Life Promises

I have my weekly habits like most people. Monday nights I skip working out, at least once a week I get coffee and oatmeal at Peets (maybe Starbucks), I call my mom or grandmother during my walk home from the metro, and on Sunday night, I watch my standard tv. One of those standard shows is Girls on HBO. It’s a guilty pleasure for sure. I love Lena Dunham’s stark take on life as a twenty-something, even if it is far flung. If you watch, you know the fourth season just ended, and if you’re an avid fan like me, you’re incredibly depressed about how long you have to wait for season 5.

Sometimes revelations come from the most unexpected sources. Likely you’ve had one in the shower or while brushing your teeth. Mine have come from niche corners of my life recently and I sort of enjoy that. The most recent came from – you guessed it – the season four finale of Girls. (Minor spoiler alert!) There’s a birth that brings together some recently estranged characters and when the little one finally arrives, Hannah (Dunham’s character) has some great wisdom about the wonders of life to pass on to the tiny human. In a sweet, baby-coo voice, she says this: “Life…I can’t guarantee perfection, but I can guarantee intrigue.”

How beautiful is that?

If you have any ounce of Type A in you, you’re likely to have a competitive side, a passion for organizing, and an expectation for perfection in everything you do. But even if you’re not a Type A personality, what I think Hannah realized, much like this twenty-something has, is that we often set our bar too high. We expect from ourselves and those around us entirely too much. We ignore the beauty in imperfections and are afraid to say no. After all, we’re busy crafting a perfect life with memories exactly as we want them! If you hang around a Gen Y-er at all, you know they’ve coined the acronym FOMO – fear of missing out. I think that desire for perfection comes so much from our technology-overloaded, over-sharing culture; we want to go on that gorgeous vacation our high school rival just took or get an invite to brunch with that great new group of friends we’ve been courting. But life’s not perfect, is it? We can’t quite customize it the way we hope. But think about how much more exciting that is! Just try and count how many lessons you’ve learned from failure, and how great those stories are when you share them now.

I hope this week, you take the time to recognize the not-so-perfect moments and allow your curiosity to take over – relish in the fascination and intrigue.

– Ashley Respecki

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