Two weeks ago, I did something brave.
I shared my story.
I'm not talking about my fictional story. I'm talking about my actual story. The story I've been afraid to tell. The long and the short of it is that I got some "feedback" from a mentor. (Okay, he basically took me to lunch and told me that I sucked at my job and was going to be pushed out by the interns.) That feedback sent me into an anxiety spiral that I’m still deconstructing.
If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you might have already read the full story. If not, you can read it here.
I used to be so ashamed to talk about it. I thought that by telling the story people would secretly agree with this mentor. You see, the thing a lot of people don’t realize about the law is that it prizes perfectionism.
Write perfect letters
Draft perfect contracts
No typos in emails ever
I once cried because I forgot to put a client’s address on a letter. (It didn’t leave the office, but I was mortified that I’d sent my boss the letter for approval without the address). After getting the “feedback,” that is the level of neurotic I got at work.
But here’s the funny thing about art. It’s not perfect. It can’t be perfect. In fact, perfectionism is the antithesis of creativity. It eats it alive. And I’m not just talking about writing here, I’m talking about everything—baking, piano, the little bedtime songs you make up for your kids.
They say art is in the eye of the beholder and it can be so frustrating because you want your art to be the best version of itself, you want it to be flawless and immaculate, you want it to mean something that means making it perfect… doesn’t it?
I don’t think so.
I think art is winding, a fit of starts and stops. I think art is a light, a beacon, therapy. I think art is beautiful because of its imperfections not in spite of them.
Just like you.
If you take nothing else with you today, take this:
You are messy and beautiful.
And you are enough.