“I am in love with what we are, not what we should be.” -Ke$ha, Animal
I love Kesha in all her forms. I loved her when she was Ke$ha and I love her now that she’s Kesha. The first time I heard the song Animal, quoted above, these first lines of the song hit me really hard, and I remember thinking, “I wish I felt that way, but I don’t.” I tend towards perfectionism and I typically for the most part feel much more comfortable envisioning perfect things, striving for perfect things, and surrounding myself with perfect things. Accepting thing as they are, especially if it’s not the way I want them to be, is really hard for me. Kesha not only accepts, but is in love with things as they are. That’s so beautiful. I suppose this can be hard for lots of people who aren’t Kesha, but I also know that some people in addition to Kesha, really have no interest in perfectionism. I don’t always love this about myself, and it can be really exhausting at times, but this is what I have to work with.
Just to clarify, let me define my idea of what I think perfect is. I’m not so ignorant as to believe that perfection in this world is even possible. I really don’t believe that at all, and what a frightening world it would be if there was some clear definition of perfection. So I would say when I think about the idea of perfection and use the word, I’m referring to what I believe to be so good that there is no room for improvement. Things can even be obviously imperfect, or perfectly imperfect, but if there is nothing more to be improved upon and it’s pretty great how it is, I’m pretty happy. But that makes me a perfectionist I guess. It’s not even with all things, just some things. If I make a meal and it didn’t turn out as good as I had hoped, I’m kind of bummed, but I won’t throw a fit or be upset. However, I definitely aim for perfection when it comes to art-making and I don’t know if that’s a bad thing. I do like to have all things in place when it comes to my appearance, even if I’m bumming around. My bummy pants have to look a certain way and my floppy bun has to flop in a good way or I’ll try to redo it. Honestly, I’ve lived this way for so long, it doesn’t even seem like effort to me. It’s just what I do and how I think and what I want. But again, I know not everyone does this or even wants to. Still, I do think the idea of perfection is very subjective.
To quote Wikipedia, “In traditional Japanese aesthetics, wabi-sabi is a world view centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection…” This image is an example of a wabi-sabi style ceramic bowl. I personally think this is perfect and complete and beautiful and finished. So for me, the idea of perfection is very personal and individual. Perfect doesn’t always translate to austere in my mind, but sometimes it does. For me, it’s case by case. Image obtained here.
Enter, the rug.
I’ve recently moved in with my partner of two years and we’re learning all the moving-in-together-lessons in a very short and intense period of time due to quarantine. It’s been fairly smooth for the most part, but also challenging on many levels. We don’t share the same aesthetic or the same standards of living in many respects and we both wish the other one would think the way we think. We’re good communicators and both very reasonable, sensitive, and loving people. However, this rug is driving a wedge between us and it’s big enough that it warrants an extensive blog post.
Let me back up first and explain how we got into this mess in the first place. When we moved in, we were lucky enough to have the cable/internet guy come into our place to set up our features even though we were in the height of the pandemic. The wall that we wanted the TV on did not seem to have a working line (even though the people before us had their TV on this same wall). So, because we were desperate to have our cable and internet set up, he created a new line in the opposite wall as a last-ditch effort, and we decided we could run the cable across the floor and just get a rug to cover it. I bought a cheap rug from a cheap store and it’s been downhill ever since. Or should I say, uphill?
We’ve tried everything. And let me start by saying, my partner could not care in the least that this rug is jacked beyond all measure. He notices, but just doesn’t care, and can live a comfortable and peaceful life with the way this is. So when I say “we’ve” tried everything, it’s more like I’ve tried everything and he has helped to execute each and every one of my ideas because he knows it makes me crazy and he would like to help put an end to my suffering. But really, he’d be fine, and would definitely prefer, if I could just let it be. I’ve tried turning the rug around, I’ve tried putting the rug under the legs of the TV stand, I’ve tried nailing the rug into the wall so it doesn’t move, I’ve tried carpet tape. Nothing works.
Before I go much further, can we just admit please, that the above pics are bad? This is a bad set up. This is rough. This is ugly. If I wanted to get really dramatic, I could even call this a tripping hazard. To me this is unlivable and unacceptable, and the idea of trying to let this go is unfathomably preposterous. It really feels insane to me to live this way. I sit in my hobbit chair every day when I’m working remotely from home, and every time I look up, I see this mess. And it triggers me and aggravates me and jabs at all my perfectionism nerves. And I’m miserable. And I would really feel better if we could all just all admit that this is terrible.
[I know that this is 100% first world problems and I’m sorry if I sound like a first-world, over-privileged brat. We each work with what we have, and for today, I’m whining about this problem because it truly does upset me. I’m grateful to have all the comforts of home and apologize again for those who don’t even have the luxury to bitch about something like a rug.]
I recently had a bright idea, that before I waste any more money on searching for another rug that might solve the problem, but that might also cause the same problem, why don’t we see if the cable company can come out again and try to put a new line in the wall behind the TV? I realize as I type this that in some ways this is a selfish and asinine request and puts not only my partner and I at risk for contracting Covid-19, but also the technician who risks his health and safety to come into an enclosed space with strangers. My partner and I do our best to isolate, always wear masks, and rarely interact with people other than ourselves, and we are driven crazy by those who think it’s fine to walk right over social distancing rules, but that is for another post that I will never write. So, for me to insist on asking a technician to come here when the problem is one of interior design, rather than technical, sounds pretty terrible.
Spoiler alert, I already asked for a technician to come here and give it a try, they agreed, and they were here this morning. And by “I” I mean my partner, since the account is in his name and he does all the communicating with regards to our cable and internet. Not that it matters, although it totally matters, but my partner also despises using the phone and only does it for work and/or when he absolutely must. I’m starting to sound more and more like an asshole with every unfolding sentence, I know. The technician this morning took one look and said we need to bring in a “fisher” who can search for a line and who can also find out where the existing lines lead, and this can cost extra money. Additionally, we may need to have a line put in, also most likely costing more money, if this is even possible. Essentially, this is the beginning of what seems like a string of multiple phone calls with technicians, and multiple visits that may lead to more money, more health risks, and more hassle all together.
My partner and I had a heated discussion (one of many) this morning with regards to this issue, and I ultimately (after speaking to my sister and taking her suggestion) proposed that I just let the whole thing go. We continued to go in circles a bit for various other relationship-y reasons (this rug is a like a symbol for something, but I don’t yet know what), and my partner has ultimately left the decision to me. He’s made clear that he doesn’t want to do any of this, but that he absolutely will because he knows it will make me happy, and he can see how much the rug from heck stresses me out. But he’s also made clear that he would be so happy and would prefer if I just let this go. I’ve been on the fence the whole day, deciding what to do, knowing he will be on board either way, and knowing how I get if something like this is just left alone. It would be unprecedented for me to have been this disturbed (I’m pretty disturbed by this fu*@king rug) by something and then to have let it go. I don’t really let things go. But that’s what love does. That’s what goddesses do, when letting go is called for. In all areas of my life, whenever I am feeling lost, I call upon the goddesses. I strive to embody their ideals and want to evolve as a woman. I want to grow in spite of myself and let go of things that no longer serve me. So today, I checked in with them to see what they thought was best.
From The Goddess Power Oracle Deck by Colette Baron-Reid. The card came up upside down, so the alignment message is as follows: “Have you been taking yourself and your life too seriously lately? Has life become a burden? Do you feel indentured to a project or person, and the heaviness of it all makes it difficult to believe there could be relief? Well, the laughing goddess Uzume has arrived to let you know to stop right now and be playful. Look for the funny, ridiculous, and foolish in the world. It’s time for some comedy. Be like a child today…The goddess Uzume reminds you when you get too serious, she will help you laugh. This is the right way to balance all the hard work you’ve been doing lately. You are so loved.”
The goddesses almost always tell me what I need to hear and not necessarily what I want to hear. This card did not do much to solve my problem. But it did crack a little hole in the shell of this rug egg, so just enough light could seep through. And you only need a little bit of light for a miracle. And all a miracle is, is a shift in perspective. An instant shift that is done for you, during moments when you can not do for yourself. I began to think about the stupid rug and how I will write this post and take ridiculous pictures of this ridiculous rug and how ridiculous the whole thing is. As they say in 12-Step Recovery, “How important is it?” Honestly, through the course of writing this post, I feel like the decision has been made for me. Recognizing the risk I would be putting the technician through, as well as just writing out all the ways in which my partner is having to deal with something so ridiculous, seems to make the decision much easier for me. I’m not going to begin bashing myself for being such an asshole, but I think it’s fair to decide to let it go.
I’ve never let something like this go before. Not without a huge bout of kicking and screaming. Those closest to me often do their best to just let me kick and scream until I calm myself down. They know enough not to take me too seriously, even when I’m taking myself so seriously. And they also do their best to try to ease my suffering when they can because they know I always mean well and honestly can’t help myself. That’s how it’s always been anyway. But in many ways, I’ve always behaved less like a goddess and more like a little girl. That’s okay, we all grow up at our own speed. I have my reasons for clinging to little girlhood and have also always been a late bloomer. But I would like to see what opens up for me, for my relationship, and for my life, if I practice letting go. I still have dreams, unsettled, patiently, quietly waiting in my heart, and many of these dreams require much patience and much letting go. How do I ever hope to be worthy of attaining what’s left in my heart if I can’t meet these dreams where they live, in the realm of love? This is the path of the goddess and I don’t begin to believe that I’ve achieved much of anything in terms of goddess-ness existence. But I’m walking the path and that is all I can do. I know to some, this might sound like the most ridiculous thing to get deep about. But to me, the deep stuff is often found in the surface stuff. One of the most spiritual nights of my life involved a mouse. People lose their shit all the time over seemingly non-deep things like traffic, or stubbed toes, or bad hair days. Anyone can grow from anything, and miracles, growth, and change take all forms at all times. This just happens to be mine right now.
Now that I’ve completed this post, I don’t even really care anymore. At least, I don’t care as much as I did before I began the post. Every time I look at that damn rug now, I’m going to think of love. I’m going to think of Uzume. I’m going to think of the dreams in my heart and how letting go of this rug bullshit is taking me one step closer to them. And, because I’m still me, and because I just can’t help myself, whenever I look at that rug, I’m going to think of that fateful day when we move into our next space and I can finally burn the rug to ashes. What can I say? Pobody’s nerfect.
“A beautiful thing is never perfect” -Egyptian Proverb. Interior 2, color photograph, 2001 ©Libby Saylor