What a House from 1902 Taught Me about Coming to Terms with Imperfection
In early 2010, I moved into a house that is going to be 110 years old next year. It’s a gorgeous building – soft green with antique ornaments, located perfectly in an artsy, lively neighborhood.
As soon as you enter the front door, what you won’t find is an even space. All floors, walls and ceilings are crooked to the point where it’s quite an act to properly set up furnitures or hang a picture on the wall. It took me ages in despair to renovate it and even now, there’s still some stuff that isn’t quite ready yet.
The more time I spent on turning the place into a comfortable home – my personal sanctuary, so to speak – the more I’ve grown to love even its imperfections. This house is never going to be 100 per cent flawless unless maybe you’d rip it apart and rebuild it from scratch. Yet, I am determined to make it live up to its full potential, but at some point I had to accept its limitations and love it anyway.
Now my focus is on all the great things that this place has to offer – I really, really love living here. And it shows, people love hanging out at my place because, to quote their words, “it has a holiday feel to it.” That’s actually what I was going for: every room looks different and was influenced by my extensive travels around the world, like for instance, my Italian café styled kitchen or the coast of Colombia inspired bathroom.
My home is a “perfect” example that nothing human-made, or human-designed is, or can be, absolutely perfect. There’s always room for improvement, and that’s ok. It’s what makes life interesting. After all, we might be better off thinking in terms of “making things better” rather than “making things perfect” because so many ideas and dreams don’t get realized when we are always waiting for the perfect set of conditions to make a move. As a matter of fact, it is like the great David J. Schwartz says, “An only fair idea acted upon, and developed, is 100 per cent better than a terrific idea that dies because it isn’t followed up.” Instead of waiting until everything is perfect, anticipate obstacles and tackle them when they arise. This way “imperfection” isn’t keeping you from taking action, and as a byproduct you gain more confidence and serenity.
Take comfort in the fact that nothing and nobody is perfect – and remember that “nothing comes merely by thinking about it.” Believe in yourself. Know that you can achieve whatever you put your mind to – be a go-getter!
Photo by Glogster