Sunday, April 4, 2010
A Work In Progress
Perfection is overrated. There's no such thing as perfect, anyway, and always feeling that you've come up short somehow is very self-destructive. I could delve into the psychology of the whole coming-up-short thing , but why? If you're a female I don't need to explain it to you anyway. Our society makes it colossally hard to avoid. But there's perfect, and then there's likeable. And (where people are concerned, anyway) I actually find the two to be mutually exclusive. Which is interesting in light of our nature to try to be "perfect" - what did we hope perfection would bring us? This is not to say I don't try to improve as a person. I am definitely a work in progress. But see? Admitting to it is a very freeing thing. I feel lighter, just saying it. What prompted this musing was realizing that what I like about my main characters is that they're not perfect. Sammy Keyes? She's hot headed and fist ready. I love that girl! She's flawed, all right, but she does try to learn from her mistakes. Two steps forward, one back. So she is getting somewhere, but I guarantee you, the destination will never be perfection. Which is how I know I'll always like her. Holly in Runaway? She thought everyone in her life was stupid and wrong and mean and blind. It was when she finally admitted that she'd been part of the problem that her life began turning around. Evangeline in Confessions of a Serial Kisser? Her revelation came when she saw that in order to get forgiveness she first had to give it. Forgiveness is a toughie because at the core of it is acceptance, and we only truly accept someone else's mistakes when we admit to being capable of making mistakes, too. Anyway, it makes me feel better about my own flaws when I recognize that what makes me like my characters is their flaws. So I'll just continue to try to be the best person I can be, and if I stumble or come up short, I'll remind myself that I'm a (hopefully likeable) work in progress, and try again tomorrow. I hope you'll do the same.