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  • Writer's pictureCourtney Jordan

A Sigh of Relief

I took a deep breath as Damien told me that I needed to relax. I feel like I've been carrying a pretty heavy load lately.

I'm in between the job I'm leaving and the job I'm going to start. I'm in between my old apartment and the one I'll share with my new husband. I'm in the middle of tying up all the loose ends for the big day and trying not to skip a beat. I'm terrified that I'm forgetting something, but I'm trying to keep it all together and striving for everything to be perfect.

Well, I said that magic word ------- perfect. I am a perfectionist and it has gotten the best of me over the last few weeks. It finally came crashing down on me. Trying to keep everything together, scratch that, trying to keep everything perfectly together is exhausting. The idea that all of these things could be happening in my life -- new marriage, new place, new job (which pretty much equals a new life) -- and expect that everything would be perfect and effortless is an expectation that seems far-fetched. Still, it is an expectation that I carry and to which I usually hold myself.

If I was talking to my friend, I would tell her not to expect perfection and to give herself grace. Yet, these are not words that I say to myself. It's not good for me, I know. I guess Damien sensed it and he talked to me about it. He told me that I needed to relax and relent on holding my perfection expectation. Initially, I was frustrated that he was telling me this.

Doesn't he get it? I'm just trying to do everything perfectly because I expect everything to be perfect.

I could feel myself formulating an argument to combat his words, until I decided to listen and truly hear what he was saying and to recognize my flawed way of thinking. Very quickly, I realized that he was correct and that he was looking out for me, as a great partner should do. I didn't have anything to come back with and I began to cry, the weight of the truth coming out through my tears. All I could do was confess what I was feeling from the burden I created for myself. I took deep breaths and Damien and I talked through it. I had a few takeaways from our conversation:

  • Expecting perfection from myself and my life/world around me will eventually leave me on E (empty) and cause some level of disappointment and/or breakdown.

  • Learning to manage my expectations is something I need to work on doing better.

  • Remembering that small or even large hiccups along the way does not mean that the big picture success will not happen.

  • Having a partner who speaks truth to me is refreshing and I need to make sure that I am quick to listen and slower to speak.

  • Restarts are always possible.

As this chapter of my life is closing, I am grateful for the lessons I am learning as I move forward. I believe that all that is on my plate is meant to grow and shape me into a better human being. It is not easy to see challenges as growth opportunities. I know this in my head, but reminding my heart when things feel hard is a different story. May this situation serve as my reminder that challenges are for my growth as long as I see them that way.

My hope and prayer for you is that you learn to take in what you need to hear, even if it hard to hear. I also pray that you will understand that perfection is not the best goal. Things will work themselves out, but that does not mean there will not be bumps in the road and that is OK. To expect that everything will go off without one (or more) hitches is not realistic by any means. Setting yourself up for failure in that way will not serve you well. Rolling with the punches is a real thing and cheers to me (and the rest of my perfectionist friends) learning how to do it.

Until next time, friends ...

Take good care of yourselves,

Courtney xoxo

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