Friday, November 7, 2008

Perfection 2 cents

My whiteboard quote for today is:

"The farther a man knows himself to be from perfection, the nearer he is to it."
~Gerard Groote

In my field we keep saying how knowing that we don't know everything brings us closer to true knowledge - how, the more we know, we realize that we actually know less than we started out thinking we did. (I know that sentence is kind of convoluted, but I swear it makes sense...)

I think that's true with happiness too. This morning I was walking into work and thinking about my day, and the fact that Dad's coming to visit today for the first time since his recent move to northern CA, and that this is the first time he and T will meet (which holds great importance for me, of course), and that the Olive Festival is tonight which I've been looking forward to essentially since the last one in October '07, and my feelings about the job that I was walking toward, and on and on.

Then I went off on the job, career, and life tangent - I was raised to take education for granted. My sister was a true genius, and I just followed, thinking that's what everyone did. Now I have a bachelor's, two master's, and am headed toward a Ph.D., and still am not exactly sure what I want to do, or, more truthfully, HOW to do what I want to do.

Perhaps I'll figure it out eventually, perhaps I won't. I used to think that, at some point, the switch had to flip and things had to start being easy. You'd eventually just kind of have it "all" under your thumb and know what you were doing, more or less all the time. At least, that's what it looked like from where I was standing...

...then I realized that, no. No one ever really knows what they're doing. Hell, if I were to see myself now from my 15-year-old-eyes, I would probably think I ended up being one of those people who had it all together and that is CERTAINLY not true. I'm as clueless as I ever was! Sure, maybe now and then I know what's going on, possibly enough to be an authority even. I could talk about the things I know all day, fully confident, but there is so much more to life than those little pockets of knowledge. And no, there's no such real thing as an "adult". We're all little kids, who just think about different things than we did when we were small.

I still have the same mind, the same internal "voice" that I had when I was seven - I just spend my time thinking about different things. And I have more experiences, but my "me" is still the same "me". (another reason to talk to kids like they're people, not like they're "kids" - they are people. Just the same as all of us "grown-ups")

So, for me at least, the answer is to, maybe, know I don't know everything, can't plan everything, yet will likely, if I stay focused, ending up getting some semblance of what I want (heck, it's worked so far), and to always, always make sure I'm paying attention to what's important.

I always used to feel like I was always waiting for my real life to start. That was never true. And now, at least, I know that this IS my life.

And, about the quote, no one is perfect. And everyone is. The non-perfection is part of the greater perfection. As as soon as we can all see that in each other, the world can start to approach perfection too. I think.

Happy Friday! I'll post Olive Festival pics :)

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