Present Over Perfect

It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve made my way over to my blog. Between work and the start of the semester, my head feels like it’s been spinning nonstop. What day is it anyway? As I sat down to write this, I found myself convinced that it was already next week. It’s been a week of really great things since coming back for the semester. Yet, at the same time, I’m not sure I’ve been able to sit still since Sunday. My roommate can attest to this. Yesterday as all dorms across campus were on lock down because of a crime committed in a nearby city, I found myself antsy and trapped inside my thoughts. The only remedy I saw was hitting the road and putting in some miles. So I put on my shoes, promised my roommate I would stay on campus, and left for a run with my phone in hand. And I tried to stay as close to campus as I could, but unfortunately, I did break that promise. Sorry, friend. And if you’re reading this, Mom, don’t worry. They caught the guy, and I, obviously, made it back safely.

For me, this week marks the start of something crazy. It’s the beginning of the end. My final semester of college has begun, and as each day comes to a close, I am getting closer to graduation. And today as I wrestle with life, I keep thinking of a phrase Shauna Niequist uses in her book Bread and Wine.

Present over perfect.

Would all the perfectionists please stand up.

As much as I would like to admit it, I am a pretty big perfectionist. It’s a trap, a vicious cycle that I truly hate. Sometimes it’s great, like when I need to put forth a lot of effort on a project. Sometimes it’s the pits, like when getting a B on any assignment or test gives me anxiety.

Yikes.

For this final semester, I feel a lot of (self-induced) pressure to make it perfect, to make it the best. And although I think it’s good to want to make something be great, this is also an insane burden to carry around. If I keep it up, I’m not sure people are even going to want to be around me in a month or so. Because perfection isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. And how can someone truly be present with others if she is more concerned about perfection?

So this beginning, this final semester isn’t going to be about perfection. It’s not going to be about a neat and tidy bow that ties everything together in May. It’s going to be about presence, about being with people. And it’s also going to be about celebration because life is something worth celebrating. Life in all of it’s messiness and stress. It’s worth celebrating.

Present over perfect.

Let the semester begin.

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