Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Perfection- A Disservice




















I'm quickly growing tired of feeling the pressure to be put-together and perfect all the time. I feel like there's this overload lately... this constant OVERLOAD of perfection everywhere I look (Pinterest, magazines, blogs, television, etc.)! You're swamped with thousands of images of hairstyles that no one can figure out how to do, make-up tricks that are just too time consuming, and apparel portraits that are way out of the normal persons budget.

Sometimes it feels like we're all in some sort of competition with each other.... everyone... all women.... everywhere...

Sometimes it feels like it's all about who can look the best... all the time... every minute of every single day. It's all about who's dressed in the most expensive and coordinating outfit... who can keep up with the most eyelashes, tans, extensions... who can be the most daring and bold. It's all about who has the hottest body.... and who can rock a bikini the best...

It's all about who's got this... who's got that... and it's all so in your face... all the time.

And then I think to myself.... "WHY DOES IT BOTHER ME?"

I know exactly why.... because I start to get down on myself... and I think (even as I type) of all the things I should be doing to make me look better, you know... so I can keep up with the image of what everyone else around me is doing.

Disservice to myself. A terrible, terrible disservice.

So why do I do it? Even when I know I shouldn't.... why do I let myself get sucked in like that?

Maybe it's insecurity... maybe it's because it's just plain everywhere... I really don't know....

But this is when I force myself to EXIT from that mentality and move onto things that matter to me, personally. I don't need to be doing what everyone else is doing. I don't need to get my panties in a wad about what some woman blogger (whom I'm never even met before) is doing with her life. I don't need to emulate Charlize Theron or J. Lo every time I leave the house (or ever). I don't need to compare myself to anyone because all it is is one big, fat, self-destructive time waster.

I haven't shaved my legs in 5 days...  my toenails haven't been painted in over a year... I shop at Ross Dress for Less... I got acne medicine from the Dermatologist today... and I can't button up any of my jeans so I'm using hair-ties...

How's that for perfection? lol...

But you know what? It's OKAY because I'm cool with me! I've got a life to live dangit! I've got the things I'm working on and there's no sense screwing it up all for the sake of a few photos I saw on Pinterest, right?


Ah! I feel better now :)


Image Credit


45 comments:

  1. I totally love you! I just went to the grocery store with unmatching clothes, half wet hair, no makeup, and brown flip flops.

    I was compared to other women for 13 months and have recently been decompressing from all of the comparisons and embracing myself.

    I'm right there with ya! Live this today and I'm glad I'm not alone!!

    Xoxo

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  2. You can often hear me say "I don't read blogs, they're against my religion". And it's for the very same reason you're talking about here. I used to blog and I kept up with everyone and their dogs blog. But I found myself getting upset and feeling like "so and so" is such a perfect wife/mom/person and how come my life can't be as perfect as theirs? And I realized at some point that their life couldn't be as perfect as they made it out to be or they wouldn't be human. But why in the world would they admit to everyone that their life wasn't perfect? Anyways, I knew I didn't like the feelings I got when I read those blogs and I didn't need that. It didn't matter if they were my best friend or my sister-in-law. I decided I wasn't going to read those blogs anymore because it was, as you say, a disservice to myself. I deserve to be uplifted and accept myself as a real human being, flaws and all. Your blog is one of the only ones I do read because it is so refreshing to see a real person talk about their REAL life and you are so relatable. I love that I feel uplifted when I read your blog. Thank you for that :) and the next time you see something on pinterest or another blog that makes you feel less than, put your hand up and say "I DO NOT RECIEVE!"

    oh and it's been 2 weeks since I shaved my legs :D

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    1. Thank you so much for this Anonymous! I feel it an honor that you are here :)

      I love your advice!!!!!!!!! haha!!! I am so doing that next time!

      XO

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  3. Well I think you look gorgeous, hairy legs, no toenail polish and all! I am not sure anyone could accuse me of being overly into my looks! I wear pajamas to the grocery store, I don't shave my legs at all in the winter and like every 2-3 weeks in the summer! I won't cut my hair short, because I value my ponytail way too much! I can't wait for the day when it is socially acceptable to no longer pluck the beard hairs from my chin (ie. when I am old and people think it is cute. :)) Oh the list could go on and on and on!

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  4. Such a great reminder, thank you!

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  5. It's so true! It's hard not to get down on yourself when all over the internet are seemingly perfect ladies, with perfect houses and families. What we fail to remember is that they are usually only showing us the good, and that's fine, but we often compare our worst to their best. Thanks for the reminder, and no worries, I don't think I've shaved my legs in over a week!

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  6. You just put into type exactly what I've been thinking. I'm just glad I haven't even looked into Pinterest yet because then I would be really lost. "It" is everywhere like you said. Thank Heaven for Sunday where I can slow down and refocus and start the next week on a better note. It's been a week since I shaved my legs by the way ;)

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  7. AMEN! I loved your bold text paragraph! YES! My unwashed hair is in a bun on the top of my head, and I don't even care! It's kind of fun having little pieces of imperfection, because it shows we are more involved and busier with greater things!!

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  8. Love you Jacy. I felt the need to be perfect more when I was married. As soon as the big "d" occurred, it seemed like a rude awakening how imperfect I was. These past few years, I've realized how much of a blessing this trial has been in my life, and I feel the greatest lesson I've learned is that life isn't becoming this worldly "perfect" the world/culture tries to overwhelm us with. It's about building relationships, growing stronger through adversity, and loving those that are going through their own trials. PS My toe nails are painted with whiteout.

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    1. Crystal! I love this:

      "It's about building relationships, growing stronger through adversity, and loving those that are going through their own trials"

      TOTALLY!

      P.S. I bet you look HOT with whiteout painted toes!

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  9. Oh how I love this. Just come hang out with me for a day and you will feel great! I am not sure you have ever seen me dressed. I have been feeling like this a lot lately. My parties aren't magazine worthy, or my house for that matter. My wardrobe is also from Ross or inexpensive places like that. But then I realize in the scheme of things it doesn't matter one single bit. I take a deep breath and realize I don't care if I make a fashion statement every day, or ever for that matter. I exercise because it mentally makes me feel better. It's my time and I am a better mom when I feel better! Not to be in better shape, or so I can post a picture of my self in a swimsuit. I love reading all this, you speak the truth and I love it!! Thanks for helping me remember what lifes about!

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  10. Also by dressed, I don't mean naked. Just in something besides pajamas. And I never shave my legs either!

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    1. Haha! Nichole! I knew what you meant :) This is really good:

      "I take a deep breath and realize I don't care if I make a fashion statement every day, or ever for that matter. I exercise because it mentally makes me feel better. It's my time and I am a better mom when I feel better!"

      You look beautiful no matter you're wearing... pj's, workout clothes, whatever... :)

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  11. Awww this was truly the best for me: "I can't button up any of my jeans so I'm using hair-ties..."

    Totally real for me.

    Perfection belongs to God. Period.

    Z.

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    1. Yes but Z.... I am no preggo... hahahahahah!!!!!!!!!!!! And I'm not preggo with twins!!!!!!!

      Love you girl! I think of you often :)

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  12. So. I'm a new follower and I just read your entire blog. Almost every single post, in fact.

    A friend of mine recommend this blog to me after I told her that my best friend just found out her husband was cheating on her. He is a faithful member of the Church, father to 2 young children, cheery attitude kind of guy...and I was in shock. Reading your blog has helped me to understand what she must be going through, and so I have to thank you for that :]

    Also, your insights and advice are GREAT. Seriously, really good stuff. Reading them all was like getting into a really good book and not being able to put it down!

    This post today is probably one that I can most relate to. I always think I have to be perfect and get into all the latest trends...but this takes me away from focusing on my children and my own self-worth that is ALREADY existent.

    Thank you for being honest. Thank you for being real. Thank you for sharing your story. You rock, Jacy.

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    1. Lindsey! WELCOME and THANK YOU so much!

      I am so sorry to hear about your friend... that is never easy... hold her hand.... she needs you, but you already knew that :)

      I am thrilled that you are here! If you feel so inclined, add yourself as a follower and chime in often! I love getting to know friends... and I love hearing from you. This. was. awesome:

      ".but this takes me away from focusing on my children and my own self-worth that is ALREADY existent."

      Thanks for reminding me of this. Totally true!

      I checked out your blog and you are beautiful and you have such a darling family! I am really looking forward to getting to know you!

      XOXO

      p.s. Oregon in a place I've always ALWAYS wanted to go.... :)

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    2. Wow, that comment made me cry.

      Jacy, you are such a light.

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  13. AMEN SISTER!!!! I have to remind myself ALL THE TIME that what's portrayed on blogs isn't "real life" ... even less so than Facebook and other social media outlets ... everything posted has been carefully written and crafted and edited and Photoshopped ... and I have to remind myself that I shouldn't even try to compete with it! Thank you for always keeping your blog so real.

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  14. Yes! Jacy, I love this! And it's entirely true how these ideas of what perfection supposedly is are everywhere. And it's hard not to compare yourself sometimes. There are days when I'll be like "oh that's so inspiring" and then there are days when I'm like "why can't my life be like that or why can't I do that" and it's not a good feeling. There are times when I have thought that maybe I should do outfit posts and then I ask myself why. I like wearing what I want to wear and I don't have to prove anything to anyone. I don't have to pretend that my life is perfect too by intentionally designing my life on how I want to present it on the Internet. I'll leave my hair natural most days. I won't shave for weeks at a time. My toenails and fingernails run long, break, and the nail polish chips. Sometimes I don't wear make up and when I do it's because I have fun putting it on and have the time. But if I ever take a picture like this, you will see all this because I'm not ashamed of it. It's part of what I'm like and in the same way that people in real life see me. So I've stopped comparing to the best I can, and hopefully one day we won't need the feel to compare anymore.

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    1. I'm the same Allie! Some days I can totally handle it... but there are a few times I get down on myself... Bleh.

      Comparing is the WORST! I'm working towards not doing it ever again.... someday... sigh :)

      Thank you for this!

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  15. Loved this post!! I hear ya! "Comparison is the thief of joy!" I have started learning this over the past year. Before I got married, I compared myself to others occasionally, but I was so busy going to school, planning for the future, etc...that I didn't have time to really hurt myself with it. After I got married and started going to church with other married women, I became incredibly self-conscious. She's got a better body than me and she has 3 kids! I have ZERO! She's got a cleaner house than me and she has 3 kids! Etc. Etc...It's only recently that I've learned how to rid myself of the guilt of feeling like I don't match up. Comparing myself or focusing on my shortcomings is something I fight every.single.day. I've learned to say nice things to myself about my body, my abilities, and my life. I have good and unique things just as everyone else does. As I focus on what makes me UNIQUE and what makes me happy (crafting doesn't make me happy, but planning a party or having people over for dinner does!) then I don't want to be like anyone else.

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    1. Sharlee! YES!

      "I've learned to say nice things to myself about my body, my abilities, and my life. I have good and unique things just as everyone else does. As I focus on what makes me UNIQUE and what makes me happy (crafting doesn't make me happy, but planning a party or having people over for dinner does!) then I don't want to be like anyone else."

      Exactly, exactly! I think we really have to work on it.... constantly... and then it just gets easier and easier to be happy with ourselves :)

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  16. hahaha. that is hilarious! i love that {the part where you listed the things you are or do or did....acne pills, button up jeans.....} that was super great. love it. because everyone is completely normal and all have stupid crap like that but they're not gonna put it up on their blog because you gotta put your "best face forward" right? WRONG! i love the honestly :) so refreshing.

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  17. Jacy,

    I laughed. You are so funny!! I totally get how everything seems to affect us on such a personal level. In fact, after discovering my ex's addiction, I couldn't watch movies or tv for almost 2 years. I just started to slowly watch Disney or animated films. I don't look through magazines anymore. And, as you know, I deleted FB too. Yah I feel totally out of the loop but I am still rebuilding myself. Since I have almost eliminated anything that triggers any feelings that I associate with "porn," I understand the meaning of "eyes are the window to the soul." why? Because what you view affects your thoughts, then your thoughts affect your emotions. I have made it my goal to view things that are personally good for my soul. That is the one and only thing I am able to hold onto. Take with me forever. We have experienced the pain of having our souls stripped from us. It is no fun.

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    1. Oh Angela! Yes! Mix in being betrayed and it's even more discouraging sometimes, huh?

      I love what you said though.... about viewing things that are good for our souls... not even porn related... but things that make you *feel* good about yourself.

      I loved this!

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  18. This is in response to a post on your old blog - Good Men. I couldn't comment there anonymously. I don't know why I would need to be anonymous. My husband actually does not have a porn addiction. (At least I'm 99% sure, as I can't be 100% unless I were all-knowing). But anyway, I had family member with this problem, and it directly affected me in bad ways, and I dated someone with this problem, that led me to very strong emotional feelings whenever this topic is brought up. And I find myself reading blogs like these until all hours in the night, because the emotions are still strong, and frankly, I'm completely nervous for our society. We are a mess. Everything is a mess, when it comes to this. I have a son, and I'm scared to death to raise him. But it's not just him - my girls. What are the chances they will end up married to someone with this problem? Probably pretty high that at least one of them will. So I read about it, stew about it, and again confront my husband to make sure he is not doing it (really, though, I do believe him, as I've snooped pretty hard, and found 0 evidence). Anyway, I'm rambling.

    I can't help wonder if this whole pornography plague is why in the last days 7 women will take hold of one man and want to be called by their name? The ratio of worthy women to men is completely skewed, and getting more that way every day. What do you think?

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    1. I'm running out of the house right now... I'll get to this one later today Anon :) Welcome here!

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    2. Anon- I'm totally stepping in here, but my heart hurts for the awful pain this issue has caused you. Your comment here inspired me to write a post on my blog, you can read it here if you like:

      http://hisstrugglemystruggle.blogspot.com/2012/07/inherent-worth.html

      I'd be honored to hear what YOU think.

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    3. Anonymous,

      I'm finally getting a minute to sit down and reflect this.

      Thank you for reading and for commenting!!!!! Gosh, I had forgotten about that post... I had forgotten about the email Jane had sent me... I had forgotten all those feelings I felt during that time...

      The more I hear from women who have been so brutally affected by their husbands misbehaviors, it's really hard not to think the whole thing is skewed. It seems totally lopsided and completely unbalanced because the men are usually the ones causing the ruckus, so it's hard not to become a little calloused. I get it.

      There was a time (and to be honest there are still times here and there) when all I can do is sit in church, or at a restaurant or a nearby park and wonder if the man sitting with his wife is addicted to porn? Or if he's been unfaithful? Or if they are as happily married as they portray in public? Too many times I've found myself assuming things that may or may not be true, all because of my personal experience. And rightly so, right? I'd be foolish to brush it under the rug, pretending like it was no big deal. But instead of being overly paranoid and hating the male sex, my therapist is teaching me how to discern properly... and to be honest, I think I'm getting really good at it ;)

      What I've come to realize and accept is that it is completely out of my control. I cannot control if my future husband gets addicted to pornography... I cannot control if he steps out on me... I cannot control if my son chooses to participate in it either... I cannot control the choices of anyone.

      What I can control, however, is me! I have control over how I live my life and how I will respect myself and how I will survive if this plague destroys my family or my son or my husband again someday. I can control what I teach in my home, what I will allow in my home and what I will not allow in my home. But at the end of the day, I cannot control the choices of ANYONE else.

      Trust me... this does not necessarily sit well with me after all I've been through... but I'm learning to accept it's liberating power.

      I hate pornography. I hate what it did to my marriage. I hate how I feel about sexuality now. I hate the mind-movies the continually play in my mind. I hate to think that MY son will view pornography in probably 8 years from now. I hate that my sex-addiction therapist said most young men will have seen the hardest core pornography by the time they are 14. It sickens me. It sickens me because I know how bad it can get... I have seen first hand how out of control it can become.

      But the truth is, I do not know the answers. I wish I did. I wish I understood why this devastating factor is holding captive so many- destroying relationships of so many. But I do not know.

      What I do know is that there is so much more to this addiction than just sex- in fact, it's usually not about sex at all. Many times these addicts have issues they are trying to cope with (or issue that just can't cope with) and that is why they turn to pornography- to soothe and to escape. I personally don't think that men with addictions are unworthy per se... some might be... but not all.... because I think that there is so much gray. Many people will disagree with this and I'm willing to agree to disagree , but to me... these men are needing help... lots of help... this is serious and it can destroy. I have never ONCE thought my ex-husband woke up one day and thought "I want to lie to my wife... and hurt her... and cheat on her... I want to break up my family... " I just think he was in so far... for so long... he was a prisoner in a sense. I believe in gray... there has to be gray.... I'm not condoning... but I can't slap a black and white stamp on it either. I just can't live my life like that and so I choose to believe in the gray.

      Delete
    4. More...


      I'm rambling here... so many thoughts are flooding through my mind...

      If I can give you any advice, and this is coming from someone whose life COMPLETELY changed all because of the choices of someone else, it would be this: learn to trust yourself (if you do already... learn to trust yourself even more) and remember that you cannot control the choices of others. I'm striving to live my life to the fullest, reclaiming my trust in ME as well as those around me, and accepting that life will most likely NOT go as I have planned. All we can do is teach and make aware and fight for the cause but at the end of the day, we need to be prepared for how we will respond when we learn our boys are either experimenting with or are addicted to pornography and masturbation.

      I don't love it either.

      It is a mess- an absolute MESS. I can't even imagine where our society will be in 10 years from now... it makes my stomach churn. Definitely NOT what I thought my life would be like... or what I'd be up against... but here we are... Now we've gotta learn how to combat the problem. It is real and it's not going away... so, we will do the best we possibly can and that is all we can do.

      I loved Jane's post in regard to this. I couldn't have said it better... maybe I should delete all this and say "I ditto Jane :)"

      Good men exist. I know many "good men" who struggle with pornography... and if it's not that, it's something else... no one is perfect... What I'm looking for is a good man who is HONEST above anything else. WIth honesty, I believe that all things are possible. It sounds to me like you've got a wonderful man... but I'm so terribly sorry to hear the effect this has had on you... it is real! And I know precisely the pain you speak of. It aches in places you couldn't have imagined. BUT, I am living proof that there is hope still... there are wonderful things happening... there are so many good men and women out there... there are so many people truly trying to recover from this... there are so many resilient women fighting along side their husbands... Life is good. It's hard and is incredibly painful sometimes,,,, but it is still so good!

      Sending you lots of love. Not sure if this made a lick of sense... lol... I welcome you here and I hope you'll add yourself as a follower (as the real you :) and stick around and comment often. Together, we can learn and grow from one another... as cheesy as it sounds... it is true.

      Thank you for this question.. I enjoyed reflecting and typing it out. Such a wonderful reminder to always have hope... even when it seems impossible or too discouraging to do... there is always hope. Good things are HAPPENING! All around us :)

      XOXOXOXOX


      p.s. longest comment EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

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    5. Wow, thank you. I do that same thing sometimes - look around and wonder what people are going through behind closed doors. I had a religion professor at BYU. It was a Keys to Scripture Study class (best class EVER), but he spent probably 15 min. a day talking about pornography. Finally, after a couple months of this, he apologized for talking so much about it. He said, "I am a stake President, and I would estimate there are 300 men and boys addicted to pornography in my stake." (I don't remember the exact number he said now. It might have been 500). He said it was always on his mind, and that "the leaders of the church are wringing their hands trying to figure out what to do." Yikes.

      But it'll all be okay. After all is said and done, after everything has been awful :) it'll all be okay.

      P.S. I'll follow your blog for sure, I just usually bookmark and check back. Thanks for the reply.

      Delete
  19. I know this but I still want to be hot, I still think I would be happier if I was pretty, tall, and slender.

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    1. Anon- I totally get this!

      I can't change my height... so I wear high heels sometimes! lol.

      I'm not this gorgeous bombshell.... and makeup works WONDERS for me.... and so, I love to apply it with taste to feel better about myself.

      As for being more slender... I wish I was more toned- I think we all wish we looked different/better. I DO have control over this, I just struggle to get myself to the gym. I know that I'd feel better about myself too, if I made it more of a lifestyle change. I'm always tired and bloated and to be honest, no feeling all that well... but when I work out, I feel better period... so why I'm not doing?? It beats me... but I'm going to make some changes here... because I need to!

      More than any of this though, I think what defines HOT is so much more than looks. Confidence, integrity, love... all of these things make someone 'hot' in my opinion.

      Hang in there. You are loved! XOXO

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    2. I believe confidence and the energy one puts out can make a huge difference, my husbands betrayal and addiction have destroyed every part of me, I see all the comments of hope and healing; I do not think I will survive this.

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    3. You will Anon... You will I promise you!

      I'm sorry I'm just seeing this... not sure how I missed it! But you will be ok.... I am living proof that you can heal. I'm still working on it... all the time... everyday.... but it can get better.... you CAN heal. There is always hope.

      Love you, friend.

      Jacy

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  20. Nevermind blogs or Pinterest or anything else. I have the perfection syndrome perfected just within my own head!

    I loved this post.

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  21. I love blogs and writing them, but the problem with them is that people are usually putting their best food forward, kind of like an airbrushed photo on the cover of a magazine. They're not really real. I'm totally guilty of that, too. One of my best friends was actually having a problem with me a while back because she felt a little like what your blog post was about toward me. I was so taken aback because I don't see my life as that at all, but then I realized that my blog kind of came across as that. I wrote this blog post as a result of that whole ordeal: http://arlingtonmama.blogspot.com/2011/05/to-dispel-any-rumors.html

    The only reason I share it is because a lot of people seemed to relate, and I have a feeling that a lot of people relate to this post that you just wrote, too! That is evidenced in all the comments!

    You're a "real" girl, though, and that's what people like about you. BTW, I'm about to go to the zoo with my kids and my niece and nephew, and I'm not going to shower first. ;)

    Love you, girl! I think you're pretty awesome. Keep being you. :) XOXO

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    1. Annie! THANK YOU FOR SHARING THAT POST HERE! I read it a loooooong time ago and new right then and there that I wanted to be your friend!

      The pee stains... the fact you used the words "break wind".... HAHA!

      Oh I love you so much! You are pretty amazing!

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  22. I feel cute when I'm comfortable. So that means I feel cutest in jeans and a tee, but I know my husband likes it when I doll up, so sometimes I try to do that too. I guess I also feel like there is no way to 'win' this one.

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  23. cracking me up! despite shopping at ross, hair ties in lue of pants buttons and acne medicine your still the most adorable, genuine, smart gorgeous person I know.

    p.s. I think it's good for your legs not to be shaved for a while, they need a break from the blade. Go European.

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  24. I love you! The panties in a wad and hair ties on your jeans litterally made me laugh out loud. Especially since I've done both. Haha!

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