My extended family on my dad’s side is huge. My dad had a bunch of sisters and a brother, and they’ve all gotten married and had babies and all of their babies are getting married and having babies. My oldest cousin is in her 40s; the youngest is in her early 20s. The oldest of the cousin’s children is 17 and the youngest is…just a couple weeks old.
Growing up, one set of cousins lived particularly close to where we lived. J is almost exactly 10 years older than me, and his sister V is 8 years older. They both used to babysit my siblings and I, but I mostly just remember V. She would take us on the bus when we left the house. She was a cheerleader, and when I got a little older she was my cheer coach.
In all honesty, she was basically my big sister. I looked up to her in a way I wished my little sister would look up to me. I still do.
Recently I had a mini breakdown at a family event and I ended up closing myself in a bedroom for a while to have a good cry. I just needed to get it out to be done with it and move on. It was the only way I could deal with all of the emotions I had been feeling.
V came to me to talk. It was a little bit of a relief when she admitted to me that she doesn’t have everything together. She made me realize that it’s all right for me to not have it all together at 30. People have been telling me this, but V saying it–for some reason–really made it click. I have looked up to her for so much of my life, and what I could see always looked like she really knew what she was doing. For her to admit even the smallest imperfection meant a lot to me.
Not because I feel better that she’s imperfect, but because she made it okay for me to be imperfect. She made it okay for me, and I’m here to tell you that it’s okay for you. It’s okay if you don’t have it all together. Nobody does. We’re all just doing the best we can with what we’ve got. And what more could we ask for?
Do you ever feel like you don’t quite have it “all together”? How have you dealt with the emotions you have felt?
Photo credit to Lina Hayes. This photo has a creative commons attribute license.