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The Gift of Imperfection

It is good to know you are not perfect. It makes me feel a little better about me!

My friend wrote this in an email to me last week.

That’s all I had to do? Let my friend know I’m not perfect to brighten his day? I’m all in. That’s easy. I am so not perfect. But didn’t he already know that? We’ve been friends ever since we met in a parking lot on warm, early fall New England day in 2006. My running group had just finished a twelve miler but I still had four more to run before I was done. His running group was milling about in the same parking lot. I don’t remember exactly how we connected. I was hot, dehydrated, and glycogen-depleted at the time. But he needed to get four more miles in, too, so off we went. He has been as reliable and motivating a running partner a girl could have, ever since that fateful meeting in the parking lot.

Over the years, we’ve passed the miles with trash talk, laughs, and of course very serious conversations about very serious things, like life, love, career, family, and everything else that makes life interesting and complicated and painful and amazing.

He knows I’m not perfect. And as awesome as my disciplined, successful, tenacious, big-hearted, funny friend is, I know he’s not perfect either. And yet… It’s so easy to forget. It’s way too easy, especially in the age of social media, to compare our insides with our friends’ outsides.

Earlier in the email conversation, my friend  mentioned the weather in Rhode Island and so I mentioned the weather here in Boulder (lots of snow but sunny, in case you were wondering), and then I asked myself why I was sharing information about the weather with this friend who has pounded up hills with me, making me breathe so hard I couldn’t cry about a breakup even if I wanted to, which I did, very badly. He was at the going away party that was so lovely I almost couldn’t bring myself to leave Rhode Island for Boulder. He’s watched me blow my nose into my sleeve in the pre-dawn darkness about a thousand times. We are so beyond small talk.

So I wrote this:

I cried this morning b/c Lady Bug was up a million times before midnight and I have slept through the night about 4 times in the past 4 weeks and I am soooo tired and Lady Bug has been soooo clingy and I yelled at her this morning and Sweet Pea was like “Mom, she’s just a baby!” and so I went to the gym b/c I thought a workout would help my mood and I liked the idea of leaving  them in gym babysitting b/c I wanted a break and then I thought “We’ve been up for less than 3 hours and I already need a break and I’ve yelled at my 20 month old. I am such a failure.” So obviously I should get a job right? But the logistics of childcare (not to mention the cost) with 2 kids and one in preschool… Not super enticing either. Some days are just hard.

And my friend wasn’t like, “You yelled at a baby!? You’re a monster,” which was what I was telling myself. He told me he was glad to know I wasn’t perfect. Which reminds me of one of my favorite quotes:

There is a crack, a crack in everything.
That’s how the light gets in.
-Leonard Cohen

There is a crack, a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in. -Leonard Cohen Click To Tweet

So can we all just go out and be our imperfect selves and live our best, messy, beautiful lives and love each other and- here’s the hard part- ourselves- not just for everything we are, but also for everything we’re not? I’m going to keep trying.

 Happy Valentine’s Day.


Give the Gift of Imperfection


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  1. This was awesome, honest, and I love that Cohen quote. Perfect for this. (Sorry to use “perfect”) 😉
    Nina recently posted…Do Listen Read: February So FarMy Profile

  2. I love this! Imperfection is a wonderful gift, it’ brings us closer to authenticity! Thanks for writing this, Pammy!

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