I bought patio furniture and when it came, I needed to assemble it, which I hate. I hate assembling anything. Mostly because I don’t read instructions. I don’t have patience for it. I don’t have the attention span for instructions. I skim them and assume I’ll figure it out. Obviously, that doesn’t always work. Actually, most of the time, it doesn’t, which is why I hate assembling things. Therefore, I end up fucking up whatever I’m trying to assemble. Self fulfilling prophecy. The vicious cycle is, buy something to be assembled – skim instructions – toss aside instructions – assemble thing – curse 1,000 times – unassemble thing because I missed a step – curse another 1,000 times – throw something – doubt my worth as a human – assemble again. Rinse and repeat as necessary.
I know this about myself. Yet, I still don’t read the fucking directions. I jokingly tell people that I work harder, not smarter. BUT I KNOW THIS ABOUT MYSELF AND IT’S NOT A JOKE. So why can’t I stop doing this to myself?
Anyway, back to my patio furniture. In typical form, I didn’t pay attention to the instructions and assembled them wrong. Which I realized 13 hrs later as I was laying in bed, seeking sleep. I couldn’t figure out why the furniture didn’t feel as comfortable as I expected it to. It dawned on me that I had done it wrong. The next morning, I raced downstairs to the recycling bin to pull out the instructions. Sure enough, I had assembled it backwards. OF COURSE I DID. “Damnit Beth. Why can’t you just read the fucking instructions?” was the loop in my head as I walked to the patio to see if I could remedy my mistake. After wrestling with one of the chairs, I realized, that once you installed it backwards, there was no way to un-install it without damaging or destroying it. Money down the drain. My perfect little patio is all fucked up because the furniture is fucked up. BECAUSE I FUCKED IT UP.
Cue the self-loathing.
I’ve worked so damn hard to let go of perfectionism in my life, but in this moment, I sat down and started to cry because I fucked up. Again. I’m amazing at problem-solving, yet I couldn’t fix this. The spiral of anxiety sucked me right in and I put up zero fight. I sunk down and embraced the tightness in my throat and chest. I could’t shake off that while I know this isn’t a life-altering mistake in my mind, I’m still pissed at myself. I stewed for several hours in wishing I could back up 24 hrs for another chance to make it right. But I can’t no matter how hard I wish.
A few hours later, I debated if I would tell anyone about my mistake. Maybe I could pretend that I didn’t make it. But the truth is, every time I sit on that patio furniture, I’ll know it’s backwards and I’ll wonder if another person sitting in it will know too that something doesn’t feel right.
Isn’t life so much this? And aren’t these the kinds of pictures that we post? We only want to share the perfect parts? We pretend like the fuck-ups and spectacular blunders we made didn’t happen. We pretend like everything is perfect. Because maybe no one else will notice. I bet had I not told you, you wouldn’t have noticed from the picture. But WE walk around knowing about them, pretending. NOPE, NOTHING TO SEE HERE PEOPLE. EVERYTHING IS PERFECT. I DIDN’T FUCK ANYTHING UP. I’M A PERFECT FURNITURE PUTTER-TOGETHER-ER. YOU FEEL LIKE YOU’RE FALLING OUT OF THAT CHAIR? ER, I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT. DRINK YOUR COFFEE AND SHUT UP.
But eventually, pretending is exhausting. You can’t outrun your human-ness. No one is perfect. People fuck up. I fuck up. And I’ve fucked up way worse than furniture at times.
Instead, I’m going to own it. I decided to tell EVERYONE because that is how I can deal with my shame and perfectionism. I can talk about it. I can own it. I can share about it. Because it will let someone else know that they are not alone. I choose to turn to my vulnerability which ALWAYS absolves me of my shame, at least eventually.
This is why having a blog is necessary; it’s a space to be vulnerable and share the parts of myself that make me human. To let go of perfection. To honor my voice. To practice self-compassion. To open my heart wide and allow for connection. To remind myself that I am lovable.
So yes, if you’re sitting on my patio furniture, you’re sitting at a forward angle because I suck at reading instructions, but I’m amazing at sharing my imperfection and practicing vulnerability and I’m worthy and enough even though my patio or life isn’t perfect. Hold on and plant your feet so you don’t fall out. Oh, and btw, thank you for being here and you’re worthy and enough too. <3