The Flaw to Ceiling Accession
Its 2019 and we’re gonna love our flaws because God knows we can’t get rid of them.
We LOVE a blatant one liner. But seriously there it is, a summary at the beginning of the blog… I apologise to anyone who’s ever taught me English (particularly Mr. Dalton. I’m sorry, I did actually listen to you). But I had to do it because I just want to get to the point. But as always let’s now unpack it a bit…
Going against the grain
So here’s the thing, I’ve talked about being different before in previous blogs from looking different to other people, to having completely different values. And this was hard, because going against the grain, especially when you’re young is almost unnatural. It’s a whole world easier to fall in line. But despite this I still had a confidence. And writing that feels like an oxymoron and I completely get it if you read it that way. But let me explain…
I’ve always been confident. Confident to answer questions in class more often than not with 40% certainty. Confident to openly admit I was crap at sport. Confident that being a part of my culture and having it be part of me was important and central. I owned it. I had a report card once that said “Ria knows she’s not the most natural athlete, however she makes the effort.” And that’s why I had a great relationship with my sports teachers, well as good as they can be anyway. It was intimidating to do the 12 minute Cooper run with my form group knowing I’d be out of breath and unable to do as many laps as them but I was open to that and okay with it. And funnily, I gained a confidence from it. I knew I couldn’t be the best so instead I was happy to be the person who was honest and blatant about their capabilities.
I think this transparency got me through a lot in school because it taught me that pretending and not being honest with yourself about who you are doesn’t get you very far. In fact it generally just places more obstacles in your way that wouldn’t be there if you just openly admitted that something doesn’t come naturally to you or that you in fact have flaws.
A friend who is often considered flawless helping me with my flaws. I would’ve liked to reverse that a bit more if I could have.
God a dreaded word. Whether you call it weaknesses, lacking, vulnerability it’s in turn still a flaw. Something you’re not good at or you don’t love about yourself. I was surrounded by the ignorance to this at school because we were high achieving and a culture developed of “I must be good at this, I must pass and grades make me good enough”. Okay just to clarify this wasn’t a constant and obviously it varied between people, but grades really did define you whether you acknowledged it or not. But I always felt that there was a layer to that I found unattainable – at my school I wasn’t in the top half – I was in the bottom and God knows how hard I tried, there were barriers and boundaries till the end of sixth form I couldn’t get over.
But honestly, and I’ll speak plainly now: Acknowledging where I was academically and being open about it pushed me to try as hard as I could. I know that sounds kinda confusing so this is what I mean. I was always open about being below average and sure I joked about it. But acknowledging it openly allowed me to work with it rather than work against it like something I was trying to fight. My natural intelligence wasn’t gonna change but my work ethic, and my effort could increase. And that’s what I did. I worked my arse off and I ended up proving to myself that I could go beyond what my flawed, below average academic record had made me believe I was capable of.
And it doesn’t help that we have a “fix to fit in” type culture. We’re fed ridiculous volumes of portrayals of goals and the ideal and I know it seems like such an old message to not compare yourself to them. And I agree, I don’t think prevention of comparison is enough, because quite frankly it doesn’t work.
If you can’t beat them, join them.
Flaws ‘n all.
And that’s exactly what I think. Flaws are inescapable, whether it’s grade averages or the shape of your nose. They can be changed but you’re always going to want to change it because desires and therefore your flaws change. What you didn’t like about yourself a year ago may have morphed into something more or less and it’ll only carry on morphing, flaws are inescapable.
Don’t get me wrong this realisation isn’t easy and I don’t own all of my many flaws but I’m starting continuing to work with what I’ve got. I’m relaxed. I’m not holding my breath anymore waiting for it to change. And it feels so damn good…