Being Perfect

Being Perfect - Anna Quindlen This is an essay that reads like a high school or college graduation speech. Actually, at first, that's what I thought it was. It would make a great graduation gift... or a gift for a new mom, for the following section is what struck a chord with me as a mom:

"Sometime in the future, if you are young, you may want to be a parent. You will convince yourself that you will be a better parent than your parents and their parents have been. But being a good parent is not generational, it is deeply personal, and it all comes down to this: If you can bring to your children the self that you truly are, as opposed to some as amalgam of manners and mannerisms, expectations and fears that you have acquired as a carapace along the way, you will be able to teach them by example not to be terrorized by the narrow and parsimonious expectations of the world, a world that often likes to color within the lines when a spray of paint, a scribble of crayon, would be much more satisfying."

This one got me too:

"Someday, sometime, you will be sitting somewhere.... And something bad will have happened: You will have lost someone you loved, or failed at something at which you badly wanted to succeed. And sitting there, you will fall into the center of yourself. You will look for some core to sustain you. And if you have been perfect all your life and have managed to meet all the expectations of your family, your friends, your community, your society, chances are excellent that there will be a black hole where that core ought to be."

In a nutshell: Let go of the expectations you've allowed yourself and others and society to place on you, and embrace the wonder that is you, faults and all.