When I’m in ballet class, sometimes I forget that I’m probably the only one there wearing size 11 ballet shoes and a plus sized leotard. I forget that I’ll never be good at ballet. I watch myself in the mirror and I forget that I’m supposed to be embarrassed about the size of my thighs.
I forget these things because after year (YEARS) of being too afraid to try things that I’m not good at, I’ve finally gotten (mostly) over myself and have decided that the sole criteria I’m going to use to determine if I get to do something is not “am I good enough to do this” but “will doing this thing, even poorly, make me happy?”
I have one child who appears to have inherited my tendency toward perfectionism and it is hard to watch him get so frustrated with himself when his drawing doesn’t look the way he wants it to or if he misses a shot at soccer. It feels so familiar to me and it makes me want to figure out how to teach him to let himself off the hook and to embrace the freedom that comes from deciding to do what you love whether you are good at it or not.
It took me a few decades to get there. I hope he can find his way there sooner.