Life Update: Being Imperfect and Stepping Into the Unknown

It’s taken me a while to write this post. Or any post for that matter. But here I am, typing alongside my resistance. And why am I resisting? Well, because I want to make this post perfect. After all, I haven’t written for so long so it MUST be the BEST BLOG POST THE WORLD HAS EVER SEEN, am I right?

Of course not. But my perfectionism is a master at getting me to believe that it has to be. I’m sharing this with you because recently I realized that directly addressing the difficult thing that’s coming up for me in the moment helps me get over the hump; putting my perfectionism on blast is the best way for me to get past it and start writing.

These days I’m inviting more progress, more self-compassion, more forgiveness, and more intentionality into my life. And I’m giving myself permission to make things that are imperfect.

These are some of the gifts the past year and a half has given me. Let me enlighten you on what went down on my side.

For starters, there was a point in 2019 where I was pretty burnt out. I was tackling a lot at once and not giving myself much rest time, while experiencing problems in a few of my relationships. Navigating the stress of keeping up with school, my internships, my extracurriculars, and trying to mend a few broken hearts was tough. But thankfully towards the end of 2019 I was starting to feel a little better. I got support from my professors and loved ones, and I did my best to keep up with my assignments – I have to thank some of my wonderful friends for keeping me accountable and keeping me laughing. Whether you did so consciously or not, you really helped make my last two semesters at school bearable.

So fast forward to 2020. A new year! A clean slate! The best year yet! Little did I know…

LOL I know right? 2020 was wild, but looking back — and I can only say this in retrospect — it was also one of the most enlightening years of my life to date. I developed a new appreciation for life, in part because of my fear of death. I woke up to the fact that in many areas of my life I was playing small and not fully expressing my truth. I started to really think about what I WANT and what actually works for ME, instead of going along with what I think I “should” want or do. These are things that I couldn’t see before.

Yes, I experienced some disappointments. Half of my last college semester was taken away by the pandemic that hit. I graduated, but… online. I know that graduation matters a big deal to some and not at all to others, but I was SO READY to enjoy graduation. My sophomore and junior year I actually volunteered to help out with the graduation ceremonies of those years, so I was more than familiar with how the ceremony would go down which made me even more excited for the time when I would get to walk across the stage. I also missed out on going to senior formal and celebrating one last time, dressed like a delicious MEAL, with all of my classmates. I was ready. So when I learned that none of that would be happening, and that the trips I planned for the summer couldn’t happen, and that the world was in a panic… yeah, I was pretty disappointed to say the least. Had a couple breakdowns here and there.

But in that void, in those uncertain and gray times, I was able to connect with myself and my family in ways I never have before. My spirituality amplified, my desire to be in control was tested time and time again, and I read a bunch of great books.

Speaking of which, I couldn’t write a blog post without giving you a resource to check out. This book I’m about to share with you is something EVERYONE and their ancestors should read. Yup, I’m bringing them into this. Do yourself a favor and check out The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. If you read it already, this is a nudge to re-read it. Seriously. This book has shown up in my dreams, people! It’s short but so impactful. So go get it.

And now, post-grad life is full of unknowns and things to figure out. What will I do next? What do I want out of my relationships? What do I want for my future? So many things.

This time in my life feels both exciting and scary. It feels like I have a lot of decisions to make. But I’m navigating this space the best I can.

So as I wrap up my thoughts here I recognize that when I click publish on this post that, no, it won’t be perfect. But it will be honest. It will be what’s in my heart right now and what I feel called to share with you. If you’ve made it this far with me, thank you. I hope you’ll stick around for future posts and that you’ll take any gems that resonate with you. Cheers to stepping into the unknown!

#17: Punting Perfection, and Weekly Favorites

Sunday is probably my favorite day of the week. It’s the best day for relaxation, reflection, and planning. When you think about it, it really is the bridge between last week and the next, which is why I try to make my Sundays as calm as possible. Sundays are the end and the beginning, simultaneously. That’s wild. But also very beautiful.

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At the beginning of last week I was slacking, not gonna lie. With the newfound time in my schedule, I made sure to take some time to relax, but I think I overdid it. I hung out, slept in super late, and as a result was wayyy behind on my schoolwork. It was a real wake up call for me because before I was always on the move, pretty drained, but always on top of my work and meetings. I guess I learned the energy management part I addressed in last week’s post because I wasn’t completely exhausted, but the time management part is what needs revamping. So I want to applaud past-Valencia for learning how to step back and relax. Yay! But now I’m working to make sure future-Valencia knows that downtime has a limit too and that although I have fewer tasks, those tasks can be given more time and attention so that I do them to the best of my ability!

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Punting Perfection

Another revelation that came out of this week is the fact that sometimes I get in my own way when it comes to the projects I want to do and the work I want to put out. In fact, the only time I procrastinate on something is when it’s suuuuper important to me – which is CRAZY. But I know why I do… it’s because I want it to be perfect. I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself to achieve exponentially and to produce fantastic work even when I’m a novice at something. Which quite frankly, doesn’t make any sense.

For example, I had an assignment for my podcasting class due last week. But I was having some difficulty when it came to not getting all the recordings I needed with the equipment I rented and issues uploading my files. Basically, I knew it wasn’t going to come out the way I wanted it to. Which SUCKED to admit, but I had to once I realized I kept putting off reaching out for help and handing in what I could, for days. The other day I finally swallowed my pride after trying to work on this persistent problem I’ve been having with uploading my files and reached out to my professor for some help.

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Nothing has to be perfect, especially when you’re just starting out. If someone who has never lifted a weight in their life told me they’re going to lift 200 lbs on their first day at the gym I would look at them like they’re crazy. The same logic applies to everything else. You can’t think you’re going to come in and be this extraordinary expert when you’re still learning. And even when you’re an expert you’re still always learning!

In short, having that experience sobered me up to the fact that whenever I find myself procrastinating on something it’s an indication that:

1) I really care about the project or task,

2) I’m putting way too much pressure on myself to make it perfect, and that…

3) I need to cut myself some slack, enjoy the process, and be proud of whatever I end up creating at the end of the day. Doing my best is enough.

This past week wasn’t perfect, and that’s okay. Maybe its purpose was to give me a wakeup call. And for that, I’m very grateful.

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Wishing you relaxation, peace, and productivity this week.

Weekly Favorites

Youtube Channel: Impact Theory with Tom Bilyeu

App: ToDoist – a great to-do list app that’s free, but many of the unlimited features are for the premium subscription