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Ode to imperfection

There I was again. Dimmed lights, closed curtains, and a bottle of whiskey biting my taste buds. The thoughts were skating off my tongue, making it to the scraps of paper with a finishing piruet. I was writing again.

Ok, fine, it might have been not me, but Bukowski back in the days. Probably would be more realistic to say I was lazily rolled and twisted half on, half off the sofa, while quickly scanning the environment, making sure my boyfriend doesn’t notice that I’m eating and not sharing chocolate.

The point is that the chocolate was dark, and I… Wait, not the point. The point is that I was writing again. And the more words have escaped the theme park of my head, the more I couldn’t help thinking...

Man, this article is so crappy.

The words just weren’t gluing together - they felt lifeless and uninspiring. I started trying to polish up a sentence here, a sentence there, constantly getting frustrated at not being able to blurt out one readable article. With the poetry of accompanying swearwords, I ended up shutting off my laptop and taking a break.

I went outside, trying to meditate to offset my inner frustration fiesta. Instead, I actually ended up ripping the story to pieces in my head, over-analyzing every word, while the soothing voice of the meditation guy kept on going on in the background. At one moment though, it finally hit me, as I remembered the quote that I loved so much back in the days.

“Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.”
Kurt Vonnegut

We put so much pressure on ourselves to be constantly spot-on, in every single inch of our lives. There is an interesting New York Times article I once read called In Praise Of Mediocrity (link). It mentions that hobbies these days carry a function of a self-identity building block which makes it difficult to accept that we can be bad at them. “I am a surfer” sounds so much cooler than “I’m usually underwater and have only managed to half-get up from that frigging slippery board that hits me in the head in return” (NOT me. Never. Ever.)

What if we just let ourselves create things and accept them the way they come out - even if not perfect? (ha, maybe actually that meditation in the background had a bigger effect than I had expected!). Arts, or any other hobbies. A shitty article, a shitty surf, a shitty knit that you’ve just created. Maybe they’re not perfect, but the bottom line shouldn’t be perfection, it should be enjoyment. And, as Vonnegut says, you will have created something. Something, that maybe will not be sold for millions of dollars one day (although who knows!), but will have a sentimental value to which you can’t put a price tag on. And that, I promise, will make you feel pretty good. You might not be comfortable enough to call yourself an artist as a result of it, but to be honest, doesn’t “knows how to have fun and doesn’t take life too seriously” sound pretty good too?

And here it is, I thought. Now it’s the time to walk the walk, talk the talk.

This article might not be perfect - the introduction is too long, the point is too short, and sometimes my writing makes sense only in my head. But damn, I’m happy with it. I have created something.

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