The Coach

I just had an epiphany.

(That happens pretty often. Especially after I’ve had a chai latte. Maybe I’m misusing the word.)

But I have been working up to this one: my expectations are unreasonable. That’s what’s so insidious about perfectionism. It’s not like I walk around thinking about how badly I want to be perfect. Well, not directly. But everything I do is framed with unspoken, unreasonable expectations. Actually, when I do speak them they sound ridiculous. It’s like I have a cruel, demanding bully of a coach in my head, screaming at me to wake up earlier, run farther, write more words, write better, dress better, be friendlier, be more intentional, be more spiritual, be smarter, work faster, answer more emails, meet with more people, stay later, eat healthier, cook tastier, talk more, be funnier, read more, stay up later…

These past couple of weeks I’ve started wondering: who is even keeping score?

I used to blame this coach voice on God, but the more acquainted I become with my own faith and the grace it is rooted in, the more I doubt the validity of that. I still haven’t figured out what it means to “take His yoke upon me” but it seems like Jesus promises us some sort of rest, and rest is not in this mental coach’s vocabulary.

But enough with that mental image. The point is that I am coming to the perhaps overdue conclusion that some, if not all, of my expectations for myself are somewhat unreasonable. Including this blog. I’ve tried to have deep, important things to say. I’ve tried to make profound statements about life, my faith, and writing. I’ve felt drastically insecure about the validity of anything I have to say on any of these subjects. I haven’t written for weeks at a time and I’ve debated about whether or not I even want to blog even though I know writers are “supposed to.” I’m still not even sure about this whole notion of people reading what I write.

But what if I lowered my expectation? Because sometimes my reflections are not all that deep, and sometimes I’m not that clever or witty myself. But I’m pretty good at noticing things, when I’m in a good place. Funny things, interesting things, sometimes even deep things. Maybe I could write some of those here. Just try it out. A space to be free, creative, and have reasonable expectations for myself.

It seems worth an experiment at least.

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