accepting imperfection

at mount calvary, november 2005. photo by kirkum.

this past thursday was my last day of traditional classes, and even though it has been four days, i still cannot believe it's over. i don't mean to sound dramatic, but the events of this past month have felt somewhat traumatic. my heart feels like it is just catching up to what happened, and i have cried hard tears at least once a day since it ended, and sometimes more. many times i find myself sitting in a wounded daze, staring into nothing. i start to wonder if i have what it takes to pick back up and start again with one last and final month that starts tomorrow, but then i find myself trying to receive the permission not to worry that far into the future. tomorrow has worries enough of its own. today is meant for rest.

the hardest part of this past month is how utterly alone i've felt. as much as i can tell those in my life that this month's demands have been quite hard, those words only communicate so much. no one has walked in these shoes, sat in this chair, stared at this screen, or had to come up with answers to fill this white space and these little spreadsheet squares for something that has come to mean so much. and as much as i'd like, in theory, to tackle the challenge of expressing just what factors conspired to make all of it so hard, i just don't have it in me. and to be honest, i fear that what i'll hear on the other side of that great effort -- the "i'm sorry it was so hard" and "congratulations on finally finishing" that might sound with good intentions but a subtle dismissive air -- will hurt more than they'll hurt now, on this side of the emotional and mental strain of exposing my heart in that way, when all my hurting, raw heart really desires is to be held, loved, and truly understood.

so for now, i'll just say that what i turned in on my last day of classes, what comprised my first full draft of the business plan i'm creating here at the end of this venture, was not a perfect entity. it does not reflect the fullness of my potential. it has great big gaping holes that i am aware of and great big gaping holes i don't yet even know exist. some sections repeat themselves. other sections are woefully slim. still others instill me with a hard-won pride, and there are reasons for all of these things. i know many parts of it will change in the coming month ahead, but i'm thankful that this last month of refining it into its final form will be spent in the safe and simple quiet of my home, where i'll have room to think and imagine and just breathe.

what i turned in at the end of that haul is imperfect, but it was the best i could do. and given the circumstances that were stacked against me in this case, i have chosen to be okay with that. i have chosen the imperfection, knowing the risks i took that made this road so hard are worth applauding in their own right. at least, that's what i try to remember right now. i try to remember what kirk tells me: that taking risks and being imperfect because of them is infinitely more interesting than never having risked anything at all in order to hold caution and the status-quo with a seeming perfection that is dull, lifeless, and safe. i am leaning these days into the beautiful imperfection of being human.