Each new year, as I think on new beginnings here on the blog, I feel this strange need to reassert that I am nothing special. I am a far from perfect parent, teacher, researcher, and writer.
I am generally and generously flawed as a human being.
I don’t know why I feel the urge to make that disclaimer so frequently. Why this need to make it absolutely clear that I am, so obviously, human? The urge has been particularly strong this year, as our family is in the middle of an adventure….or in the middle of chaos, depending upon your perspective!
I think it’s because I work in this professional sphere of ideal theory and best practice, meshed with the Pinterest-perfection of the blogosphere. I want to be able to share all the best that’s out there, without creating any false illusion that I am actually doing it all perfectly myself.
Then there are days when I not only feel the need to make the disclaimer, but to ask the ever-ready “Who am I?” question.
“Who am I to teach people how to be good parents?”
“Who am I to write about classroom practice?”
“Who am I to get up in front of an auditorium full of people and tell them how to be champions for childhood?”
“Who am I to do any of it, when I’m just me — perfectly imperfect me?”
I know I’m not alone in this. I think the pandemic of perfectionism makes a valiant attempt to stop many of us in our tracks.
I hear it all around me:
My friend who worries as a blogger, about matching up with the strengths of her peers.
My friend who’s a health coach, who feels weighed down by guilt because she struggles as much as her clients do with food demons and negative self-talk.
My fellow moms who say we’re aware of the fact that we’re in charge of these little people, but quite honestly aren’t sure we know what the heck we’re doing from moment to moment.
We aren’t perfect. Not one of us.
And that’s OK.
What’s not OK, is when we let our imperfections get in the way of our greatness. Continue reading