I have just finished reading Julie & Julia, by Julie Powell. You've probably seen, or seen previews for, the movie version that's in theaters right now with Amy Adams and Meryl Streep, and it is from that movie that the quote in the title of this post came. So on with my post, which is about neither the book nor the movie, but just a particular thought that I had while I was reading.
The thing that struck me is how real Julie Powell is. I don't mean literally, because of course the book is nonfiction. What I mean is that throughout the whole process, Julie makes no attempt to hide anything, or to make herself look better than she is. She swears like a sailor. She doesn't clean her house for a year because she just doesn't have the energy to devote to it. She freaks out and throws temper tantrums, and writes every word of it. Toward the end of the experiment, she has maggots growing under the dish rack in her sink, and she tells the whole world about it. Julie Powell makes zero excuses for herself, and that impresses me. For an entire year she puts every ounce of energy she has into completing her project and staying sane, and if that means she doesn't have any left for things like dusting and doing dishes, well then, so be it. She knows that she has limits.
Obviously this is an extreme example, but it's the attitude--the principle of it--that I'm getting at. There is something wonderful about just being you, without putting on a face for people. It's just a fact that sometimes life is crazy, and you shouldn't have to make excuses for it. Sometimes it's so crazy you can barely hang on to your sanity, much less be "on top of things." But that's okay. You don't have to always have it together, and you don't have to pretend that you do if you don't. Sometimes you need to be honest with yourself and be okay with the fact that you're going through a hard time. This doesn't mean that you're any less mature or developed a person--it just means you're a real person. It means you admit that life is hard, and that you are working as hard as you can to get by. It means you realize that you're not Superwoman, and that you don't have to be; that you're not perfect, and neither is anyone else, so there's no reason to be embarrassed about it. It means you prioritize, and maybe decide that today it's more important to get a shower and relax a little bit than it is to finish all your errands. It's okay to struggle, and it's okay if people see. Life is just hard enough to handle without making it harder on ourselves by pretending it's not.