I walk into my apartment, tripping over two pairs of shoes. Looking around, I sigh at the random piles of laundry haphazardly cluttering my carpeted floor. Saturday’s outfit in the corner, Sunday’s outfit by the sofa. When did I even wear those jeans? There’s a half-constructed Ikea dresser laying in the middle of the living room, making it difficult to get anywhere. Random screws, nails, and other weird Ikea furniture construction hardware is spewed out on the floor, becoming embedded in the carpet, posing serious danger for my always-bare feet.
The dishwasher is full of week-old clean dishes that I have yet to unload, which, of course, means that the sink is full of empty water cups and cereal bowls. I tip-toe my way through the chaos, only to round the corner and spot the dining room table. A stray hairbrush and product packaging graces its top. Each of the four chairs are loaded up with various items. “Oh my gosh…” I think.
Walking into the bathroom, I cringe at the sight of every beauty product I’ve used in the past week piled on the counter. My neatly labeled linen closet is nearly empty, but my counter is absolutely full. More random outfits (mostly pajamas) are strewn around.
My bedroom isn’t an exception to the apparent tornado that tore through my home. Still more pieces of clothing are draped on my bed and floor (how do I have this much clothing?). My bed is unmade–no, that is an understatement. A lone pillow remains atop my bed with my comforter, quilt, top sheet, and other pillows piling up around the room.
My fridge is empty except for some moldy mozzarella cheese and expired orange juice. There are a couple of pints of Ben and Jerry’s in the freezer alongside some stale ice cubes.
I check my email, and it is full of unopened, unanswered messages.
I haven’t worked out at the rather pricey gym I pay for monthly in almost three weeks.
I’ve been almost-late to work multiple times in the past two weeks.
I left my patio door open on Sunday afternoon and fell asleep, allowing two large flies and quite a few mosquitoes into my apartment, most of which have yet to leave.
Two bags of trash are ready to be tossed in the dumpster, but sit patiently by the door instead.
I bought a movie On Demand for $5 and took unplanned naps both times I tried to watch it.
Hear this: I am a hot mess. We all are.
For the past 10 days or so, my life has been frazzled, chaotic, and inconsistent (can you tell?). I haven’t been able to effectively prioritize much of anything, so nothing has really gotten done. Blame it on the holidays around the corner…blame it on the weather…blame it on human nature. This perfectionist girl has been a total mess.
My parents never shook their metaphorical finger at me when I didn’t do well on a test as a little girl because they “could never put as much pressure on me as I already put on myself.” I hold myself to a ridiculous standard–I hold myself to near-perfect always. When life isn’t just-so, I usually crumble. Become angry with myself. Annoyed that I’m not doing better. Self-loathe. Beat myself up.
Come on, Blair, you could have made a to-do list.
Really–you didn’t go to the grocery store again today?
Why haven’t you done laundry yet?
Why haven’t you finished putting together the dresser yet?
Why haven’t you become perfect yet?
And it swirls and it swirls and it becomes too much to handle and I start to freeze. But I’ve learned something–something ordinary yet miraculous: that it’s important to forgive myself. Perfection is an illusion and life is messy and I am allowed to throw my hands up and say “I’m a mess!” So, today, I say WORLD–I am a mess! But it’s okay. I forgive me.
As Ann Voskamp so poignantly said,
“Life isn’t about getting it right – but about receiving grace.” -Ann Voskamp
Here’s to imperfection–for it is full of grace.
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