"Sh-Sh-Shake It Off: Ditch the Veil of Perfection and Become More Radically Awesome" (By: Maria Grasso)
Five years ago I ate an entire sandwich.
Take sandwich, insert in mouth, chew, swallow, be satisfied. Simple as that.
“Simple as that” isn’t so simple to some of us, though.
I wish the process of recovery had really been that stripped down for me: eat food, girl. It wasn’t, though, and from what I know of my fellow travelers’ journeys, it wasn’t and isn’t for them either.
I don’t want to oversimplify a complex feat. However, as I took that very last bite, I felt an easy sense of release…and it rocked my soul.
I, like so many, used my ED as a means of achieving perfection. In doing so, I became extremely predictable and kind of dull. It was like I was in an epic battle for the almighty crown of boringness. What I didn’t yet understand is that the more I deprived myself of what I needed to survive, the more I deprived the world of the girl it needed alive.
The world needs me (and you) to carry it into the future. Our flaws and imperfections—the things that set us apart from others—are the very tools the world uses to grow and change. See if we were all alike we’d be disposable. The world breathes in our differences and uses them to shape the future. Call me idealistic, but it’s true. Each of us, in our most authentic state, cause ripples of change.
Besides, perfection is boring. My attempts at “perfection” stripped away the character and quirkiness that made me my awkwardly charming self. One bite of the past and that feeling rushed back to me, that feeling of imperfection that gave me permission to be me.
The more and more I embraced every fiber of my being and every experience of my life, the more radically awesome, interesting, and imperfect I became. And yeah, I like to think we are all radically awesome, interesting, and most importantly imperfect.
The coolest part about life is that we create ourselves by what we subject ourselves to—the more you experience and absorb the more dynamic and interesting you become. Remember: You are the summation of your life thus far and the future trajectory of your life to come. Appreciate where you’ve been. Prepare for where you are going.
Sometimes our creepy little stalker, Fear, lurks in the corner of our minds reminding us that we should be afraid. Fear is not looking out for you. Fear is not protecting you. And fear certainly is NOT acting as a "sign", telling you to stand still or, even worse, to fall back. Fear reminds you that things might go “wrong”…and things will go “wrong”. But the only way to protect your true self is to act despite your fear. You will change because of it. You will grow because of the change.
As silly as it might sound, I was afraid to eat because it meant change. My ED had become a veil of fear that I was so comfortable hiding under. I couldn’t grow there, though. I had to act despite my fear if I wanted to get my true self back.
I don’t want to belittle the struggle of so many of us, but for me one small step towards who I was and what I craved gave me the feeling I needed to rediscover the self I had lost.
Don’t run away from any experience, emotion, and or event that brings to light your imperfections. These are the threads of your being. These are what weave you—awesome, interesting, exhilarating you—into the vibrant fabric that makes up this world. The world needs me, the world needs you, beautifully imperfect you.
About the Author
Maria Grasso has a passion for people and commitment to education. In her youth, she served as a Youth Ambassador for a United Nations Association development program in both South Africa and Namibia where she assisted in school development and built water sanitation facilities and homes for rural families. After graduation, Maria moved to Houston, Texas to work in urban education and nonprofit administration at an innovative Houston high school for economically disadvantaged students, while completing her Master’s of Business Administration. Currently, she serves as Executive Director of a youth success program that exposes high school and college students to the proven systems and techniques, that when properly practiced, give students a 7-year head start on their career and life. Maria is an advocate for using your body for strength—and loves motivating friends and family to reach their goals and laugh along the way!