Publish Without Perfection

“Perfection is impossible; just strive to do your best.” — Angela Watson

Riding Surreys in San Diego
Riding Surreys in San Diego

I read something a few weeks ago that really resonated with me: it’s okay to hit publish knowing it’s not perfection. We live in a world where taking photos has become so easy, especially with the introduction of the “selfie.” We’ve become so accustomed to taking the perfect photo and making sure it looks flawless. After all, most of these photos end up living online, which might as well be permanent. How do we cope with the idea that perfection isn’t possible? We know it, yet we continue to strive for it. 

I remember when I got my first digital camera. It was a FujiFilm and I thought it was the coolest thing on the planet. To me, it was revolutionary that I could see all of the photos that I took in the palm of my hand. No more waiting for film to develop or turning in that Kodak disposable camera. Do you remember those? The ones with the yellow cardboard cover over them? It’s weird that I can finally say, “That makes me feel old.” 😂

Throughout the years, I had upgraded to different models and brands until eventually my parents bought me a Canon T3i when I graduated high school. I tended to only bring it along for special trips, family events, parties, and the like. Even though our smart phones had cameras, the selfie didn’t truly make an appearance in my life until college. Fun fact: it was actually invented in 1839.

As the selfies continued, I felt like more and more people—including myself—grew anxious at the thought of being behind the camera. When we put control in someone else’s hand to take that photo, the fearful thoughts starting running through our heads. Oh my God, do I look like I have a double chin? Is my hair okay? Is there anything in my teeth? Do I look skinny from this angle?

Why can’t we just accept who we are at this moment in time? Maybe we don’t have the bodies we want right now while the cameras out. Maybe we don’t have the best angle planned for the photo. But it’s not the end of the world. I get it though. It’s tough to put trust in someone else when you can’t see the exact product seconds later as you would in a selfie.

At the end of the day, we’re all a work in progress. We all have different insecurities and things we wish we could change. Truthfully, the photo shouldn’t let us stop ourselves from hiding out of frame. It shouldn’t make us feel fear instead of having a good time. We should continue to document the fun, hit publish, and move on. Facebook will remind us of the old photos in a couple of years and we’ll probably get a good laugh out of it. Or, we get a wake up call. Either way, it sounds like it’s a small price to pay to be reminded of the good times.

When we were in San Diego, we rode surreys and the clerk offered to take a photo of us. I was pretty happy with the picture, but I felt those same fears. Do I look okay? Am I going to look good in this photo? I took a horrible selfie when we got here, what if this one is just as bad? 

The most important thing I keep telling myself is: do your best. Show up, work hard, and work through the challenges. For me, I’ve struggled with working out consistently and eating healthy my whole life. So when the camera comes out, I especially grow anxious and want to look my best, but I dread it most times. The truth of the matter is that I can’t instantly drop 10 pounds, I can’t reverse the food I’ve already eaten, and I can’t get back the time I lost when I could have been working out. But what I can do is learn from it all. I can grow and become stronger by remembering that this isn’t how I want to feel when I’m at parties, events, or just hanging out with friends.

We can take as many photos as we want, but we shouldn’t waste time trying to take the same photo multiple times until eventually it doesn’t feel fun anymore. Snap a couple, hope you got some good ones, and move on. 📸 It doesn’t need to be “Insta” perfect. It doesn’t have to make us look 10 years younger or 10 pounds lighter. It can show exactly who we are at this current place in our lives. That will help us when we look back. It’ll help us see how far we’ve come. 🙌🏼


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