When I was younger, my favourite movie for a time was Free Willy (I know, I know, total shock for those of you who know about my inexplicable fear of whales). Every time I set up this movie in the VCR player I would stop and make sure all the living room tables were clean and there was no clutter around. I did this so that I could watch Willy in the perfect environment.
I reminisced about preparing for Willy just the other day, when I bought a couple new clothing items for fall. Before hanging my my new fashion statements, I felt the need to clean my whole closet so that they could hang there perfectly in the most pristine of wardrobes. They simply could not hang in a wardrobe where the shoes were not properly placed on the rack, and the sheets on the top shelf weren’t folded perfectly.
Ok–This was completely irrational. I know it. You know it. Everyone knows it. But still, I wait for perfection before I jump in, and I know I am not alone.
Have you ever had any of these thoughts cross your mind?
“I’ll wait to have a child until all my ducks are in a row.”
“I’ll wait until I lose weight to go on that trip.”
“I’ll wait until I can afford the whole set.”
These types of thoughts cross my mind ALL. THE. TIME. Many times, I choose to wait until I have reached the standard of perfection I have created in my mind to jump in and do what I want.
Why do I choose to wait?
After some deep reflection, I guess I feel like I won’t enjoy the things I want unless it is exactly how I envisioned it in my mind. The truth is, I am afraid of something not living up to the expectations I have made in my mind, so I wait for a better opportunity, or, in the case of Free Willy, I adjust my environment to better my chances of it meeting my incredibly high standards.
This, I have decided, is a silly practice (in most respects). Sometimes, jumping in head on can be the most rewarding experience, and introduce you to opportunities that you had never considered before.
From now on, I am going to truly consider if waiting is necessary. I know for some big decisions in life it is better to be safe than sorry; but, I want to be more mindful that letting life surprise me is one of my greatest joys and that not everything has to fit the exact picture I have made in my head. Sometimes the picture I’ve made in my head isn’t even that great– so, why wait to enjoy what I want, then?
Over the next little while I am going to try harder to let go of my “perfect” expectations. Who knows, Willy might be freed from the confines of his tank regardless of the cleanliness of my coffee table– and this is a risk I am willing to take.