i am learning to accept the “just-right” things.
Perhaps it is the dreamer in me. Or perhaps I have finally learned to accept the places I am. Whatever the case, I have reached the point of just-right. Case in point:
On Sunday, I attend a gathering of my girlfriend’s family in celebration of some November birthdays. It came after my two-hour trapeze class, during which we did a significant amount of spinning, swinging, and arm work. Exhaustion took the best of me and I mostly stayed on the sofa, curled up with Women Who Run With the Wolves and my pen/highlighter. My favorite pen/highlighter. Somehow, between the reading and the marking in the book and the talking and laughter with family, I lost my favorite pen. But I hadn’t moved away from the sofa.
We all looked for the pen, which had last been seen in my ponytail. No luck. It was as though it had vanished. And I, in my frustration, simply put the book away, uninterested in continuing the process without this one special pen.
It wasn’t until later that evening when I really thought about it. This pen, it’s nothing fancy. I could buy one at any office store. And yet, I felt so certain that the process, the journey through Women Who Run With the Wolves, would not be the same without it. And then I realized it.
For years I have sought the “perfect” things: the perfect pen, the perfect relationship, the perfect handbag, the perfect clothes, the perfect job, the perfect home. The perfect solution to anything and everything. It must be out there, the perfect _____________, right? But as I have grown and sunk into my own depths this past year, I am quickly learning that “perfect” isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. And “just-right” is much more delightful.
What is just-right for you?
Just as Goldilocks went running through the home of the Three Bears, so I have been testing and trying on and shifting my world. One might be too hot, another too soft, and third too big. It never occurred to Goldilocks that she should settle for the first thing she sees or finds. And so, too, am I learning that settling for the first option might not be the best option. It is valuable to explore, to try on, to learn what feels good and what feels wrong.
I realized that the pen I had been using wasn’t so much the “perfect” pen as it was the “just-right” pen. Being a writer, and doing almost all of my first drafts by longhand in my journal/notebook, I’ve likely used hundreds, maybe thousands of pens. I find a pen I think is perfect, and then after a few days or weeks realize it doesn’t actually fit me, no matter how delicious or incredible the writing might be. I was always thinking about the pen, rather than using it. But this pen, I didn’t hesitate to use. It was light and smooth. It was the pen I shirked for years, thinking I would never use a ball-point pen that wasn’t a Pentel RSVP (my pen of choice throughout college). And yet, this tiny steel Zebra with the fine tip was exactly what I wanted when I sat down to write Monday morning — the exact pen I no longer had. This is when I knew it was “just-right” for me.
This no-longer-seeking-perfect is new for me. It will take some adjusting, some remembering. But this shift in perspective feels whole for me. It feels deep and rich and filled with possibility. Like Goldilocks, I’m going to venture in the bear’s home of my life and try things out for size before choosing. Because when something is too big/too small, too hot/too cold, too hard/too soft, it will never be the thing that feeds your soul.