“…I ain’t no size two but I can shake it, shake it, like I’m supposed to do ’cause I got that boom boom that all the boys chase. All the right junk in all the right places. I see the magazines working that Photoshop. We know that shit ain’t real. Come on, now, make it stop. If you got beauty, beauty, just raise ’em up ’cause every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top….”
Meghan Trainor. Oh, Meghan Trainor. I have to admit I was a doubter at first. It took me a while to fully appreciate the fabulousness but I. ADORE. THIS. SONG. Seriously, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways!
It makes me dance and I don’t dance. I’m more of a head-bobbin’ kinda girl but this song? This song makes me shake what my mama gave me! It ain’t pretty because this girl’s got NO (like my husband doesn’t even like to slow-dance with me) rhythm but, Lord have mercy, it’s fun!
It’s sassy as all get out. Just…BOLD. Audacious. Unapologetic. And I totally dig that.
Most importantly though? It’s all about loving you. YOU. The you that’s on the inside. The you that’s on the outside. The imperfect you.
Let’s talk about you for a little bit.
Raise your hand if you’ve felt bad about yourself this week.
Maybe your pants are a little tight. (Those effers must’ve shrunk in the dryer.) Maybe your bank account is a little low. (Or so low you’re hoping you’ve fallen prey to identity theft and won’t be held responsible for overdraft fees.) Perhaps your home, once again, looks like a freakin’ tornado rolled through it. (A tornado with scissors.) Your pedicure is less than stellar. You missed a big opportunity at work. Some gray hairs popped up. Your kid dropped the F-bomb at church.
In short, compared to everyone else in the world, you just feel like you come up…short. I mean, yeah, you know you’re blessed. Yeah, your kids are healthy. Your dog likes you. Nobody’s repossessed your truck yet but you wish you had THAT house. Her body. His job. Their talent.
I wanna ask you a question.
Those people who you’re comparing yourself to, do you think they have it all together? Do you think the Jones family, you know, those guys everybody’s trying to keep up with, see themselves as superior to you? Do they know, without a doubt, that they have it made? Is their life 100% perfect 100% of the time?
In my experience (and remember, I’m in A LOT of houses. Houses that run the gamut from opulent to plain. Majestic to mundane.), no matter how “together” someone seems from the outside, they still experience vulnerability on a regular basis. They still experience self-doubt. They worry about being good enough. About failing. About not fitting in. They wrestle with inadequacy. They compare themselves to others and come up short.
See, we’ve somehow convinced ourselves that there’s a finish line out there. That there’s a place where all will be right with the world forever. That once we get there, we’ll be set. All of our problems will melt away.
If we could just lose weight, our life would be great.
If we could just find that perfect person, our life would be amazing.
If we could just pack up and run away to live on the beach, we’d finally be happy.
That’s complete bullshit.
It’s bullshit because there is NO finish line. There is no “perfect.” Perfect is unattainable not because there’s a problem with you but because there’s a problem with IT. And that problem is that it’s imaginary. It doesn’t exist. The concept of perfect is actually just an arbitrary standard or opinion of someone else that we’ve bought into. That we’ve decided to put value in. That we compare ourselves to. And because it’s a goal we can NEVER reach, there’s never going to be a point in your life when you finally feel like you’re good enough unless you find that within yourself.
Did you hear me? YOU GOTTA FIND IT WITHIN YOURSELF.
So what the crap does that mean?
Well, it means realizing that you’re not defined by comparison to others. You’re defined by YOU. By who YOU are. By what YOU do. By how YOU love. Your journey, your grief, your home, your mess- YOUR LIFE- aren’t going to look like anybody else’s. IT’S NOT SUPPOSED TO.
And we need to embrace that. Embrace our vulnerabilities, our imperfections, admit ’em and celebrate ’em, and only worry about bettering ourselves because WE. WANT. IT, and not because we’re trying to keep up with someone else. Or be someone else. There’s tragedy in that. Tragedy because when you’re trying to be someone or something you’re not, the real you gets lost and the world doesn’t get to see it. And lemme tell you, the world needs to see it. The world NEEDS to see imperfect people living their imperfect not-happily-ever-after lives.
The pretense of perfect is screwing everybody over.