Tuesday, April 9, 2013

There's a crack in everything

My April 1 post was about signing on to the Ultimate Blog Challenge and why I refused to consider it setting myself up for failure.   I gutted my way through the first five days.  The pros were:
  • I was proving to myself that I could do it (building mastery is one of the skills I'm working on in DBT therapy)
  • I was building momentum
  • I appreciated having the support of a community instead of just blogging into space the way I had been
  • The writing itself was therapeutic
  • I was pleased to do something from my agenda on a daily basis (instead of everyone else's)
The cons:
  • I had yet another thing on my to-do list.
  • I was staying up late to blog, getting behind on sleep.
  • Some days I was blogging instead of other, more important things
  • I was seeking approval (mostly from myself)
  • I felt exposed and shrunk back from it
I didn't write any posts on the weekend.  At first, I though, weekdays, that's pretty good.  Five of seven days.  That's consistent.  And I cut myself a break because my dog had gone missing.  It took time to make and put up posters and call around and cry and all that.   After three days, we found her, and she had been safe the whole time, but then my inner taskmaster flipped a little switch and said, alright, now you have to get back to that blog.  That might have been okay.  But other things came up, and I did write.  I have long observed that I can't blog (at least not on this blog, with themes so vulnerable) unless I am well enough to do so.  I wrote 26 pages last night and 4 this morning, but they were all for me.  Not suitable for all audiences.

What happens when I blog for 5 days and then not at all for 3?  What is that 3-day gap?  A lapse?  A failure?  A crack?

Art by Shari Elf

I need for it to be just a crack.  So many obstacles pile on, so many mistakes are made one after the other, I start to feel broken.  I know it's the Perfectionist and she doesn't necessarily deserve my attention, so it helps to take my brokenness and narrow it down to a crack.  A crack that is there for the purpose of letting the light in.

This verse reminds me how much beauty I do find in imperfection.  A little wabi sabi going on.  I love collage, mosaic, patchwork, any kind of art made from beach glass, or driftwood, or old lawnmower parts, or recycled material, or random found objects.  Taking something incomplete or useless and making it part of a whole.  Repurposing it.  Ringing the bells that still can ring.  I am reminding myself now to apply my attraction to imperfection in art to my life.  The imperfection of 5 days on, 3 days off, of a blog challenge can be something that appeals to me.  I can look at those 3 days as just a crack, and write another post while the light gets in.


  1. Great post Emily. I think the difference, as you have eluded to, is taking the attitude of "happening to life" instead of life "happening to you" Keep doing what your'e doing!

    1. I love that phrase, "happening to life." Thanks for sharing!

  2. Great post, Emily! I was just thinking about imperfections in my life, and how important it is that other people know that they are there. It's so easy to promote a "perfect" outside appearance online, when the truth is we all have plenty of cracks in our lives. Thanks for this.

    1. I don't think there is anything wrong with a well-prepared, smooth, polished exterior. It isn't fake to present your best self in any arena. It's just not my story. You get to tell the parts of your tale that you want to, and it is interesting to reach a point where showing off the cracks, without being self-deprecating, may be valuable.


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