Thursday, February 11, 2010

My Brand of Perfect

At a football game last semester. Go Irish!

We all have those friends. We love them, we want them to be happy, but secretly we are jealous of how they seem to have it all together. There is the friend who is training for a marathon. There's the friend who sews her own glamorous dresses and the one with the wonderful boyfriend. Sometimes I look at them and think, She is perfect. Why can't I ever be like that?

I told my friend Joey about this one night. About how some of my friends seem flawless. About how I get jealous because I feel like I can never measure up. He said he feels the same way sometimes. "But Tess," he said, "to me you seem like one of those people." How ridiculous, I thought. I know I'm goofy, lazy, nerdy... how could I ever compare to my graceful, organized, friends?

But I thought about what Joey said. It meant a lot to me that he said it and I finally realized something: there is more than one way to be "perfect." My brand of perfect is not the kind that wakes up at 6 am, color-coordinates notebooks or has a single speck of athletic ability. My brand of perfect is baking cupcakes for birthdays and wearing pajamas until noon on Saturdays. It's always running late and always wearing something red (my favorite color). It's six sisters, and laughing, and classical books, memorizing poetry, Disney movies and Broadway soundtracks. It's being a complete dork and it's being happy.

And you know what, I bet your personal brand is perfect too.

Kisses, The Book Girl


  1. Tess,

    I can't wait to see you in a few days! I guess this is a good time to leave my first comment since I've been following you for awhile now on here.

    I think what it really boils down to is admiring in others with we lack or struggle with ourselves. God created each of us with a set of talents and gifts but also weakness and wounds. We all have things that come easily and things we will probably always struggle with but this is the "cocktail" of our salvation and God has a different recipe for each of us.

    I'm certainly NOT the early riser type but I have trained for a (half) marathon, I do have an insanely colored-coordinated room and I'm pretty darn organized. And you know who I look to with longing: the goofy, fun, people who just seem to be having the best time of their lives - all the time - and people who always have something to say in any conversation while I over-analyze and worry that I might say the wrong thing.

    A spiritual director once warned me that the organized neat types often struggle with a lack of joy and that really resonated for me - I laughed out loud! My love of order is certainly a blessing but it also leads to anxiety because well, this is dis-ordered world and I can't always make order out of the situations I find myself in.

    The truth is that certain virtues and vices tend to come in the same "package" and of course, we tend to focus on our own failings and other people's successes. So, just remember that those people who you want to be more like, well, they probably wish they could be a little more like YOU!

    See you soon!

  2. Ruth, I loved reading your thoughts on my post, and I'm so excited to see you have a blog now too! I love the idea that we each have a different God-given recipe for salvation... and I think mine requires me to live with a lot more order than I currently do! And you are right- we tend to admire others for the traits we DON'T have, yet we don't see the good traits they admire in us. Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments and I can't wait to see you!