Perfection. Free of flaws or defects.
If you know me on a personal level, you know that I'm a bit of a perfectionist and an over-achiever. For example, I graduated high school by sixteen with a 4.0 and started college, prepared to jump straight into nursing school. Or so I thought.
When I took statistics, I passed with a C. I was so upset and heartbroken, and disappointed in myself. Which, while some of it was definitely my fault, I also had a really crappy professor. And then my late freshman/early sophomore time (my credits were slightly off so it was weird), I was seventeen, working thirty-six hours a week for e$8.25 as a night manager where almost all of the employees hated me, and taking a full course load. On top of that, I was dealing with some emotional drama, still processing my recent break-up, and dealing with health issues.
I made all B's that semester, save for one class where I made an A. The following semester, I was with the same group of friends, and during finals week, I terrified them, because I drank three energy drinks and stayed up until 3AM, studying. I was determined to get A's. And I did. I got A's in all of my classes, then proceeded to sleep for a week.
I have dealt with massive amounts of rejection in my life (a topic that will be brought up at a later date), and because of that, I have this deep need to be perfect. As I'm writing this out, I'm tearing up. I'm not entirely surprised by that, but I suppose this is all hitting me a bit harder than I expected it to.
Anyways, I have this deep longing and need to be absolutely perfect. Everything I do has to be perfect.
And the funny thing is, Legos were what actually helped me realize it.
Since I'm really not able to work right now, I'm finding really odd ways to fill my time when I'm not working on projects or online classes.
So, this project.
My brother had two MASSIVE Lego bins that he's had since he was little. None of the Legos were built, or organized. I wanted to rebuild the Harry Potter sets, so I volunteered to organize them.
Yeah, I regretted that decision very quickly.
Forty-eight hours and sixteen color-coated bins later, the Legos were finally organized. Yay! Or so I thought.
I set on my adventure to build some Legos. I started to drag all of the buckets into the living room and grabbed the instructions booklets. As I built the Burrow (the Weasley's House), I didn't feel super frustrated. In fact, I thought it was mostly relaxing. The Burrow is mostly orange and burgundy, however. So, the pieces were in bins that didn't have many pieces in them in the first place. I finished the Burrow and displayed it in the hallway. Then, I started on the Hogwarts Express.
Y'know, this beautiful thing? Well, I started to build it, with the instruction book, entirely out of Lego.
Side Note: I still haven't finished it.
When I was building it, I wanted to cry. All the time. While the Burrow had been easy because Joshua didn't have an overabundance of orange or red Legos, I was surprised. I expected the train to be easy like the Burrow had been, but there were SO MANY black pieces, that it made looking for the pieces I needed so frustrating. I mean, looking for pieces could take me anywhere from two minutes to two hours. So, I was upset.
As a surprise, my parents gifted me one of the newer Harry Potter Lego sets, so I built it.
Let me tell you, it was SO MUCH EASIER. It was so much easier, and so much more therapeutic to have the pieces organized and everything aligned perfect, and I had very little difficulty putting them together.
Then, that got me thinking. After some prompting from my Momma, of course.
Life is like Legos.
And not just because it's full of cute things.
No, Legos, when not perfectly pieced together, are totally chaotic. And, I'm sorry, have you ever stepped on a Lego? That hurts. And, have you ever had to scream at your dog to keep her from eating the Legos? Not. Fun.
And while sometimes in life we have an instruction book, the pieces aren't always organized, or there's a piece missing. Or, maybe we have to use a different colored piece and it makes the project look weird. Or, maybe everything is neat and organized for once and God is just giving you a little break before you fall backwards into the gigantic chasm of brightly colored, sharp-edged, evil little children's toys.
Life isn't perfect. It doesn't come prepackaged. It doesn't come organized. You don't get to peruse the shelves of Target and say, "Oooh, I want that one!"
I'm not saying this to be negative or pessimistic.
What I'm saying is, Forrest Gump had it right.
"My mom always said life was like a box of chocolates: you never know what you're gonna get." - Tom Hanks, Forrest Gump
I know, I know. I can hear the collective groans. It's such a cliché, and it's definitely one I hate to use because it's so overused, but I think right now I need to.
You can't have the mindset of expecting to have this perfect Lego set that you get to pick. Life isn't like that. We don't get to pick the Legos of our lives. Do we get to pick some? Sure! Do we get to pick how we arrange them? Most of the time! Do they come prepackaged? Majority of the time, no. Sometimes they do, and we are fortunate to have that little break. Sometimes they come color-coded, sometimes they come organized by the way you need to put them together.
And sometimes, someone shoves a bucket in your arms of mismatched Legos of all shapes, sizes, and colors. Is that a random mini-figure arm in there? What does that wheel go to? Can I have some instructions please?
Does that mean we can't build with it?
No matter what you're given, you can make something out of it. It just makes it harder when everything isn't nice and neat. And, maybe sometimes you get so frustrated that you just need a break. That's okay too.
Life doesn't give us lemons. Life gives us Legos, and boy, does it suck.
But, you know what?
I'm more proud of something the harder I work, the more flawed it is, the more human it is. The more love and work I pour into something, the more proud I am of it. And, the more people see it. Because instead of building a normal car, I've built a gigantic T-Rex or something. And people notice. People ask, "What made you decide to do that? It's huge! How did you keep going?"
There's nothing wrong with getting advice, and there's nothing wrong with praying about it before you do anything.
But don't just sit and think.
Stop staring at the mess of the Legos, stop worrying about perfection, and build something amazing.
Written: February 26th, 2020 at 2:15pm
Current Binge: I'm actually re-watching Glee? For the third time?
Current Read: Discerning the Voice of God by Priscilla Shirer
Writing Progress: My novel is going well! Although, I tend go off on plot-bunnies. And, it doesn't help that my characters have minds of their own.