I put immense pressure on myself to finish things. I dislike sitting in indecision, letting things linger, mulling over options. Many people I know struggle with perfectionism—not me! “Done is better than perfect” has been a phrase I’ve lived by, and it has served me well through my institutional journeys.
What happens to me, though, now that I don’t find as much comfort in institutions? My preference for completion has posed a stumbling block on my journey towards satisfaction, self actualization, and accepting purpose in an entrepreneurial, free-form, community-oriented world.
Over the past few years, I’ve been putting myself through the slow process of setting new intentions, accepting new realities, and setting myself free of things that limit me. I’ve learned so much by surrounding myself with people who are also relearning how to be a human, how to heal themselves and others, and how to build new things that are grounded in equity, justice, love, anti-racist principles, and anti-colonial models.
I’m reintroducing myself on this platform, stripped down and deconstructed, not hiding behind “a brand.” I am starting this journey with the site intentionally unfinished, unraveled, and imperfect. It is my space to undo myself, to see how it feels to unweave my assumptions, prejudices, and shadows.
Being “undone” means several things. It can mean to be 1) unfastened or untied, 2) unfinished, and 3) ruined by a disastrous setback (one of these things is not like the other, am I right).
Being unfastened is an uncomfortable state. I like to feel grounded and sturdy, and being detached from norms and assumptions that are supported by widely accepted social norms and assumptions is uncomfortable, You have to learn how to hold yourself upright without staking yourself too deeply. It’s like being a sunflower—growing freely upward, turning your face to the sun, with shallow, branching roots to nourish and grow.
Being unfinished is something I’ve learned to embrace. I’ve internalized one of my favorite sayings: “you aren’t a cake; you never stop baking.” There’s peace that comes with setting your own schedule and deciding you aren’t behind, because time is a construct and social norms about what it means to be an “adult” are arbitrary. Some of our greatest work comes in unlearning the restrictions, parameters and expectations that are placed on us as part of “growing up.” I know I have found that to be true for myself.
As far as being ruined by a disastrous setback, who knows? I find it sad that we often hold our breath when we see loved ones sharing the more vulnerable, authentic, real parts of themselves for fear that it will be weaponized against them. It’s also been used in very gendered ways, calling women “undone” for losing their virginity or getting pregnant out of wedlock or generally being of ”loose morals.” It speaks to the sickness of the disembodied society that we live in that vulnerability, the pursuit of pleasure and knowledge, connection to the physical, natural world and finding joy in coming to know our bodies as a home for our deepest selves is considered suspicious.
I am still very much deep in this work of undoing. I am on a journey to deepening my connection to my true self so that I may provide for my community.
Self work as social work. My new mantra, and the mantra of this amorphous digital endeavor.
Love to you all—I’m glad you’re here.