The Death of Perfectionism
I’ve been agonizing over the decision of whether or not to keep this blog. I haven’t posted in quite a while. That’s mostly due to the fact that I started studying social media and platform building for writers. And so this blog started to look like a glaring mistake. I’d pretty much decided to trash it and start a new one. After all, this one hasn’t been around long, hasn’t developed much of a following yet. It’d be easy to just pretend that I’d done it all right from the beginning– start fresh, shiny and new.
Then, Thursday morning, I found out that my grandfather died. He went out for his morning walk and didn’t return. They searched for him and found only his body. Everything else that made him him was never coming back. He was less than two months shy of his ninety-second birthday.
He was a happy, fun-loving man. He was independent in spirit and always smiling. My fondest memories are of him in his little beige truck, the bed filled with fishing gear. I remember playing along the edge of the water as he and my father fished for hours on end, barely talking, soaking up the sun. He was solid, self-assured.
I am sad that my grandfather is no longer with us, but I can’t say that I feel a particular loss. He lived a long, eventful, fruitful life. And I don’t think anyone could ask for much more. So, I won’t dwell on his death. I choose, instead, to focus on the way he chose to live his life.
With that said, I feel an overwhelming need to let go of perfectionism. As unrealistic and deflating as perfectionism can be, it has been a pursuit of mine for longer than I can remember. At times it was a conscious pursuit, but mostly it wasn’t. It’s manifested itself in more ways than I can count. The most recent being my itch to give this blog the axe.
Even now, the idea of keeping a public record of what feels like a mistake to me, makes my stomach turn. It’s silly. I know that no one is perfect and that mistakes are a part of living. Yet, somehow my standards for myself have always been higher than those held for others. The side effect has been the unwillingness to take the risks necessary to pursue my dreams.
My granddaddy always did the things that made him happy because that’s what made life worth living. I have generally been doing what’s easiest instead doing what works or what really makes me happy. I think its time I followed in the footsteps the great man I’ll always love. To celebrate the life of David Early Sr., I choose to let perfectionism die.
The first step– the blog stays.