Dealing with Imperfection

While my blog is primarily photo based, occasionally I like to write about subjects that I feel strongly about, hoping that maybe at least one person resonates with me, plus it’s always fun and rewarding for me to articulate my thoughts.

Stepping into post-grad life, and recently, becoming completely financial independent, gave me countless opportunities to reflect. I feel like I know myself a lot better now, which is obviously a good thing. But it does mean that I see my strengths AND flaws more clearly than ever, and that isn’t necessarily easy to deal with.

By nature, I tend to worry too much and can be hard on myself. These traits combined have at times made it hard for me to reconcile with my own imperfections. And because I hate to lie, I’ll admit that it’s hard for me to deal with the flaws of those around me as well. That might sound harsh, but we all do it. We consciously or subconsciously blame others for things they do or the way they are because:

1) We see our flaws reflected in them. When someone complains about something someone else does yet does the same thing himself, we often call that person a hypocrite. I think that can be too harsh of an accusation. A lot of the times, I find that people are being “hypocritical” because they’re (at least vaguely) aware of their flaws but might be in denial about them. It’s much easier to see others’ actions in an objective light than your own. When those flaws you’re trying hard to conceal, or maybe fix, are embodied in another, sometimes you get frustrated and it’s understandable. When you friend flakes on you, you might see just how much inconvenience it causes and you might have done the same thing too. I’m not saying it’s okay to be hypocritical, but know maybe sometimes hypocrisy is just pride getting in the way.

2) We forget that every personality trait is a double edged sword. In fact, I am a firm believer that there’s something good and bad about every thing, situation, and person; and this simple belief has been tremendously helpful for my sanity, confidence, and happiness. We all know that NO ONE is perfect. It is not a theory up for debate: there just isn’t such a thing as a perfect person (plus even if there is, it means that you’re gonna have to be pretty close to perfection as well to be with him/her). Perhaps because this fact is so well known, we take it for granted. When others, especially significant others, disappoint us, it’s soo hard not to point the finger. When things don’t go our way, it’s so tempting to blame someone else and say, why couldn’t you have done this? Why couldn’t you be more like xxx?  What I find helpful in these moments is to remember what you would be giving up if everything goes your way. For example, one of my absolute favorite things about my boyfriend is how much freedom he gives me. I can do anything and everything I want without him making me feel even the slightest bit guilty. There’s no such thing as “permission”. However, sometimes I get a little disillusioned when he’s not as excited as I am about something that happened in my life, or if he has too little opinion to offer on something I’m contemplating. But you just can’t have it all – someone calm might not be super excited about every little thing, someone adventurous might not want to settle down, and someone ambitious might not have as much time to relax. You HAVE to decide what’s most important to you. Find someone who has the most important qualities but allow them to have flaws in other aspects.

To sum it up, one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned recently is that you have to be good at forgiving others and especially yourself for your imperfections. Everyone you love has issues, but since you love them, most likely their positive qualities way outshine their flaws. Try to always remember those qualities.