I’m not the perfect anything and that is perfectly OK with me.
On motherhood, working, IronMan and life.
I just got back home from the ‘perfect’ family gathering and all the comments, words, questions made me think.
There is so much pressure to be the perfect everything. The perfect mother, the perfect wife, the perfect daughter, the perfect (social) entrepreneur, the perfect athlete and the perfect business woman.
Truth is, I’m not the perfect anything. But… I do my best.
I come from a comfortable background. My father was an employee in an industry that meant we got a lot of benefits.He worked at an oil company and although we were never wealthy growing up, I was exposed to some of the best things in life and for that, I am grateful.
With that, however, came a lot of pressure growing up. You needed good grades. You needed to look good. You needed to wear the right brands and have the right home. The right car, the right university, the right degree and so the list went on.
Eventually, after university, I moved to Jordan. Although I had a simple job at university that paid peanuts (selling badges for Multiple Sclerosis at Virgin Megastore), I needed to get the ‘perfect’ full time job. Luckily, I did. I had the perfect career transitions and got married at the family imposed perfect age. I had the perfect first daughter and a perfect second one after that.
Over the years, social media became more and more prominent. Everyone saw everything you do and everyone judged. People showed their lives through rose-colored glasses and everyone believed that was now the standard. All of a sudden imperfections were hidden and your perfect bits of life highlighted.
Let me just say, I am not the perfect anything. I do my best and that to me is good enough.
University? I didn’t do so well in my first year. But hey, I managed in the end and ended up on a career path that has nothing to do with University or where I thought I would end up. And I loved every minute of it.
Work? I got a warning from my boss in my second month… while still on probation, mind you, for publishing an ad with the wrong star (and it was for the biggest client and a double page ad… it was a major mess up)… but hey, it worked out in the end.
The perfect wife? I’ll leave that to my husband but I can pretty much guarantee he’ll come up with a list of things I either forget, miss out on, or could improve.
The perfect mother? With all the articles and studies and teachings and philosophies these days, I am pretty sure no one is confident that they are doing the right thing. What I do care about is my daughters love me, love their father, have a happy home, they smile, growing healthy, have wonderful grades at school, have beautiful personalities are strong. They sleep well, they have friends, they do cart wheels and play in the sand. Fingers crossed because lets just say, I’m winging it.
The perfect athlete? Hahahahahahahaha Definitely not. Slowest 2km swim, slowest 60km bike ride and my first marathon? I’m pretty sure a 70 year old man finished before me. I finished, though. I ran the full 42.19km and that is good enough for me. I’m training to complete an IronMan and I just learned how to swim and cycle recently and I am definitely a far cry from an awesome runner. The beauty of this is that I see progress, I put goals and work on getting better.
Perfect business woman? Compared to who? People who inherited lots of money, successful family businesses? I’m not saying that isn’t hard work, of course it is. But the daily struggles of setting up a business from nothing, with limited resources, responsibilities and a first time entrepreneur trying to ‘make it’. There are people with financial cushions that make it all look so simple, but it really isn’t. The struggle is real, its tough, its demotivating at times, and you have to make a lot of decisions. You have bills to pay and at the same time need to pay your suppliers… its tough. I don’t make the perfect decisions all the time because you may know what the right order is, the right flow is, but you sometimes need to get creative to make things work. And creative is not always perfect, but it makes things happen.
What I can safely say is, I give it my all. When I train, I do my best and get exhausted in the process. While setting up my business, I did it with my heart and soul and every ounce of my energy. When I am with my girls I give them all the love and support I can. I try to be a good citizen and volunteer, mentor and support others but at the end of the day, I’m a human and human is imperfect.
So yeah, I’m not perfect and if I ever try to claim to be you can remind me of all the times I wanted to give up sugar and the extra kg’s I struggle to shed. My lack of patience at times and my desire to give up other times.
We’re all doing our best and that is the advise and encouragement I give my daughter, cousins, friends and everyone around me. Let us be imperfect together, let us support one another and let us enjoy and laugh about all the silly things that we do. All of our mistakes and decisions are part of the process of growing and developing. I believe that goals and aspirations are important and they drive everything that we do (especially drive me) and we are all perfect just the way we are!