Embrace Imperfection
Start writing a post

Turn on any TV, go to any website, and you'll see dozens of advertisements telling you about all the things that are wrong with you, all the things you don't have, all the experiences you could be having. Go to Instagram or Facebook, everyone is posting about their accomplishments, their wonderful friends and family, all the places they are traveling. And there you are, just sitting behind your computer or phone, feeling small.

During times of high stress, I find myself spending so much mental energy apologizing to myself for not having all these things, not fitting this image. I get swept up in all of the shame, drowning in a sea of "I should have..." and "If only I could…" and "Why didn't I…" until even my proudest moments seem painfully insignificant in the grand scheme of things. I think of all the impressive things my friends and family members have done and I put them on a pedestal while I kick myself down.

For one, I'm not a superstar student. Never have been, and probably never will be. I went to a competitive high school, I frequently lied about my grades and standardized test scores to my peers. Even in college, I've gotten caught up in feelings of inadequacy. But you know what? College is tough. Sure, you have lots of fun, but the weight on your shoulders can be at times overwhelming. Have you ever stepped back and thought about the fact that maybe telling young adults they have 4-5 years to plan the rest of their life and if things don't go smoothly they'll wind up a failure for life, regretting all their mistakes until the day they die? Yeah, it's pretty bonkers, especially considering that some of our society's most successful individuals took very non-traditional paths.

If school is your strong suit, that's friggin' awesome. I know you have worked hard and have an extremely bright future. I just want to help myself and others realize that academics are one particular skill, not a test to see who is going to succeed in life and who won't. People with all levels of education, whether they dropped out of high school or got a Ph.D., go on to lead happy and fulfilling lives on their own terms. I spend more time volunteering than studying for exams, I have a large network of amazing friends, and I took some risks in my love life which led to my first real romantic relationships. Guess what? These are achievements too! Personally, I do intend to go to grad school, but I have come to realize I am gaining so much more from my college experience than letter grades and letters of recommendation.

A couple weeks ago, I really screwed up. I was on a committee of an organization I'm a part of. I didn't give it my all, I didn't discipline myself to show up to all the meetings and follow through with the commitments I made. In the end, I was told I could no longer serve on the committee. I was heartbroken. I cried for an hour when I saw the email. "This isn't who you are, you could've done so much better!" I told myself repeatedly. But the truth I came to was that, actually, that is who I was, it showed how my imperfections led me to make a mistake. Does this mean I am a horrible person? Absolutely not. It was a committee, I wasn't in trouble with the law or causing anyone serious harm. If I am honest with myself about what went wrong and take it as a learning experience to grow and improve; this turn of events that brought me so much shame can be transformed into a life lesson I will one day be grateful for. Just like how I lost my first relationship due to letting gossip get the best of me, and I promised myself from then on that I wouldn't allow myself to repeat my mistake. Two years later? I am much more careful when it comes to gossip. That pain I felt back then made me stronger and wiser.

I've come to learn, and I am still learning every day, that there is nothing more courageous than to wear your imperfections and failures on your sleeve. People who focus on nothing but success and live in fear and denial of their shortcomings are closing themselves off to true fulfillment. When you try to bury those shameful moments away, you are missing out on a huge opportunity to grow and to form a connection with others through common experiences. When you show empathy for others, you show empathy for yourself.

To err is human.

To be proud of it is badass.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

That's right, you heard that correctly: Demi Lovato and Max Ehrich called off their engagement after the couple originally announced their engagement in July after beginning to date in March.

Keep Reading... Show less

Demi Lovato's Called-Off Engagement Reminds Us Of The Importance Of Taking Our Time In Relationships

While this may be another hardship she sadly has to endure, I know she will find a way to inspire and help others through it.


I am heartbroken.

Keep Reading... Show less

Freshly popped buttered popcorn in your lap and a glass full of crisp Coca-Cola is at your side. All the lights are turned off and you are tucked into a cozy blanket. You have the whole day off and no responsibilities besides refilling your popcorn bucket. Now all you have to do is decide on what movie to watch, but you know one movie will not fulfill your need of relaxing all day. A movie marathon is the only answer to your problem. In case you did not know what movie series to start with, try a few of these.

Keep Reading... Show less
A Touch Of Teal

It's the oldest story in the world: one day a new tv show comes on and you fall in love with each character and their story. In 2003, the show "One Tree Hill" was born and stole the hearts of fans of many ages. Torn between the sweet, underdog Lucas and tough, popular boy Nathan, people became hooked through the family and relationship drama the characters went through.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

12 Starbucks Iced Drinks You NEED In Your Life

Must-try beverages brought to you by your local barista.


Be kind to your baristas, they can make you some pretty great drinks. With the temperature rising and the days getting longer, it's approaching the time to find your summer staple to keep you cool (and caffeinated) over the next few months.

Keep Reading... Show less

"Keeping Up With The Kardashians" is coming to an end after 20 seasons of intense drama, family bonding, and Scott Disick. It's sad for some and a relief for others who find the show way overhyped.

Keep Reading... Show less

Starbucks is known for its infamous coffee and espresso drinks, but they're definitely isn't enough love shown for the non-coffee drinks. Being a barista myself, I've come to try all of the following drinks. And let me tell you…they're amazing. So if you aren't a huge fan of coffee or if you're just sick of the same old same old, here are some new drinks to keep your inner white girl alive and thriving.

SEE MORE: Starbucks Has Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Cold Brew And OMG It Has Pink Foam

Keep Reading... Show less

What was usually buried at the bottom of my purse has now become a pocket essential — and I know I'm not alone in that.

It used to be something I'd use if I happened to be at a restaurant that ran out of soap in their bathroom, but now it's almost more essential to have on-hand at all times than my cell phone.

Keep Reading... Show less

The decision-makers of Yale's law students have invested in therapy dog sessions in order to reduce stress. In 2011, Yale Law Library had a sign-out sheet for their certified library dog. The 30-minute sessions were equipped with unconditional, stress-busting puppy love.

Law Librarian Blair Kauffman stated that the free, three-day pilot pet therapy program at Yale Law Library launched as "a positive addition to current services offered by the library."

Keep Reading... Show less

I have been working at Dunkin' Donuts for over two years, and during this time, I have progressed from regular crew member to crew coach, and finally, to shift leader. Among my great skills involving the job is my ability to deal with stressful situations, including awful customers. My boss has continuously pointed out the fact that I am able to handle these people with grace and kindness. She herself often finds that she gets snippy with rude customers, but somehow I am able to keep a straight face through these tough times.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments