Things About The Perfect Girl

Someone recently asked me if I was, in fact, The Perfect Girl. I quickly answered yes, if one is into moody, unpredictable people who drink too much. But if you ask any of the men that I have been with in the past, they would tell you otherwise.

The last year has been a winding trail of Dealing With All The Shit that I have semi-successfully buried for many years deep inside of my soul. I have been rooting out the lies and replacing them with truths, and every day it seems like there is a new one. Sometimes it's easy to get discouraged or bogged down in the endless, hopeless struggle, but sometimes I can look back on the progress I have made and I feel pretty damn good. Ten years ago, I would have agreed wholeheartedly with the string of lies that I have been fed. Ten years ago, I would have done anything to be whatever THEY wanted. But it's not ten years ago, and I don't believe the lies anymore. Not even the ones like these that have been spoken to me by people in my life:

"You're an underachiever. You could be so much more."

Wrong. I am fierce about chasing down what I want. Wrestling it to the ground. I have made concessions, yes. I could make more money, have a stable future, retirement, benefits, blah blah blah... But it's been a conscious trade off for the tangible liberty I have to do what I love and be with my kids and owe no one my soul. I am a mother. I am a daughter, a sister, a friend, a teacher, an EMT, a writer, a hard worker, a partier, a pusher. And every day I go farther.

"You were irresistible when you were thin."

Wrong. I am irresistible now, you are just too shallow and insecure to be happy with anyone. When I lose "the weight", as you call it, as if it were a set of keys to be misplaced, I will be too good for you and your pettiness anyway. And the idea that you have that you got ripped off by having to endure fat Liv - it's garbage. Like you are.

"You're failing as a parent."

Wrong. I have made more mistakes than I care to recount. And one of my kids is barely speaking to me at this moment. But all four of my girls are brilliant and strong and capable and will be forces for the world to reckon with. I will not always be a best buddy to my kids, but I will always be the best thing that I can be for them. And all four of my girls love me. This is a confidence I never expected to feel. I draw strength from their love. That, my friend, is not failure.

"You're selfish and irresponsible."

Wrong. Ok, maybe irresponsible, a little, sometimes, but really, come on. I have been raising girls more or less on my own for over a decade on a shoestring budget. We've never gone hungry or cold or really without much of anything, and we have been blessed beyond measure to do crazy awesome things. I don't have much in my savings, but I can tell a pretty cool story, and so can my kids.

"You're a spoiled brat." 

Wrong. I can throw a mean tantrum, to be sure, but there is no question in my mind that things only go my way with a heck of a lot of persistence, determination and hard work. Yes, I like to have things my way, but I sure don't expect it to be handed to me.

"You destroy relationships."

Wrong. Meet my friends. My family, 89% of whom are speaking to me at any given moment. I am surrounded by people that I am committed to. Not people I agree with at every turn. Not clones of me with identical lives and tastes and experiences. I am rich with relationships that are non-negotiable in my life. That require work and flexibility and patience and tolerance in both directions.

"You're a lazy piece of shit."

Wrong. I am not even gonna dignify that with a reply. And get off my couch.

"You are crazy."

Wrong. Unless you mean crazy like, in a good, spontaneously fun and life-of-the-party way. I do not need lithium. I do not need a psychiatrist. I do not need you in my life telling me that my insanity is the cause of all of your issues.

I mean, when it comes right down to it, I guess I am The Perfect Girl. Not because I am flawless, but because I see my flaws, and everybody else's, as the choppy water that rubs the river rocks into smooth and graceful pieces of art. I have my share of weak areas and blind spots, but I am also hella fun. I like beer and football and trees and guns and wine and couches and sweatpants and long hair. I like food and music and traveling and learning and listening. I like doing, not planning. I like going, not wishing. I like to stay up late and sleep in later. I will never grow up. I like to kiss. I like to hold hands. I like sex. I like dogs. I like pretty much every animal I ever met, except a few humans. I like God - the real one in the rocks and trees and rivers, not the one in the Pink Churches. I like to dance. I like to sing, however badly. I like to make it up as I go, and while sometimes my life gets a little haphazard, it's made me a great problem solver. I am interesting and fun and often silly. What's not perfect about all of that?

There you have it, folks. Pure perfection. 

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