“If you look for perfection, you’ll never be content.” ― Leo Tolstoy
There are a lot of opportunities that I have missed out on because things were not perfect. I missed out on truly embracing motherhood because I was single and too young to be a “good” parent. I ignored my zeal of writing because I would never be considered one of the “greats” because of my lack of formal education. I eliminated myself from being a successful person because of my sordid past. I counted my self out for true happiness because that never happened to black girls like me.
Perfection is the second cousin to procrastination. If we wait until something is perfect to make an action, we would never get anything done because our situations are constantly changing.
Just last year, I was getting ready for Christmas with a smile on my face because my mentor decided to sponsor my family’s Christmas. She not only took me shopping, but she made a loaf of pumpkin bread from scratch and equipped me with a gingerbread house kit. My children and I gathered at my mother’s house and decorated the gingerbread house while eating most of the candy in the process. It was a great Christmas and a very promising New Year.
Then, the seasons changed…..
Since June of this year I have been unemployed after being ‘separated’ from my former employer. As months passed, I dedicated myself to helping at my daughter’s school, blogging and my newest venture- I.N.S.P.I.R.E .Though these activities bring me joy, they are not very lucrative as of now and I had no clue of how I was going to keep my light bill paid to even think about Christmas.
Things are far from perfect for me at this moment in my life right now, but I have never been more joyful.
Now, don’t get me wrong, just last month I was bugging out about the aforementioned things and more. But, this month has been a grand experience of the joys of love and family for me; there are so many things that I can and will be thankful for. If I wait for things to get better or be perfect, I will miss some of the most wonderful things that are taking place right now for myself as well as my loved ones.
In her Tedtalk, The Power of Believing that You Can Improve, Professor Carol Dweck motivates us all to relish in The Power of Yet– where we are in a growth mindset instead of a fixed mindset. She encourages us to stand firm in the face of adversity and to put more effort in the things that we do. She persuades us to engage with our errors so that we learn from them and correct them. She rallies us all to praise the process of improvement instead of allowing ourselves to be beaten down by life’s circumstances.
Though last year was better for me economically, I seem to be so much happier with the direction that my life is taking. Yes, I miss being able to indulge in some yummy pumpkin bread and build a gingerbread house, but I would not trade my freedom to create and be myself at all times for anything in this world. Though I have less financial independence, I am not excluded from being productive in my household and community. My separation empowered me to breathe life into situations that I did not have time to nurture because I worked. I have the ability to be more involved in my daughter’s life and the luxury of writing all day if I so desired. I have been presented with the best opportunities to bring change in my neighborhood, and honey I am seizing each and every moment.
Basing our happiness on temporal things will always keep us in a rut. When we decide to be content no matter our situations we thrive! Shine on urbanites!
* Images found on http://www.google.com