Tonight is one of the nights I see clients. Usually how that goes is I make dinner, my husband comes home, we quickly eat as a family and then I head to my office. That was pretty much the same tonight except I happen to have a pretty impactful networking meeting with a local leader of our church before I met with clients.
Before my big meeting, I decided to help my husband out by bathing our toddler. I sat by the tub and hung out while she happily splashed and poured water all over the floor. Then all of the sudden she squatted and absent mindedly I heard her saying something over and over until finally my brain realized what was happening, "Poops!" I pulled her out of the tub and was lucky to mostly contain the poopaster. After draining and sanitizing the tub and rebathing my toddler, she was clean and ready for bed.
I went to freshen up for my meeting and changed out of my sticky, gooped, wet jeans and t-shirt into some more professional attire. As soon as I put my mom jeans black pants on, I realized that they too had sticky goop on them and I must've missed it before I took them off last time. No worries, I quickly wiped all of the goop away with a baby wipe and continued getting ready. I couldn't find that necklace I really like and my shirt was missing a small button, but oh well, I'd roll with it.
As I said goodbye to my family and headed to do my job, it struck me how much of my life isn't perfect. In fact, none of it is. For a long time, I have made the mistake I think a lot of us make in thinking that I have to wait until everything is in place before I make the next big step in my goals. I have to wait until I've lost that extra 10 pounds before I train for a race, or I have to make sure I have that degree before I start networking or planning out my business.
Lately, though, I've been making a huge push in my life to ask "What would I do if I wasn't trying to be perfect?" What would I try? What could I accomplish if the fear of imperfection didn't prevent me from taking that next step. This pattern of thinking has opened my life up to a whole new range of experiences. I've taken up cross stitching which is part of the crafting world I never thought I'd touch. I'm training for my first marathon even though I definitely don't sport a perfect running body. I'm also building my practice even though it's terrifying and vulnerable and difficult to do.
When I give myself permission to take a chance even when the outcome is scary or uncertain, I grow. Regardless of the outcome, I learn and I grow and the next time I need to take that step, it's easier. That's what's been awesome about my little journey so far. Each imperfect step has become easier to take than the one before because I have learned through experience that I am still here. I will still be the same "me" even if the person on the other end of the phone thinks counseling is dumb. I'll still be Callan even if I don't run nearly as fast as the runners I follow on Instagram. Because Callan, the real Callan, is beautifully imperfect and the sooner I can accept and treasure that about myself the sooner I can use that to help me become an even better me.
And just so I don't leave you hanging, I'll tell you the meeting went well tonight, probably really well (it's always hard to know for sure).As I was sitting in the office talking about my career and my professional aspirations I thought, "I bet they have no idea that less than 2 hours ago I cleaned out a bathtub full of poop and wiped kid-goop off of the pants I'm wearing." They didn't know and they didn't care because I showed up. The real, imperfect "me" showed up and at the end of the day, that's what actually mattered.