Imperfection is Part of the Art

If you look back at pictures of me in college, you’ll notice that I almost always had my nails painted. I used to spend two hours at a time giving myself a manicure just like you get at the salon.

<img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-2894" src="https://jessicaphilo.files.wordpress.com/2017/01/380619_3232060688387_1485102438_n.jpg&quot; alt="Me in London

I’ve probably painted my nails  five times in the past five years. There are a bunch of reasons for that, but the most troubling and prevailing reason I don’t paint my nails anymore is because I often don’t have two hours to spend doing nothing with my hands, applying coats and waiting for them to dry. So I resign to doing nothing, despite the desire to have my nails painted.

I realized last night that my perfectionism is seeping into the most mundane things in my life.

I do not paint my nails anymore because if I can’t do it correctly and perfectly, I will not do it at all.

I am so blindly type A that I will not paint my nails if I can not do it exactly like I want to. Like it will somehow mean something if I *gasp* apply one coat of polish to a bare nail.

*insert eye roll here*

I’ve been slowly realizing how often I get the urge to do something perfectly, and how often I painstakingly follow through with that urge. Or, I know that I cannot do it perfectly and decide not to do it at all because if you can’t do it right, you have no business doing it at all.

That kind of thinking should really be reserved for people making precise, life and death movements. You know, like surgeons or rocket scientists, or the bomb squad. Me? The most life and death I get is getting behind the wheel of a car or chopping vegetables with a very sharp knife.

I do not need to stay so tightly wound. I do not need to exist in a purely perfect state of being. In fact, that’s impossible. So the illusion I’ve been keeping up of needing to do everything perfectly is a joke I’ve been playing on myself for years.

I made a vision board for 2017 and one of my favorite sentences I pieced together reads, “Imperfection is part of the art.” If you want to create something or do something you haven’t done before, you can’t be afraid of a little imperfection.

Here’s to one coat manicures, crooked lines, and asymmetrical pieces.

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