Why Life is Better Imperfect

“You were born to be real, not to be perfect. You are here to be you, not to live someone else’s life.” — Ralph Marston

Christina and Cory steering a boat in the Ventura Keys
Cruising around the Ventura Keys

Too often we get caught up in what our lives should look like and dream up fantasies of unrealistic scenarios. Though it’s fun to fantasize, reality sinks in hard sometimes and it doesn’t always feel reassuring to be living a life where you don’t have everything you’ve dreamed of. Here’s the thing: life doesn’t have to be perfect to be enjoyable. In fact, some of the most imperfect things are what make life incredibly gratifying.

It’s simple really – life is better when it’s not perfect because we weren’t born to be that way. If we spend our whole lives trying to emulate something we’re not meant to do, then we’ll face some pretty difficult days ahead. We’ll spend more time trying to make life perfect instead of just enjoying the moment and accepting that we can love ourselves just the way we are. When we put too much focus on certain things and aim for perfection, we move into miserable territory.

A couple weekends ago, Cory and I went to the Ventura Harbor and rented a boat. 🛥 It was so relaxing to be on the water, feel the cool ocean breeze, and hear the sea lions barking throughout the harbor. The boat was named The Dragonfly and we took it through the Ventura Keys. It was one of the most fun things we’ve done in a while with quarantine being a new reality and a daily adjustment.

Going on a small Duffy boat has been one of my bucket list items. It’s such a small thing, but I’ve only ever been on a boat a handful of times: one time to go to Catalina, which I barely remember, and another time to go whale watching where I got really sea sick on the way back. It’s been on my list to go on a boat for a long time after those experiences, and I’m so glad we finally did.

I was so concerned about getting the perfect picture of myself on this boat because—guilty—it would look great on Instagram. I stopped trying to worry about the photo and just tried to soak in and savor the moment. We ended up getting plenty of great photos, but that wasn’t the point of it all.

The main point was that I had a really great time and ended up falling in love with one of the “imperfect” photos. My eyes are squinted, my face is flushed from the sun, and I’m pale as can be. But it doesn’t matter because that’s who I am and what I look like. I embraced it and I posted it on Instagram without a second thought because it showed a genuine moment where I was truly happy and enjoying steering the boat (something I’ve never done before).

After that day, I started thinking more about the imperfections in life and how I could learn to live with them. Trying to make everything perfect is going to lead to an unfulfilling life. Some of the things I’ve learned to accept and let go of to enjoy this beautiful life are:

There’s no such thing as a perfect photo. It’s so hard to come to terms with this in today’s world when we have high-quality cameras built into our phones. Is my hair okay? Wait I don’t like that angle…try another…wait, one more…okay, wait, almost got it…and it goes on. We spend so much time trying to find that perfect pose and something that’s cut out for Instagram. I’ve found that the best photos are the ones you usually wouldn’t post even though they capture true authenticity.

There’s never going to be a perfect time. We always say we’re going to start insert new project or goal here on Monday…the infamous Monday. But then Monday comes and it gets easy to put it off another day, and another, and another until a month or even a year has passed. There will never be a perfect time to start because the stars aren’t going to magically align and move all the obstacles that stand in between us and our goals. The obstacles and the challenges are what make us stronger. They help us build sustainable lifestyles in the long run because there will always be a challenge or something to overcome.

There’s joy in imperfections. I’ve found it’s the little things in life that make the most impact. Think about how unique flowers are. None of them ever grow exactly the same and some of them wither away in certain conditions while others thrive. They’re all different shapes, colors, and sizes. No two flowers look exactly same, which goes to show that there is beauty in imperfections. There’s no one flower every bud is trying to be.

I’ve learned to find the little things in life that aren’t perfect and try to embrace them. It’s hard at first, but connecting them to gratitude has also greatly shifted my perspective.

What are some of the things that are imperfect about your life? Do you embrace them? What can you do differently to start embracing them and stop focusing on perfection?

Effort and passion are far more meaningful and enriching than any level of perfection. A little bit goes a long way and we achieve far more in life when we drop the high standards that come along with perfection. Let’s just sit back and enjoy the sound of the waves. 🌊

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