I can remember one of the first lessons my parents ever taught me about life. It was about giving up and how quitters never win. I was in grade school, was enrolled in ballet for a few years, when I decided I didn’t want to be in ballet anymore. I was the tallest girl in my group which seriously could have helped me succeed, but my heart wasn’t in it anymore because I was discouraged. They made me finish out that season because they didn’t believe in giving up. Now as an adult, I completely understand that they had an investment in it, such as all the money they put into lessons and outfits and all the time they had spent watching me learn the proper form of a pirouette, so I wouldn’t let my child ever quit midseason, but I have also learned that sometimes giving up is actually the only good answer.
I have given up many relationships over the years. Whether it was a friend or a family member, when I realized how toxic the relationship was, I gave up on it. My biological mom was a drug addict. That’s seriously one of the only things I knew about her. After waiting up several birthdays and holidays for her to show up only to end up with a broken heart, it didn't take long for the young me to give up on her. It was a really hard thing to do, but it kept me from having my heart broken over and over again. I also gave up being a really good friend with someone because she made it apparent that everything was a contest between us. Her hair was always straighter then mine, her teeth were whiter, she was thinner, she had more friends, etc. I realized that our friendship, at least in her eyes, was based on a competition.
Another thing I have given up on is being the perfect person. I’m not a perfect mom, friend, sister, daughter, neighbor, or wife. I never will be. I tried for years to be that perfect person and it drove me nuts. I make mistakes, big and wide, huge mistakes. I’ve forgotten birthdays, I’ve not showed up to family gatherings and I’ve been known to keep myself locked up in a house for weeks because I simply suck at being an adult. Putting on this perfect show of a person is exhausting. My makeup is almost never done, my hair is almost guaranteed a mess and sometimes my kids skip bath time. I’ve gotten overly attached to fictional characters, cried over news in foreign countries and completely lost a few days when I got obsessed with a book series. Apologizing used to be one of the first things out of my mouth because I knew that my actions had upset others, but I shouldn’t have to apologize for it. If you cannot accept these flaws that make up who I am, then maybe the only true flaw is you.
Lastly, I gave up keeping my kitchen floor clean. That probably sounds terrible, more terrible than it really is, but stay with me. We have this ugly off white linoleum that is permanently stained. It gets completely cleaned, sweeping and mopping, at least once a month. Sometimes it gets cleaned two times in a month if my OCD kicks in, but it’s actually the last thing on my cleaning list. Sue me. In reality, it’s much like my life. No matter how many times I clean up a mess, remnants of human (or puppy) error will always shine through. Sticky spots will always be spot cleaned when needed. And reminders of what was there before will always come back to haunt me. Not keeping my floor completely spotless every second of every day reminds me that not everything is perfect and trying to be is and utterly exhausting.