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  • Writer's pictureEmily Young

Perfection? How About Progress, Instead?

I have a knack for starting projects. Some may substitute “knack” with “unhealthy obsession”. Whether it’s a music endeavor, a community website, or a bookstore- I start them, obsess over them, get distracted, and finally come back with renewed interest. Rinse, repeat. It’s a rough ride, and you never know where you’ll end up, but you hit the road anyway, and hope and pray you understand how the breaks work.

I used to be held back by fear of not doing something right, or executing it the way someone else might do it. That kept me from doing so many things I may have later become great at, like ballet. After all, I have the look of a ballerina. (I don’t). But that doesn’t mean that there weren’t lessons I could have taken away from sticking with dance classes. Perseverance, for example. Or how to make that tutu stay all poofy.

Every time you pick up a pen, or you fire up a fresh cup of coffee to help you through the night, you are on your way to… something. Maybe not something great, maybe not even something you think is worth sharing with the world, but something that would have otherwise not been done. That says a lot in itself. You have the ability to create something that has never been created before. Even if it’s just putting words in a completely new frame, or drawing a fox that looks like no other fox ever (because it looks more like a shrew mouse), or seeing an idea in a completely new light that could revolutionize your field of study. It can be a great big step, or the tiniest of shuffles- as long as you move forward, work on something you care about, and follow through, then you’re doing more than most people who are stuck, being too afraid they might do it wrong.

It won’t be perfect. YOU won’t be perfect. But you’ll be progressing. You’ll be moving closer to a goal you may, or may not, yet even realize. But once you get there- nothing will be clearer. And the path that got you there is riddled with midnight attempts, trash bins full of crumpled paper, and a sore hand from giving yourself well-deserved high-fives when you finally hit that sweet spot.

Perfection… psssh, who needs it?

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