Tag Archives: Wire Walking

Embracing Imperfection

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“Our addiction to perfection will kill the artist,” – Rachael C. Smith

This past year I discussed how the only thing I quit was one of my jobs.

Looking back—that’s not true–I also quit something else: I quit trying to be perfect.

 Does that mean I stopped trying to be the best me I could be?

Absolutely not.

 It simply means that I’ve found a new respect for imperfection and that I’ve found a new way to embrace the fact that we will not always be the greatest at what we try.

 Because the truth is that so often we fill ourselves with doubts and fears and worries about trying new things — but not because we simply believe we won’t be able to physically or mentally do something, but because we are concerned that we won’t be able to do something perfectly.

And when we don’t succeed at doing something perfectly, we can often feel guilty or embarrassed and tear ourselves apart. But the truth is that many times we should feel proud just to have tried something in the first place, because LIFE isn’t about being perfect.

It’s about a willingness to be IMPERFECT.

It’s about a willingness to mess up and to learn from our mess-ups.

It’s about a willingness to expose our vulnerabilities—and also a willingness to embrace them.

Life Is about taking on challenges and testing our strengths and testing our limits. It’s about breaking out of our shell and finding out what works for us. It’s about refusing the word no and giving unlimited possibilities to where YES might take us. It’s about throwing perfection out the window—and embracing the fact that just once, or twice, or even many times we might not be the best  and most talented in the room—but at least we are there and at least we are trying.

I didn’t set out on the hobby year to be perfect, though many times I found myself doubting and worrying and scared that I wouldn’t be “perfect” at something new. AND many times, I believed that if I wasn’t perfect at something, I’d be disappointing.  But when I wasn’t perfect—the truth is I wasn’t disappointing—In fact, I was human. My friends, my teachers, and my instructors all accepted my flaws and welcomed them because they wanted to teach me. And because they welcomed the imperfection—I began to welcome it as well.

Once I put the thought behind me that “I had to be perfect”—I really began to give it my all–I really found how much I was truly capable of:

-Getting up on a unicycle with the help of friends.

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-Hanging upside down even briefly at an aerial yoga class.

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-Walking a wire

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-Swinging and flipping off of a trapeze

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And 90 other activities and skills that I never even thought I’d have a chance to try.

So the next time that the worries and doubts and fears fill your mind, and the next time you think you can’t do something because you won’t “look perfect” or because you think you might not BE perfect when you try, I dare you to put those worries and those fears and those doubts behind you—because not only are they holding you back from trying something new, they are holding you back from understanding how wonderful it is NOT to be perfect. I dare you to embrace the imperfection, because what you’ll find out in the end is that you’ll be perfectly okay with being imperfect. 

 

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Finding Balance

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I imagine that learning to walk must have been the scariest moment of my life to date, even if I never formed a memory of it. Tiny feet pattering–a bruised baby bum–a dizzying disaster. Thank goodness, that as children, we have a hand to hold, and someone to help us back up.

As I cross the wire set up at the Trapeze Loft, I suddenly feel like a child again, as I desperately reach for a hand to hold.

“You can let go,” I say as I grasp Debra’s hand tighter. We laugh. At this point, she’s not holding my hand at all. I am squeezing her thumb with all my might. “I swear I’ll be fine if we just let go,” I forcefully say as I finally go to release her hand. I then yell, “Wait, no–not ready.” I can’t fathom the baby jumble that came out of my mouth as I learned how to walk for the first time.

I feel my hips sway back and forth. My arms wave, almost violently. “Wooooooah,” “ahhhhh” are some of the reactions coming out of me.

My instructor walks away.

“Where are you going?”

Debra adds that people get it best when she pays no attention.

She’s right–but not just for wire walking–but for life as well.

Even if someone’s not literally holding our hand–if they are near by, we know we can reach for them to help us back up. but if no one is around. Well then, it’s up to oneself and only oneself. Debra sits across the room chatting away. It’s only up to me now–and my two feet.

I race quickly–one foot at a time. I’m falling from one side to the other–saving myself and catching myself from an invisible doom below. It doesn’t look graceful–but neither does life at most points.

Either way, I am learning to walk on my own–the most important lesson there is.

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Special Thanks
Debra Chilcott
The Trapeze Loft

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