A Beautiful, Imperfect Life
I took this series of photos, trying to capture just the right water drippage as this cow (or is it a steer?) drank water out of an automatic waterer. I was on a local farm tour so there were other people in my way, a fence limited my angles and how close I could get, the sun was too bright, there was background stuff that I knew would be difficult to cut out, and I was using my camera’s manual mode as the auto-mode was over exposing the shot. Did I mention I’m no expert on the best ISO, aperture, shutter speed, white balance, auto-focus versus continuous-focus combination to use in a given situation?
I was disappointed with the sharpness and detail when I downloaded the photos onto my computer. As I scrolled through the shots with a critical eye, I forgot about all the things I’d seen that day.
I forgot about the exploration and experimentation I’d done.
I forgot the ideas that were prompted as I looked at how other people were housing their chickens and what herbs they were growing.
I forgot about how I had spent the day trying different camera setting combinations and purposely overexposing or moving the camera to create blur. It’d been a long time since I’d spent so much time playing with my camera.
But I forgot all that.
At the end of the day, what it came down to was the result. Did any of the photos contain what I had tried to capture? Were they different than my usual shots? Were there any photos that I was actually proud of?
Trying to get to “good” (preferably “excellent”) is something I struggle to approach with any form of patience.
Wholehearted living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, “No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough.” It’s going to bed at night thinking, “yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am brave and worthy of love and belonging.” ~ Brene Brown, “Rising Strong”
This is one of those statements that I respond to with a resounding “YES!” and yet I continue with the habit of being very hard on myself. I’m even being hard on myself about being hard on myself! Good grief!
I feel like so much of what I write here is about struggling. I’m sure you are tired of it, as am I. But am I alone in this? I doubt it.
It’s hard to believe that the woman writing the above and the woman floating around laughing below are the same person. And yet they are.
Take note of this contradiction next time you compare yourself to all those confident, happy people on Facebook and Instagram.
We’re all struggling in some way. OK, maybe there is someone out there who isn’t but most of us have “stuff.”
What I’m learning, though, is to be grateful for the moments when I am not performing. The times when I’ve dropped my guard and am not worried about how good of an impression I’m making.
Such moments are not always the happy, laughing kind but they are authentically real and alive.
It’s the mix of the sweet and the salty that creates a beautiful, imperfect life.
I needed these words today, all of them. Thank you. I have read “Rising Strong” and soaked up every word, only to forget them as soon as I felt vulnerable again. Your story is a great reminder that we are all, at our core, so very much alike. But if stories are not shared how can we know this?
Here’s to that lovely blend of sweet and salty moments of that imperfect life!
That connection we get from hearing people’s stories is precious. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.
Reading this brought tears to my eyes. Am trying to put myself in a growth (vs. fixed) mindset but yet find myself criticizing my failures rather than celebrating my attempts, some of which have even been successes. No wonder I feel sad. But I didn’t recognize that that’s what I was doing until I read your post. Thanks for helping me put things in perspective.
I love the stories, too, the words and agree that we all have “stuff”, for sure. And I really like how your cow photos turned out!
Excellent! Many words of wisdom here! Thanks for sharing them…