Sometimes I feel like I am living in Crazytown.
Where is Crazytown you ask? Aw yes, Crazytown is a too often frequented place in my mind.
I find myself entering into Crazytown at the least expected moments. Everything in a day is normal, uneventful, nothing to write home about. And then I remember the text I sent to a friend and that they haven't responded yet.
My mind starts going a million miles an hour.
It's already been 23 minutes. They must be mad at me. I must have said something that rubbed them the wrong way. My friend has a lot going on and I need to be sensitive to that. Did I sound too pushy? I know I do that sometimes. I mean, I really want to hang out, but I don't want to expect it. But I do want to make it clear that it's what I want. Is that manipulative? Am I a manipulative person? Should I have added emoji to make it seem more friendly and less controlling?
Oh no. I should reread the text.
I was trying to be controlling. I am controlling, and it's so engrained in me that I do it without thinking! I'm the worst. This friendship is over, unless I do something quick. I've got it! I'll send a 6 paragraph text explaining why I didn't put an exclamation point at the end with the smiling poop emoji to lighten it up so it didn't seem manipulative. It also proves that I am self-aware, recognizing my issues and being willing to directly communicate about them. Next time we see each other in person, I can explain the 6 paragraphs more thoroughly. With my active listening skills, I also can be sensitive and listen carefully to how my non-manipulative, manipulative text affected my friend.
Wait a minute. Is that too much? Maybe. I don't know? Ugh, I am so indecisive.
23 minutes and 42 seconds.
"I'd love to hang out! Can't wait :) So glad you text. See you this weekend!"
Sigh of relief.
I knew everything was fine, I was just....checking. I mean, I know this person really well and have shared life with them for a long time. We both know each other's imperfections, struggles, deepest hurts, and real-life issues. Because of that I am hyperaware. Because I care. Because I love them.
But I am a perfectionist. Recovering. Well, kind of.
Out my perfectionism, with the knowledge of my relationships, in my care for those people in my life, I want more than anything to say things that demonstrate I have listened, I know them, and I am sensitive to that...perfectly. That even in our broken and messy conversations about life, I can perfectly handle it.
I want to be perfectly messy. Most of the time, I try to be perfectly messy. Thus, I live in Crazytown.
Crazytown is the place where my need for perfectionism meets my desire to be real and authentic. More than anything, I want to be able to relate to people, being present with them in every season of life, knowing them and still truly loving them. Subconciously more than that, I want people to like me because I have proved my authenticity and that it is obvious I am better at it than others. Perfect, per se.
That puts me in the fast lane to Crazytown, and slowly, (semi) patiently, I am able to identify that quick pedal-to-the-metal mind game and hit the brakes, pulling the car over into reality.
Yesterday I had the privilege of spending the day with the sister of one of my dearest friends, showing her some of the most enjoyable parts of Los Angeles. Since we each had some background on one another, immediately we were engaged in deep conversations about life, and this season of pain in particular, for each of us. It was beautiful and so very refreshing to quickly experience that with a new aquaintance. Moments like that remind me of why I love being authentic and sharing full life, the peaks and the valleys, with the people around me.
At the end of the day, we said our good-byes with at least 3 wonderful hugs to express what our words were lacking. As I drove home, I headed to Crazytown, worrying if the few words I expressed at the end conveyed enough of the enjoyment and fulfillment that I had experienced with her. All I wanted was for her to know that I loved it. ALL of it.
But I hadn't expressed it perfectly. Or so I thought.
This morning her sister, my dear friend, text me telling me everything that her sister had said about me. It was all that I had hoped to communicate the night before, and assumed I hadn't.
Crazytown wasn't real life. Crazytown stripped me of basking in all that I find pleasure and meaning in: authentic relationships that demonstrate a selfless and life-giving love.
Luckily for me, Crazytown only lasted while I slept, and I was jerked awake, back to reality, to hang a U-turn just in time to see what is truth and that perfectionism, proved once again, is terribly overrated. As is Crazytown.