The Messy, Imperfect Blog Post

Well, this stinks.

With just a few days left in Paris and a blog post coming due, I desperately want to write something inspired…something that beautifully sums up my time in the City of Lights and the lessons that have come along the way.

There have been a lot of them, believe me. Not only that, but I’ve got some recent photos to help me express what I’ve learned…

Like the one from the Tour de France finale, which I got to watch in person (or tried to, anyway):

blog tour

(Lesson: it’s okay to have physical limitations like being short. Like and accept yourself.)

Or this one from just outside the glorious Mont St. Michel…which closed one hour before we arrived:

blog mont st michel

(Lesson: when you’re about to have a tantrum because your guidebook has posted the wrong hours, take a breath and don’t lose it on the poor woman at the door. It’s not her fault.)

Or this one of a sculpture from the Dali museum:

blog dali

(Lesson: …Well, I’m still not quite sure. But there’s definitely one in there.)

The problem is this: while the pictures might say a thousand words, I can’t find more than just a few to write at any given time.

Perhaps it’s because I’m so very sad to be leaving. Perhaps it’s because I really loved my last post and am unsure how to follow it up. Perhaps it’s because I’ve binge-watched too many episodes of the BBC’s Sherlock and my mind is far too stimulated to sit down and write a specific post on a specific point.

Whatever the case, I’ve decided something as I sit here writing this. And, as I write it, I’m thinking it could be the most important lesson of all.

It’s fine.

It’s okay not to write the perfect post at the perfect time. It’s okay to be messy, imperfect. It doesn’t matter, really. I’m not letting anybody down.

And, since we’re talking, here’s what else I’m realizing as I’m writing this…

…I’m realizing that the things I always thought were so important – like having a perfect blog post out every other Tuesday or else – aren’t quite so critical to the life and death of mankind. (Some would say they’re not critical at all.)

…I’m realizing that being away has highlighted what truly matters: the authentic relationships, the way I run my business, my hope to use whatever skills I’ve got to help people be happier in this life. It has also helped me realize the rest of it has never really mattered that much, even though I stressed out about it. All the time.

…I’m realizing that being here wasn’t just about exploring Paris, but also about exploring myself…the person who has nothing to prove to anybody, who really just needs to be authentic and do her best. Because that’s good enough.

…I’m realizing that we’re all just muddling through life as best we can. This includes the French, who have been warm and lovely (for the most part), just like the rest of us are (for the most part). In the end, we’re all just trying to be accepted and happy.

…I’m realizing that truly breaking unhealthy thoughts and habits could only come from completely busting out of my routine and comfort zone and going to a place far, far away…one that would force me to do things differently.

…And I’m realizing that – in the end – learning these lessons and finding happiness in a new, scary place wasn’t all that hard. And while a big piece of it was finding the right kind of dialogue with the French (who had the things I needed) and the right kind of dialogue with Hubbie (with whom I shared very small, close quarters), an even bigger piece of it was finding the right kind of dialogue with myself.

It’s the kind of dialogue that has helped me stay confident and comfortable under pressure, the kind that has reminded me that I don’t need to speak perfectly or dress perfectly or…be perfect…while I’m here. Or while I’m anywhere else.

So I guess in the end this messy little post does contain some important lessons. They may not be as polished as usual. They may not be as clever as I’d like them to be. But that’s all okay.

Because it’s real to who I am today…a bit distracted, a bit messy in my thoughts.

And, it turns out, being real is the perfect way to be at any time.

In fact, those seeming limitations might just provide the perfect perspective (and the funniest selfie) of all time.

blog selfie

Which means, in the end, this post really doesn’t stink at all.

This week…

Reflect on the lessons you’ve learned recently. Reflect on what you might want to change.

Reflect on how you might bust out of your comfort zone to get there.

Be imperfect. But be real. Know that’s the best way to be.

And know that, in the end, it will all be fine.

Now, go do good…and do it well.

18 thoughts on “The Messy, Imperfect Blog Post

  1. Janine Gracy says:

    Be Messy, Be Imperfect, Be Real! Great reminder and just what I needed today!

    1. Deirdre Maloney says:

      So glad to hear it – thanks for letting me know, Janine. Have a messy, imperfect…perfect day!

  2. Karen says:

    Seems like when I stop majoring on the minors in life, the happy, messy me comes out !
    Love the blog, made me laugh.

    1. Deirdre Maloney says:

      🙂 Great way to put it…thanks Karen!

  3. Craig says:

    Was just feeling the same last night when I worked on my blog. I knew I wanted to get an update out but nothing witty was coming to me. Sometimes you just have to put it down on paper and what comes out, comes out. Thanks.

    1. Deirdre Maloney says:

      You know what’s funny about this, Craig? Your blog was the first thing I read this morning…and I loved it! It’s amazing how one person’s perceived messiness is another’s perceived brilliance. Keep on “moving on up” 🙂

  4. Patty says:

    So what does perfect mean? Sez who? This sounds pretty” perfect” to me because it’s real and honest. Having it altogether doesn’t always mean “having it altogether” Deirdre great blog! and that’s the truth!

    1. Deirdre Maloney says:

      Thanks for your comment, Patty…I think what I’ve come to realize is that being imperfect is really what perfection is all about. What a relief!

  5. Donna Maloney says:

    Great message glad you had such a womderful time you have a lot left to see safe tripping

  6. iiya says:

    Great, Deirdre, as always ! I love the messy stuff, something good always comes out of it if you’re ready to learn 🙂 Makes me think of the part about ruin, in Eat Pray Love… it’s a gift ! A shift always comes after that. Thank you for the perfect reminder 🙂 You rock !
    Too bad we couldn’t meet again before your departure, but keep in touch !
    Meanwhile, I’m sharing your post 🙂 Hugs !

    1. Deirdre Maloney says:

      Always love a good “Eat Pray Love” reference – here’s to ruin! Sorry we didn’t get another chance to meet up, Ililya…best of luck in all that you do. You, too, rock my friend!

  7. Hannah says:

    Messy Perfection! It felt as if you were sitting across from me speaking the words and sharing the selfies in real time. Your words are more profound and perfect than you think, Deirdre. Thank you for always being genuine!

    Safe travels back to the states!

    1. Deirdre Maloney says:

      That’s very kind of you, Hannah – I’m so glad we could have a moment together…even from afar. 🙂

  8. Scott says:

    Deirdre,

    So I’m finishing up my first month as the new Rotary President for our little club, feeling good about the new members we’ve added and some other great things I think I initiated (note the “I”). This Tuesday our latest new member is being introduced by her sponsor and I’m about to do my little speech that focusses attention on the greater good of Rotary International and how she can help us make a difference in our community and the world and I get a sudden sick, sinking feeling in my stomach. I totally forgot to get her packet together which has her certificate of membership and a Rotary pin for her significant other to place on her lapel. Well folks a bit of humble pie was served this week and as I admitted fault before my faithful Rotarians I thought about how humbling experiences get the “I” and “me” out of the way so we can be human, laugh with each other and enjoy the messiness of life. From one failed soul to another, it was a good day even with my blunder, and our club gets to laugh and live with grace. Your words were right on. Thanks!

    1. Deirdre Maloney says:

      Oh Scott…if this is as messy and imperfect as you get, you are doing great! As a fellow Rotarian I know how serious the business of an introduction can be…and I also know how lovely club members are, and how much they respect the hard work of their presidents. I think you nailed it when you said it’s about grace…if only we could all integrate grace into our lives every day! Thanks for sharing

  9. Colleen Colarelli says:

    Deirdre – I thought this post was brilliant and

  10. Dear Deirdre – I really enjoyed the post. Isn’t it interesting how often we set ourselves up? I sometimes look around at my clean but messy house and see complete failure until I realize that my thoughts are based on a belief that really isn’t true about me or my house at all.

    Your blog makes me wonder how often I hold back because of my fear that showing up authentically, just won’t measure up and yet, I know that when I am authentic, I am smarter, happier and funnier than I realized I was.

    Thanks for this brilliant piece of work, this bit of authentic expression which gave me much to think about.

    1. Deirdre Maloney says:

      Colleen, I can’t thank you enough for your thoughtful comment. And I can guarantee you that the authentic you is the absolute best gift you can give to anyone and any situation. I think we all let our fears get in the way of being our best us…and it’s when we realize it that we can move forward in our best way possible!

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