At age 11, my first year at high school, a girl called me eccentric. Back then I did not fully understand the meaning of the word. All I knew was that I wanted to be perfect and the way she said it, eccentric seemed nowhere near perfect. You see, I used to think that I needed to be perfect; that I shouldn’t tell others about my problems because they’ll realize how much of a mess I really was and not like me. Therefore, having someone describe me as eccentric, without even getting to know me, made me feel offended. Truth be told, I felt like she saw right through me. I was hesitant to ever speak to her again.
Then, one day I came across what I now consider to be one of the most beautiful and favorite lyrics of mine and it simply says,
“Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack, a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in”. – Leonard Cohen
Those words resonated in my mind for years. I often reflected on them time and time again until I finally came to accept few things to be truer. And today it was laid on my heart to share with you. I’ll add to that and say that our imperfections, which often lead to a lot of our insecurities, are what makes us unique. And what I’ve also learnt is that being unique is actually so much better than being perfect. Today’s blog post is therefore entitled Perfectly Imperfect.
Fast forward to a few years ago, approximately thirteen years after that high school incident, and after growing into and discovering who I truly was, might I add – my dad randomly told me one morning, “I really think you’re mixed with a bit of eccentricity”. I was surprised at first but then immediately laughed (at myself really) because I understood better what that meant. And so my reply this time was not one of anger or confusion. Instead, I proudly replied, “yes daddy I know”. You see the difference and reason I was able to smile now was because I finally came to understand that my naïve concept of perfection was really a myth and more so what I considered to be imperfections were truly the things that made me stand out; made me, ME.
What words do people use to describe YOU?
What words do you use to describe yourself?
Have you been attempting to strive for perfection as well?
Take a look around, who’s perfect anyway?
Today I want to speak to anyone who has ever felt like perfection was the goal. That being ‘perfect’ in the eyes of your parents, spouse, best friends, Instagram followers, and peers was necessary. Be honest with yourself now. Whether it’s covering up our insecurities with filters, weave, eyelashes, airbrushed sideburns and hairlines, false status updates, romantic captions, sweeping issues under the rug, drinking, smoking, active social lives, plastered smiles or plastic surgery, at some point or the other, we’ve all strived to be/look perfect to others.
On the other hand, maybe you’re guilty of being described or labelled as something less than you think you are, and now you’re left feeling that you will never amount to anything more.
The dark side of all of this is, we’ve all been guilty of beating ourselves up over trying to accomplish something that can never be. Truth is, in both instances, we all lose. And both circumstances will drive you insane.
My advice to you is the only measure you should strive to be is nothing more and nothing less than YOURSELF.
Further to this story, sixteen years later and the girl from high school is one of my very best friends. I saw her just last night. Isn’t life such a funny thing? You see at 11, I felt that no one should be allowed to define me. That is why I got so upset about the word eccentric in the first place. Consequently, I decided that I was going to define myself.
But could you imagine if I had allowed what she said to completely mess with my mind? Had I taken it in a completely negative way, I would have, from a young age, begun to look at myself as flawed; not good enough, and perhaps tried to walk in someone else’s shadows – even hers.
Had I hastily interrupted the first thing someone told me – that seemed opposite to perfect – as a downfall, instead of a perfectly imperfect fraction of my being, I definitely would not have been the same person I am today.
Maybe the reason we became such good friends in the first place was because she saw me for who I truly was. More so, she probably saw parts of me I had not yet realized. Today I want you to know that there a lot more of you waiting to be acknowledged. There are some things you’ve already labelled as faults or undesirable features but they are in fact what makes you so brilliant and rare. Don’t change. Unlike me, you don’t have to wait years to finally accept yourself. Learn from this and do not be afraid to open up and allow others to see you for who you really are.
Today, I want to ask that you join me in opening up and walking in your truth as well. Word of advice: Don’t think too much into it. It doesn’t always have to be so deep. Just pay attention to your own detail. I’ll start. You continue…
My name is Kay-Marie A. C. Fletcher
I’m 5’ 5”
-I‘m witty, enthusiastic and loyal af
-Not caught up in the hype
-I don’t like popcorn
-I talk with my hands a lot
-I avoid touching public door handles
-The evil purple devil emojis freak me out. I’ve never gotten myself to use one in a convo, EVER
-I often sit on my bedroom floor in complete darkness just to clear my mind.
-But I’m stronger than what meets the eye
-I hide myself in my room when visitors come over. Sorry not sorry.
-Once a month I experience excruciating pain that leaves me almost paralyzed for 48 hrs straight yet people who don’t suffer from irregular menstruation, secondary dysmenorrhea or can’t use birth control won’t understand.
-I eat Peanut butter straight from the tub with a spoon as though it’s ice cream. (Don’t judge until you’ve tried it yourself – thank me later!)
-I like things to be completed in an even number.
-I often go to the bathroom just to sit and talk to myself (pretending I’m having personal camera time on my own reality show)
-Buju Banton is my favorite singer (yup even more than my baby daddy Chris Brown)
-My FIRST hour upon wake is dedicated to prayer & worship before I lift a finger. (I used to grab my cell phone first but trust me this has changed my life)
-I have a lot of moles
-Conditions of being in my close circle include sarcastic replies, correcting of incorrect spelling, being tagged in memes & talking about believing in your dreams
-I travel at least twice each year – this is not a brag, it’s a requirement for my sanity.
-I don’t eat sardine but I like tuna (no they’re not the same thing)
-My pet peeve is when someone leaves my bedroom door open
-I need alone time to thrive
-I detest the words: normal, average, ordinary and common.
-My favorite food is plantain
-My favorite place is an airport
-My Secret weapon: Worship
-I love the scent of new books
– buying new stationary excites me
-I’m a list making, boundary setting, elusive type goals, self care junkie
-I‘ll be the first female Caribbean author to be a #1 New York Times Bestseller just you wait and see
-I‘m more of a lowkey type person – which probably defeats the purpose of this ‘over-sharing’ moment but hey, writing random, honest stuff down about myself heals me…
What heals you?
At age 27, I’ve experienced (the hard way) and enough to know that perfection is a fable which requires you to lose your authenticity while striving toward it. And that striving toward this ideal image will make you lose your mind and sometimes even your soul.
Today as you read this, I urge you to take a moment to acknowledge the things unique to you and begin to love them; begin to own them and begin to unapologetically walk in your own truth!
No it isn’t going to be easy. It is, however, going to require you to make room by removing the masks you’ve had up for so long, you’ve begun to convince yourself are real [Reality Check: They aren’t.] in order to finally show the real you.
Take a moment to also raise up that rug and sweep out all the things you’ve hidden or neglected to deal with for so long. There is where your healing will begin. This is what will help you to finally figure out who you truly are as well.
You see I’ve learnt that being me means being unapologetically accepting and working on my flaws. It means that I am often a walking paradox. I stick to myself but I can also be very loud, wild, and playful.
I am also very kind, ambitious, emotional, fun, loving, motivated, talkative, and rare. To be me means being underestimated, used, disappointed, heartbroken, yet being able to make a joke about my problems in order to put a smile on someone else’s face. To be me means dreaming about living a life that only seems possible in a book or movie.
To be me means turning down an invitation to a club in order to stay in bed to read and at times re-read books. To be me means fighting temptation to remain virtuous. “I want to be a female who prides herself in being a good woman in a world full of bad bitches” – yes I saw that meme somewhere online so what? To be me means having a list of places I want to visit yet no money in my bank account to go anywhere – YET. I came to understand though that God never gives you a dream that matches your budget. He’s not checking your bank account. He’s checking your faith.
To be me means trying all kinds of crazy weight loss fads and still feeling like the fattest amongst my peers. To be me means not having the time to come to terms with the death of loved ones because I have to be strong for others. To be me means putting on a brave face the next morning after spending all night crying uncontrollably on my bedroom floor. To be me means packing my things and walking away from the only thing I knew to be home. To be me means falling for, getting my heart broken but still believing in true love. To be me means being betrayed by a parent and a best friend. To be me means having big dreams but no one to support them. To be me means being beautiful flaws and all.
My reason for sharing all of this is to let you know that we’ve all got issues. We all want to strive for better (not perfection) and despite what anyone else has made you feel about yourself, we all have the power to own our magic (which, if you’re trying to locate, is already within you.)
Now I know I usually write on topics relating to achieving your goals and dreams, but you must first know that in order to accomplish ANYTHING in this life, you should first get to like the person you are. Be your own company. And know that you are beautiful and capable of accomplishing those things.
Elizabeth Kubler-Ross said, “The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassions, gentleness and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen”.
I’ll end by writing this…
Dear beautiful person reading this,
Please do not change who you are because someone else fails to the see that beauty that is YOU and believe in the dreams within you. To be YOU is truly the best thing you can be.
And so my prayer is that each day you wake up, you begin to look in the mirror and remind yourself of how special you are. Everyday find a new adjective to describe YOU. Today it can be strong, and tomorrow it could be handsome. A month from now, it could be powerful. Whatever it may be, if you look yourself in the eyes long enough and consistently keep at it, you will eventually start to believe it yourself.
When you believe and confidently begin to walk in your truth, others will have no choice but to treat you as such. And even if they do not, you know what… it really doesn’t matter. It matters not what words other people use to describe you. All that matters is what you choose to believe and act accordingly. (Let your words match your behavior/actions).
I know you may not feel like your best self right now but even with all of those private burdens, there’s someone out there praying they get to meet someone like you. Don’t give up on yourself. The world needs more unique YOUs in it.
I have learnt to accept all that I am; flaws, mistakes, weirdness and all. Most importantly, I’ve learnt not to let things said change me unless it’s for the better. And so today I want to encourage you to never forget that we are all perfectly imperfect and that’s exactly how it should be!
READ MORE AT: http://www.kaymariefletcherwrites.com