Perfection is the unattainable goal. It is sought after and never found. It is expected and leaves many disappointed. I have always felt that it was a goal worth shooting after, for the pursuit of it would lead to tremendous amounts of growth. The journey has often been wrought with bitter disappointment, failed expectation, and occasionally increasing distance between myself and others. Regardless I have continued to pursue it undaunted by the cackles that come from my peers. I have done so because to accept what is as it is, to me, means a spiritual death of sorts. There is, however, gratitude to be shown for imperfections.
If I had always been a perfect man then both of my children would never have been born. Anyone who has ever met both of my kids knows how wonderful they are. They have grown into fantastic adults with giant hearts and a concern for the world that many millenials just do not have. If I was perfect I would not have married their mother. I did so because I was fresh out of foster care with no clue how to move forward in the world and she was the first one to offer a direction. Immediately I took her up on that direction and a series of continual imperfections led to conception, marriage, birth, conception and birth once more all in that order. We were not generally happy, but we were blessed with two wonderful children due to mutual imperfections. It was the pursuit of perfection which would lead to divorce.
I have never been a perfect friend. When I have examined the past through a retrofitted lens I have seen the emotional damage I have placed on those closest to me. This imperfection in my friendship is a hard one to show gratitude for as some of the people I had wanted to be closest to were the most difficult people to lose. Continually I had allowed my emotional perceptions to guide reaction to the wisdom offered by others. Some have been driven away by this. They have called me out, stabbed me in the back, left me in tears, and never looked back. Then there are those who stayed. Those who loved me in spite of my failings. They were the ones who saw the value I held intrinsically. My imperfection is no excuse for what I had done, but it did allow me to cull the herd so to speak. Those who remained were sharpened by the continued imperfections of my friendship.
I often imagine what things would have been like had I been the perfect father. I never was. I was often bitter and angry. I overreacted far too many times. Honestly I have beaten myself up over my abilities as a father too many times. I would never excuse the things I feel guilt and shame over. However I am exploring gratitude and I am grateful that my children learned empathy due to early exposure to the up and down emotions I went through. My kids are great because they don’t walk on eggshells and they just simply are honest with their feelings with me, their mother, their friends, and their other peers.
As a lover I fully accept that I have not been perfect. I have gone through several iterations of relationships and I feel that I have evolved through each of those iterations. I have been self-serving. I have made demands. I have not shown gratitude for the many gifts that my partner has provided. Over the course of the past 20 years I have grown to counter those original behaviors culminating to a point where, in my last relationship, I was overall generally good. Yes there were points where that absolutely wasn’t true. Again I am not perfect. In my imperfection I feel that the women I have loved have learned what it was they truly loved and wanted in life. At least in one case she found a man who has been a wonderful husband to her who has children she has been a wonderful stepmother to.
As a son and a brother my imperfections are clear to me, but the impact that had on my mother, stepdad, father, and five siblings remains unclear. I know that it has been the pursuit that has allowed me to grow closer to my mother. I know that before my Dad (stepdad) died he told me that he loved me very much. I know that my father reached out to me when he really had no reason to. I wish I could say more about my siblings, but the only thing I know is that one sister has responded to my reaching out after years of zero contact. Those are all blessings in which I am eternally grateful.
Perfection may be unattainable. There may be gifts in areas where imperfection arose. In the end I have chosen to pursue growth and in that growth I am perfect in my imperfection.