You Don't Have to be Perfect

Anastasis Faith
I stepped onto the stage. My heels clicked on the wooden platform. The lights were bright, and focused on one thing.
The beautiful, shiny black Steinway & Sons piano.
The room was full of high school students like me, their families, Baylor University professors and students.
It was the Baylor Summer Piano Institute student recital and I was performing next.
I hadn’t been nervous much before I sat down at the piano. I kept thinking about how, after I played, I could go home and sleep in my own bed after an intense week of piano.
It was a week long camp. People always gave me a funny look when I told them I was going to Piano Camp. They often said, “Piano Camp? How is that a thing?”
Each day was full of piano lessons, piano electives, piano practicing, piano theory, piano concerts—piano. We practiced four hours a day.
And here I was, at the end of this intense week, about to perform the piece I’d spent so much time on.
I smiled as I bowed to the audience, and sat at the bench. I scooted it forward a bit and adjusted the height. My heart pounded.
My fingers trembled over the keys. What if I made a mistake? What if I forgot a passage? What if I embarrass myself? I caught myself. Don’t think like that. You know the piece and if you have a memory lapse, you know you can jump to the next section.
I took a deep breath.
My fingers took their position.
Another deep breath.
I played.

My piece was fine. It was definitely better than my spring recital. But it wasn’t perfect. It wasn’t perfect, unlike many of the other students’ pieces.
I felt good about my performance—I could go home now and it hadn’t been a disaster. However, I would never be one of the best pianists.
 The mistakes I made in my piece made me laugh. Earlier I’d feared “defeat”—not being good enough. Not playing well enough. Embarrassing myself.
But at the end of it all, I laughed. Performing well in a recital seemed so trivial compared to what life was really about.
I learned that there is a beauty in imperfection. There is a freedom. I’m not bound to be “the best” pianist because I’m not even in the running. Many of my peers at camp practiced four hours a day back at home. I was glad if I could touch the piano every day.
There’s beauty in someone who doesn’t have a perfect outfit—but laughs. There’s beauty in someone who always winds up in super awkward circumstances—but laughs.
There’s beauty in contentment. Joy. Grace.
True, there’s beauty in being “perfect,” but who would you rather hang out with? The girl who comes in five minutes early, with perfect hair, perfect makeup, and perfect clothes—or the girl who rushes in right on time, putting on her makeup as she runs in, and laughing as she smears it?
Imperfection is more relatable. More relational.
It’s okay to not be perfect at something like piano when you feel God has placed more important things in your life.

I’m not saying to not put effort into looking good or doing your best. What I’m saying is that once you’ve worked hard, go with what you’ve got and don’t be afraid to not be completely put together. 
You cannot control your life—but you can control how you react to it.
My mom once said, “You want to be the kind of person who can laugh your way through anything.”
I think that is a very wise goal. On those days when nothing is going right—you slept through your alarm, couldn’t find your shoes, burned yourself and ruined your outfit with your $5 cup of Starbucks coffee when you spilled, locked the keys in the car—you can laugh at how ridiculous it all was.
And it all comes back to having our joy secured in Christ, being content in Him, and having our priorities in line with His will.

When was a time you were NOT perfect? When was a time you laughed at yourself? Any awkward stories? Thoughts? Share in the comments!

Anastasis Faith / Author & Editor

Anastasis is a Texas girl who enjoys writing, blogging, and music. You can connect with her here on her blog, or at morningglorypursuingjesus @yahoo.com

2 comments:

  1. Great post, Anna! I have so many memories of times when I wasn't perfect! These imperfections make me who I am! Through it all, even though I am not perfect I have a Savior who is! :)
    Thanks again for another great post!
    ♥♥♥ Laura

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    1. Thank you, Laura! I love what you said--you aren't perfect, but we have a Savior who is! And so we don't need to be perfect! What a relief! Because I always fall short.

      Thanks for commenting!

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