looked just like the example

because it needed to.

It had to be "perfect."

Remarkable representations

done by classmates.

Why can’t I create something that beautiful?

The requirement of perfection.

A devastating loss of creativity

and with it, freedom

to be a beautiful mess.

Fast forward to adulthood.

If I make a mistake...

reverse it,

explain it away,

hide it,

lie about it.

Don’t show imperfections.

What imperfections?

Oh, that, it wasn’t my fault.

I’m perfect.

Perfection is exhausting

because it's unattainable.

We, humans, make mistakes.

It’s unavoidable.

Overcoming the lesson…

A mistake at work.

I couldn’t fix it,

as hard as I tried.

No choice but to admit it,

but man, I didn't want to.

I lost it,

a total breakdown

facing my boss,

a fellow perfectionist.

Why are you trembling and crying?

I messed up big (not that big) with a difficult client.

I awaited the wrath

I had already unleashed

on myself

for making a mistake.

It’s a mistake.

We all make them.

We'll deal with it.

It will be ok.

Not a natural response, I know, for a fellow perfectionist.

I was given a gift.

She allowed me to be human,

to escape my humanness,


It’s been a process,

easing up on myself.

I’ve come a long way.


I’d rather make 1,000,000 mistakes

and own up to every one

than deny just one

ever again.


I want to create beautiful messes.

I want to be a beautiful mess.


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