Unfinished and a Failure (In 20 Easy-to-Follow Steps)

1. First, I failed at living up to all my ideas of how I thought I should be.

2. Second, I failed to live up to everyone else’s  ideas of how they thought I should be.

3. Then I suffered.

4. Immediately I repeated the first three steps over and over again.

5. Then I discovered the cycle of striving and judgment not only caused great suffering, but also great boredom.

6. I took the step of getting to know myself as myself—imperfect and unfinished—but, it turns out, interesting.

7. Then I began to introduce my genuine, awkward, adorable self to others: they responded in many unforeseen ways.

8. Step number 8 (or was it 8000?): I realized I was still trying to make the event of myself different than I am (i.e. fighting with reality), I just used more sophisticated words and techniques.

9. I lost track of what step I was on.

10. I came across a great poem.

11. I looked at the pictures of trucks my sister sent me from Delhi.

12. I swam across the lake.

13. I lay on the floor.

14. I killed a chicken.

15. I realized if there was one thing left that could use some improving it was my “thinking.”

16. Then I got so caught up in this great book I’m reading I forgot the whole thing.

17. Finally, Leo Babauta told me I was perfect (and he’ll tell you too if you let him).

18. I wonder what is for dinner?

19. Perfect exists in the formless pre-manifest reality, but once it is pushed through the garlic press of life into form, it becomes something totally messy and sticky.

20. Even though I’ve lost all interest in perfect and imperfect alike, and who says what, and what thinks who, and what is next, and when is now, I joined the Perfect Protest anyway (because this is it), and because it looked like such good company.

Thanks to Marianne Elliot for telling me about the Perfect Protest, and to Juno Lamb for the photo of me last year on Halloween and the shoes, and to Janina Lamb for constructing a virtual sign for me to hold over my head, and to Rosy Lamb for the inspired title.

Please leave a comment and tell us how are you unperfecting yourself today?

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

secret admirer October 8, 2010 at 11:34 pm

Imperfect and unfinished – thank the gods! Perfect would indeed be boring, if not worse. I think you are pretty awesome as a complete mess and failure. Don’t ask me why. It’s just so much more dynamic and real. Especially when there is something really present in the midst of it all. A very interesting unfinished success in my book. And wicked cute, too! xoxo
ps I ordered the book and I’m sending this out to a few billion people. Hope you don’t mind.

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Jasmine October 9, 2010 at 11:52 am

Thanks! Watch out with leaving comments as a “secret admirer” I might think you are spam and delete you! Thanks for sharing this post. Which book are you ordering?

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genevieve drutchas October 9, 2010 at 3:44 pm

Oh, I love this so much! Thank you! Big Love, Big imperfection, big beautiful all of us!

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Jasmine October 9, 2010 at 6:08 pm

Thanks, Genevieve. It looks from your URL like you have a farm? I wish everyone could see the beautiful, imperfect, glorious sunset tonight!

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Jasmine October 9, 2010 at 6:10 pm

Oh, ha ha…I know your farm well. I’ve been eating a little of it every day for the last ten years or so!

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Tonio October 9, 2010 at 6:59 pm

I sought a layer of anonymity to protect the innocent from unneccesary potential derision from association with me and my comment – spam or not. A silly concern, I suspect. But, I am occasionally, if not often possessed of silly concerns. I ordered the ‘great book’ that succeeded in distracting you from it all during one of the above steps, as I’ve enjoyed every book you’ve recommended, to me. (though, I now realize you didn’t actually recommend it, to me)

Here is a comment from a friend I sent this to: “Oooh, Tonio. I love it!! So wonderful. I also love the picture of Jasmine in her Halloween get up. I feel like the list of 20 ways to imperfection is brilliant and so wise and good and true. Thanks for sending it on. Kisses, G”

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