Hole in Me

I think of flaws as a big hole right in the center of you, somewhere between your heart and your stomach. And it’s sort of like a black hole, a vacuum, it’s just sucking in everything around it until you can’t breathe, and all you know is your failings. So, to stop the feeling, you plug it up and fill it with anything you can. Which is usually just assurances that you’ll do better next time.

But you shouldn’t see your flaws as something to plug or to smooth out. Your edges are made jagged, like a puzzle piece to fit into something larger. So, the negative spaces are really just where you fit in better.

You should see your flaws as part of you, just like your heart or your stomach. And embrace them as best that you can. Because at the end of the day, it’s you and all that stuff stuck in your head. You have to come to terms with it sometime.



To Be Human

Here are some fun facts about animals:

A cheetah can go from 0 to 60 in three seconds.

Electric eels can deliver up to 600 volts. That’s enough to kill an adult horse. 

Peregrine falcons can reach up to 200 MPH in a dive for prey.

Ostriches can kill a lion with a single kick. 

Elephants can smell water from miles away.

Honey badgers are well, honey badgers. But they can also crack a tortoise shell with their teeth.

Most animals are nothing short of amazing. Evolution has sharpened its knives and has carved most of them into efficient machines with powers to outlast their environment and their predators. They are stream-lined and made with progress in mind.

And humans?


We have the power to order high-priced coffee and remember embarrassing things that happened to us years ago.

So, okay. Maybe we are the species that evolution forgot. And maybe the cool stuff is coming in the next couple of centuries??? (Honestly, I could use a couple more arms. Or laser beams that come out of my eyes. Whichever comes first.)

But we have to remember that we already have our distinguishing factor. It’s not top speed, or powerful senses, or strong bodies. It’s our faults. It’s our flaws. It’s our mistakes.

I mean, think about it. If any other animal in the wild makes a mistake, slips up once, they could be a meal for another animal. But humans make mistakes all the time. In fact, we are defined by the flaws in our character and our behavior. We mess up, and we apologize, and we learn. It’s a constant cycle that we rely on to live, really. If we didn’t make mistakes and learn from them, we could never evolve. In fact, it is the only way that we can.

For example, our primal ancestors had to learn the hard way that sometimes a cave could act as a shelter for you, and sometimes it could act as a shelter for another predator. It probably didn’t take us long to realize that we weren’t always on top of the food chain, and it certainly took a couple of human lives to realize that some animals should be feared. But once we did, we learned how to avoid them or kill them for our own food. We made mistakes, and we learned without having to wait until evolution equipped us with something to protect ourselves. We made tools and weapons, and we fought back.

So, the next time you get frustrated with yourself for doing something incorrectly, remember that you are actually fulfilling your role as a human. Your flaws are only an indication of your species, as much as tigers have stripes and honey badgers have bad atttitudes.

Not Perfect, Not Even Close

I don’t think that anyone has any delusions that humans are perfect. That’s why plastic surgery exists, I suppose. And perhaps, on some level, sports bras. Or gyms. Or schools. Or fast food restaurants. They exist because people always want to make themselves better, somehow. And also, because people slip up, sometimes.

So, why do we expect ourselves to be perfect at all, in the first place?

I know, I know. We know, somewhere, deep down that we can’t be perfect. But we still strive for perfection, and we try to do great things, and we know that it will be good anyway. All that shoot for the moon, land among the stars hocus pocus. But why do we need to expect perfection? Why isn’t what we’re capable of enough?

For me, perfection gave me stomachaches when I was younger (but who knows because dairy gave me the same reaction). It made me stress over A minuses and deadlines three weeks in advance. It also did not instruct me on how to fail properly. So, when I would mess up, I took it pretty hard. Actually, I didn’t take it at all because I would just berate myself for being such an idiot and avoid my real feelings. I would never internalize a mistake as something to learn from. I just vowed that it would never happen again.

Now, that I am adult I can say with absolute certainty…that nothing has changed. I’m still a bit of a control freak. The only thing is I have slightly smaller meltdowns when something imperfect happens now vs. my childhood. But still.

My point is that maybe we need to reject the idea of perfection altogether. We’re not “better because we tried.” We’re not whole “in spite of our flaws.” Humans just are what they are.

I say that you don’t have to try to be perfect. In fact, I say that you need to love the fact that you aren’t even near the goal line of perfect. Or on the same field. Or in the same stadium. Because not being perfect, not even close, is actually, truly, very human. And that’s very much a perfect thing to be.

I Love People. No, Really.

I absolutely love people. No, really. I do. And you will, too. That is, when you aren’t seeing them in a retail setting or on the roads or drunk at the bar. AKA at their worst.

Imagine them instead in their purest form. Doing what they love, or playing with their friends as children. The human race becomes a lot more tolerable when we allow ourselves to perceive them in this way. They even become enchanting.

But most of all, I love that people love people. Got all that? Isn’t it a beautiful thing when writers or poets render someone’s faults and quirks as a masterpiece in broad strokes of love? Here, let me give you a concrete example. Let’s take a decidedly annoying behavior and make it alluring. How about how your co-worker snaps her gum? To you, it resembles the sound of someone scratching a chalkboard while Fran Drescher laughs. But to someone who loves that co-worker and loves her gum-snapping abilities, it sounds like:

The crack of a gun in the crisp, morning air when the clouds are so low you can walk through them. You’re on a hunting trip, and that sound is the first indication that you have not traveled into the woods in vain. It is the sound of success, or of a hopeful longing that will soon resolve in vindication. It breaks the stillness and fills the air with authoritative resonance.

See? Here’s a short and friendly reminder that, at the end of the day, people are not their wants and their needs throbbing beneath their skin. People are poetry. They are the cute way they bite their lips after those lips have been chapped by the wind. They are the way that they put one pant leg on at a time, and how they jump around to get it around their hips. They are the way that they sink into the sweaters, and clutch warm mugs of tea. Sometimes, they are the way that they rage and cry. But mostly, they are the way that they grin at a child playing in a puddle, or when they leave a yoga class.

And we need to remember to see people in this way. Even when we can’t.