Several months ago, I went on a date. This was a first date. Nerves. I was busy and not really wanting to squeeze in another activity in my life that weekend. Unrelated anxiety and nerves. I wasn't thrilled to be spending time with this guy but trying to remain open. Hesitant nerves. I arrived first and popped in to the restroom. My phone was beeping and must have upped the nerves to get me so distracted. I hurried out of the building we had chosen as a meeting location and was waiting outside. After about 15 minutes and plenty of people passing by and glancing at me, my date showed up. He kept looking me up and down in that creepy, awkward way, which obviously did not help my nerves. He gave me strange looks as we walked across the parking lot and a long-lingering one as he unlocked and opened the passenger door of his car for me. I was weirded out. Then...he looked me straight in the eyes and said..."I think your fly is down."
OH. MY. WORD. I turn away, fix my issue, while embarrassingly fumbling words and saying that has never happened to me before. He nonchalantly continues getting something out of the front seat and saying, "Yeah, it's usually a dude. Usually guys have to look out for each other." Oh. My. Then I started wondering which underwear I had on and replaying the scenes in my head of all of the people passing by me as I had waited outside of the building. I wanted to go home right then. I am pretty sure my scarlet face took an hour to resemble my normal paleness. But I also knew that was probably the worst thing that would happen to me on the date, and we had already started talking about other topics. So, I stayed.
I tell you this story today because it is kind of funny when I look back at it, and it's not a typical best/worst memory of the year. It emphasizes to me how much I have grown in certain regards. It also highlights how much more I can still grow.
Work is offering a lot of health and wellness programs so I have been trying to take advantage of some. There is everything from smoking cessation, maternal health, exercise, nutrition, mindfulness, stress relief, etc. I enrolled in another and had a first meeting today. It was kind of wonderful. Surprisingly so. We talked for a while about life, experiences, focus areas, goals. It nearly resembled a counseling session, though it was not supposed to be. She was so perceptive and would summarize a lot of what I said in very succinct and perceptive statements. I was surprised when she made some statements as I did not think I said anything remotely of the sort, but I know what she was saying was true. She was picking up on things that I did not know I was putting out there. I was talking answering a question with a summary of life through school years and she looked at me and said, "Andrea, you need balance in your life. You need balance in a lot of areas." What?? I'm talking about middle school, and you're talking about balance? But, she was right.
Near the end of our discussion, she wrote on a sheet of paper, starred it, and said, "This is what we will focus on. Start believing that there is no perfect. Doing many things 'okay' is fine." She had called me a perfectionist earlier in the meeting, which I might like to scoff at in my false humility. I know it is true. I was just looking at information last night on OCD and OCPD and the difference between those and a Type A personality. I know I prefer things in how they make rational sense to me. I know that I overcommit because I want to do everything for everyone. I know I procrastinate big or scary projects because either I will fail, I fear where they may lead me, or I will succeed and life will change or I will still know I could have put more effort or quality in. I know that when it all gets too hectic and hard to manage, I just throw everything out and say to heck with it. I'm an all or nothing kinda gal. What I should do has kept me from just being present and living a joyous, uninhibited life. I have picked up on this for a while and have been working on getting balance, saying no, not planning everything or answering emails/phone messages immediately, etc. I embraced my very embarrassing moment by finally just shrugging my shoulders and moving on. What happened happened and we must keep moving on. We don't have time to lament how we have not reached impossible standards for ourselves that we cannot meet. We must lower the bar, make it achievable, revel in our successes, set new goals, and keep moving forward.
Here's to not necessarily cutting things out of my life but the pressing need for all to be perfect and right. Here's to living presently on purpose, for purpose, and in purpose. Here's to excelling at okay and defining success, not by how well I have done all in my life but on how well I am moving forward.