When two people get married, they feel like they are just perfect for one another. We all know and say, “there is no such thing as perfect” but that doesn’t change our desire for it. We use the word ‘perfect’ to describe our newborn babies, a completed art creation, a diamond, or even a well put together ensemble for the evening. Merriam-Webster defines perfect as having no room for improvement. So, is there really a such thing as perfect? Or is the word simply apart of our vocabulary with an interchangeable meaning? Once I became a wife, I felt like the requirements of me were overwhelming. More importantly I felt that I could not measure up to the standards of marriage that some figment of my mind’s imagination had conjured up. I felt like the problems that I had before saying “I do” magnified over night and became my biggest enemy. I was no longer the free-bird that needed to spread its wings, I was mother bird. I had stopped being the twenty something year old that made mistakes and bad decisions; I somehow had to magically transform into super wise, loving, mature, the opposite of who I really was, LeToya. And it felt forced.
Our first year I hated everything because it seemed like I was terrible at well, everything. I could perform the physical tasks, but in the mental and emotional parts of marriage, I stunk. I didn’t know how to communicate my feelings now as a wife, to my husband. I didn’t know how to separate who I was, the individual, from my family role; for that reason I hid a lot of my intimate self from pretty much everyone.
I didn’t know much about effective communication because the house I grew up in was full of yelling, arguments and fighting, therefore, before I learned positive and effective communication I learned to shut-down. That part of me didn’t change after marriage. Instead of adapting, I fought. I wasn’t ready for whatever life was trying to make me do or be.
The more my imperfections shined through, the more of a hermit crab I became. When it was time for me to do something different; I would easily revert back to the way I used to handle situations. Pushing blame on my husband saying that he was trying to alter who I was, when all along it was God using him, to tell me it was time-out for my own foolishness. I couldn’t see it then because hindsight is 20/20; but to look back now, I wonder what is it about a relationship that makes people feel like they have to be perfect?
In actuality the mistakes and flaws are what get us far. They only help make us into better individuals. My husband was never asking me to be perfect, he was wanting me to grow. He wasn’t asking me to change who I was, just revise the manner in which I communicated certain things to him. He wasn’t trying to fit me, the square peg, into the circle of his ideals, but was simply seeing something in me that was hurting me more than helping me. Isn’t that what perfect, loving spouses do? I abhor that it took a while for me to get to this point, and I cringe to think about what I put my husband through, but I’m always quickly comforted by the reminder of how perfect he was for me at that point in our marriage.
That’s just it! Perfection is not the end, it’s not the complete package that has no need for getting better. Maybe perfection is just a word that describes a feeling about something or someone, for a specified period of time; like a perfect proposal, birthday celebration, or even sunset. There is nothing on this earth that is perfect, not even nature; everything has room for enhancement at some point in its life span. Maybe this world, us and everything in its grand state of flaws and shoddiness, is exactly the meaning of ‘perfect’.
Maybe perfection means to be what or who you are until its time to reassess and change. Maybe you aren’t perfect today but you will be tomorrow; maybe not right now but possibly in a few hours perfection will be knocking at your door. Maybe being perfect is being gracefully imperfect…And just like beauty, maybe perfection is only in the eye of the beholder.