I have been, of late, the worst version of myself. I can chalk it up to stress, a new home, a very far-away family, new job responsibilities, hormones, summer heat, metro delays, lack of exercise, the alignment of the stars, something I ate, but it all boils down to one thing: I haven’t been much fun to be around. And I haven’t been writing much (certainly not anything of substance) precisely because I haven’t wanted to see this particular version of me blinking back at me from the page once I finish. Who is this whiny, grouchy, weepy, prickly child, and why is she subjecting the unsuspecting internet browsers of the world to her self-pitying rants?
But as I apologized and tried to explain myself and my poor attitude for the umpteenth time to my roommates after a particularly embarrassing episode (involving an extremely petulant me, wardrobe issues, and country line dancing) on Saturday night, I realized a couple things. First, that while I may not be the most delightful party companion these days, the people around me are not having to deal with all of my ire–only the parts of it I can’t tamp down before they ooze out into view. So maybe apologizing all the time only makes things more awkward. And second, the people who love me don’t necessarily expect me to be my best self all the time. Maybe in demanding that level of social perfection of myself, I’m only doing myself and my friends a disservice.
Yes, I want to be that constantly cheerful, talkative, interested, adventurous girl that everyone wants at every party, but let’s face it: I’m not (even at the best of times, I’m not). And especially not right now, for whatever reason(s). So instead of demanding that and then losing my temper because I’m not living up to my own lofty and unrealistic expectations, maybe I could just get over it and accept…the whiny, grouchy, weepy, prickly child. A child I’m embarrassed to take out in public, but who remains, for all her moodiness, a beloved child of God and, somehow, even a beloved child of a few fabulous people–people who have proven themselves willing and somehow able to take her both at her best and at her very, very worst.
Besides, isn’t perfectionism itself an imperfection? It’s okay to appear small sometimes. It’s okay, in fact maybe it’s very good, to allow other people to see that you’re even kind of a mess sometimes. (Who do I think I’m fooling even when I’m my very best self, anyway?) Let’s be humble, for goodness’ sake.
So I’ll continue to take me away from parties early for my snack and my nap, and I will probably, I’m very sorry to say, continue to be whiny and petulant and to make sudden angry outbursts over stupid things like slow computers, left-side-of-the-escalator-standers, my missing hair straightener, how much I hate all my clothes, the heat, my busy schedule, the fact that Nobody Ever Calls Me, I can’t figure out what to write on this blog, I’m about 100 pages behind on my reading for book club on Thursday, I have so much freaking work to do, I need a bathing suit before I leave for Jamaica on Monday and the only ones left in stores are hideous…
(And what do you mean you didn’t know I was going to Jamaica on Monday? Haven’t I told this story like a million times? Why doesn’t anybody ever listen when I talk?)