Friday, July 1, 2011

Number 100

Julie: Okay, maybe I'm being a little narcissistic...
Eric: A little? On a scale of one to 10?
Julie: Okay, a 9.3. But what do you think a blog is? It's "me, me, me" day after day!
-- From Julie and Julia

This time last year, I had a gig as a ghostwriter. Part way through the project, my client had a personal crisis and moved to Norway, so we never finished. But that job was enough to get me back into the zone, clicking away on my laptop, waking in the middle of the night when inspiration would suddenly dawn. I got hooked on the heady feeling of actually completing a thought. So on June 28, 2010, I began the Summer of Blog.

I didn't know what it was going to be about exactly, but over the course of the year, a theme has emerged. I call it Imperfectionism.

Years ago, I was seeing a brilliant therapist, who told me I should stop calling myself a Recovering Perfectionist, because it showed I still was one: a person who couldn't accept myself or the world in a state of gray, who set impossible goals, and thought in terms of all or nothing.

As a quilter, I've always been drawn to a look we call "scrappy," quilts that combine all kinds of different fabrics, especially ones that at first glance don't seem to go together. As a seamstress, I've almost been always been able to give myself grace so that I can enjoy myself, an essential because I have all kinds of creativity but am lacking the diligence and math skills to make everything line up perfectly. I call myself a Fudger: I ease seams together and lop off the sides of uneven quilt blocks to make things fit together the best I can. A technically proficient quilter would see all kinds of problems with some of my best work.

And here's the beautiful thing: I call this page Scraps of Soul, because I can truly say this scrappy principle in my quilting is now also making a lot more sense in my life. The bad days, the toddler meltdowns, my personality flaws and limitations, even tension points in my closest relationships, are all starting to look beautiful to me as they get pieced into the fabric of my blessed and redeemed life. How trite and true: its those things that make us grow (and without them what would I have to write about!).

I know that God takes my imperfect faith and with it, saves me perfectly. He is imminently comfortable with my "issues," even as He nudges me towards healing them, one at a time. So I'm approaching my days and years differently, aiming for a B+ rather than an A+, and finding the journey infinitely more interesting and enjoyable than I used to, even if on certain assignments I get a C-.

As Sophia finished up her year of first grade this spring, her teachers were universal in their praise of her writing skills. Leaving open house, I quipped to Jeff, "I'm so proud, sweetie. Maybe she'll grow up to be just like her mother: articulate and unemployed." At this point I sit here typing away with no tangible reward. But I'm loving it, largely because every once in a while, one of you has been kind enough to tell me that you related to something that I wrote, or even that it made you feel better about your life or yourself.

This is an enormous relief to me, because no writer, singer, artist wants to create in a vacuum. I write to be read. And this undertaking, as Julie Powell said in the movie Julie and Julia, is certainly narcissistic. My own life is my inspiration. My closest friends and husband must be sick of me beginning sentences with "The other day I blogged about..." So I'm glad it's not totally without value.

Today is my 100th entry, which was my private goal when I started out a year ago. And I find I've not quite run out of things to say yet. So I'll keep scrapping away. Thank you for occasionally reading this. Thanks for the encouragement. And keep the comments coming.

1 comment: