The Beauty of Imperfection

Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.

Marilyn Monroe

Yes, I am imperfect. And proudly so.

There was a time when I was imperfect and massively worried and concerned about being so. I spent days sulking if the hairstylist failed to give me the dreamy hairstyle. I did all I could to hide that lone pimple on my chin, sometimes being holed up in my room for days.

I was a reasonably good student and ranked among the top layer. I got straight A’s and it became an addiction. I strived to out-perform myself. This, of course, pleased my middle-class parents. The quest for perfection in academics soon hip-hopped into looks, my other abilities, my personality and social circle (and I thank God for the absence of social media back then).

The carving for perfection – in self, possessions, relationships, achievements – had a peculiar impact on me. I began to live in extremities, I became judgemental and always would compare people with myself and with others.

This phase lasted for some years, I guess until early college before I realized I was under immense stress, mostly self-manufactured. I realized I hadn’t partied for a long time, while my friends would hang out every weekend. I did end up scoring a few marks more than them though. They would get together to cheer and celebrate their not-so-worthy-grades, while I would sulk over the two odd points that I lost. Clearly, they were happier than me. I knew I was going wrong, somewhere, but it took time for me to figure out where.

In college, I loosened up a bit. It was a different feeling, a feeling of contentment. I stopped being fearful of failure. I stopped equating being perfect with being loved and respected. I stopped establishing benchmarks higher and higher to feel worthy enough to be valued and accepted. With age, I have now come to understand that my worth is what I make of it, and is directly proportional to self-love and the love I create outside of myself.

It’s perfectly normal to allow your vulnerability and fragility to show through. It’s perfectly normal to allow your scars and cellulite to show. It’s perfectly normal to lose the much-eyed promotion at work. It’s perfectly normal to go unnoticed in a gathering. It’s perfectly normal to apply crooked kohl liner on your eyes. It’s perfectly normal to be imperfect. I am in a happy space now.

The bright side of being imperfect

Over time, I have reaped many benefits of being imperfect, clumsy, forgetful, messy, unorganized, curvy, loud and carefree. And I don’t think I’d ever want to be perfect!

You’ll have more friends – You being perfect or wanting to be perfect in everything you do, often makes it stressful for people around you. When you accept your imperfections and let the fort around you fall, you make others feel comfortable being imperfect, as well. It becomes easier for you to bond with people because you no longer associate perfection with self-worth. Flaws help you relate to people. Borders start to melt and competition and comparison make way for empathy and you will make long-lasting relationships that are fulfilling and enrich your life in many ways.

It’s not so much about grudgingly ‘accepting’ your imperfection. The imperfection IS the brightest point of you. The light shines through the crack and that’s what makes it beautiful. You are more desirable for your flaws.

You’ll be grateful for things you have – Gratitude is an art that must be practiced to master. Your imperfections are a reminder of the world around you being in perfect order. Just as it should be. No matter how imperfect you see your life to be, there are a million things that you will still have to be grateful for. Just by being grateful for even the smallest things in life you will realize the overwhelming magnanimity of it. Gratitude has a magical power, the power of positivity that can transform your life from being imperfect to be meaningful and worthy.

You mundane will become exciting – Imagine a life that’s perfect. The marriage works fine, the finances are in control, the kids are bright and well-behaved, the boss is awesome, the paycheck exceeds your expectations, you’re in your best shape, and there is no mortgage. Sounds like a life you’ve been dreaming of? Well, rest assured, you will want your imperfect life back after the initial bliss fades. There is something about a messy life that makes it liveable. Mundane, how much ever perfect, is boring. Screaming kids, overdue bills, a broken ankle, a messy home are what make life (im)perfectly beautiful. It keeps us alive, breathing, wanting and hoping.

You will laugh more – Imperfect things are what jokes are made on, told, re-told, and remembered for years. That time when your alarm failed and you missed the train, that time when you burned the food when you were hoping it to turn out Pinterest worthy, that time when you turned up for someone’s birthday party a day before the party-date and embarrassed yourself are all imperfections that make us laugh and feel silly. If you were perfect, you wouldn’t have built these memories.

You will raise empathetic and functional kids – Parents who are freakingly perfect, judgemental and insanely meticulous parents are stress stimuli for their children. They allow no room for mistakes, failures or imperfections. They grow up without learning the much-needed life skills of managing stress, facing failures, accepting rejection, optimal resource utilization, and being grateful. Letting your kids see you make mistakes and loving yourself despite all imperfections shows them to be real, not hating themselves for failing, to not give up, to feel grateful and to laugh a lot.

After all these years I now know there is a strange kind of addictive beauty in things that are imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. You’ve got to allow yourself to be imperfect to feel it. Don’t be a hostage of perfection. Set yourself free from the stifling discomfort of being perfect. Being flawed is a beautiful thing.

Happy to be perfectly imperfect!

 

 

3 comments

  1. And its a ‘perfect’ article ..hah ha ! Sorry but true. I have experienced how liberating this can be as I walked off a ‘perfectly’ poised to take-off career in IT that made me more money than most peers and blessed a fancier, much coveted title. Now, much happier with life with my humble pursuits. What author has written has to be genuinely and happily lived, its not merely intellectual fodder !

    Liked by 1 person

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