The “Perfect Moment” Myth

^^ Saw this shared by Curly Girl Designs this morning and it felt like a sign to sit down and finally write this post. ^^

The idea of opening this blog started rattling around in my head about three months ago. Last year I made the decision to close down my longtime blog the Curious Case after an experience pushed me to reconsider the way I was sharing my life online. Once the dust had settled and I’d gotten back on my feet, I began to realize how much I missed having a corner of the internet to share my ideas and experiences upon — both the profound and my arguments that mariachi bands make everything better. But the more I got excited to start this, the more I found myself dragging my feet to get the work done.

Before I could possibly write, I’d think to myself, first I needed to clean my desk which would then turn into the entire apartment. I’d search Instagram and YouTube for “inspiration” and an hour later lament the fact that it was 11pm and I had nothing on the page. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to turn this idea into a reality, but it just wasn’t “the perfect time” I’d tell myself. Once I had organized all my spices, called every single family member, and planted a garden –essentially all the easy stuff on my to do list– then I’d be primed to devote all my energy to writing. Finally, after months of dragging my feet, I realized that I needed to reconcile my idea of “the perfect moment” if I was ever going to get this blog (and the countless lists of other passion projects) off the ground.

I often catch myself in the midst of a self-imposed “perfect moment” paradox. It’s not the perfect time to go to yoga because the house isn’t clean. It isn’t the right time to launch this blog because there aren’t enough blog posts on it. It isn’t the right time to date because I’m still working on figuring myself out.

The myth of “the perfect moment” is by far my biggest productivity road block and at the end of the day “my perfect timing” excuse comes from being perfectly nervous to fully commit. Because what if it doesn’t work out? What if all that dreaming and hoping and hard work comes to nothing? What does that say about me? It’s scary to give your ideas a real shot because when they’re floating around in your head they’re still untouchable to reality. But they’re also untouchable to anyone else but you.

If you ever come to my house for tea and go to lay your jacket on my bed, you’ll probably notice one unusual organizational feature I’ve installed across my closet door. In five neat rows, eight post its deep, I’ve written out the story ideas I’m most excited to pursue. I track their progress by writing in a green Muji marker where I’ve submitted them and their current stage of development. Some of these story ideas I’ve had for over ten years, marinating them year after year on my walks around Brooklyn where I swap out their intros and main characters to see what fits best. But the trouble of holding onto them so long is now I’m even more daunted to put them out into the world and find myself leaning on “the perfect moment” for false reassurance.

The truth is, there is no perfect moment or perfect approach or perfect version of yourself. When we look back and praise the timing of something, it’s only in hindsight that we can see it worked out in a way that feels like it was supposed to. This person that you are right now –the one with the sink full of dishes who gets extra sweaty on first dates and tends to blurt out awkward jokes– that person is even more amazing than the perfect self you keep idolizing in your head because that person is showing up and giving it their best try.

Something I’m continuing to learn is you don’t have to have it all figured out to give something a real shot. Sometimes the best thing you can do is give yourself permission just to dive in and see what happens. Because what if that wild idea that keeps walking you home after happy hours ends up flourishing? Or leading you to another idea that opens up a door you didn’t even know existed?

So here’s to all the imperfect ideas from the imperfect people dreaming them up and being brave enough to share them with the world. While this blog post isn’t the “Jane Eyre” of my career (that book was problematic but that’s a conversation for another time!), it’s a tiny step in building the habit of just showing up and doing it.

Want to join the perfect moment myth busting club? I’ll give it a go if you will.

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