Monday, January 14, 2013


Dear me,

Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone sometimes speaks without thinking, gets their facts mixed up, writes with typos, eats candy instead of salad, and forgets to read the directions.

You are not special. You are not perfect. You are just like anybody else. Not meaning those statements in a general way necessarily--each of us is special and unique--but meaning that there is no particular reason that you cannot also make mistakes. If you didn't read the recipe and spent three times as long trying to cook something the wrong way, if you routinely fall short of your goals in how to spend your time during the day, if you have been selfish, that is not an earth-shattering piece of news. Yes, you have done some dumb things. But you mustn't let thinking that you are somehow not allowed to make mistakes keep you from admitting your mistakes and trying to fix them. And you certainly mustn't let self-imposed pressure to Do Something to Perfection keep you from doing it at all.

You are not required to be perfect. You are not required to succeed at everything immediately anymore than anyone else is. You are, however, required to try.

So go--chop up some vegetables and cook some noodles. And then practice however long and however well you can manage today, keeping in mind both physical and psychological limitations. And finish that art project that needs to go in the mail tomorrow. And remember that you have a late Christmas present to send someone, so write a letter to go with it. It doesn't need to be ten pages long and terribly witty. It just needs to be a letter, from you, to the recipient.

And if you mess up some of that? Then laugh about it and try again.

the sensible side of my brain

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