Glorious imperfection

Glorious imperfection |

I am unashamedly gloriously imperfect.

I don’t like yoga (though i’m trying)
I don’t exercise… at all.
I eat when i’m feeling lonely, and have replaced cigarettes with food.
I get jealous.
I can be gossipy and judgmental.
I beat myself up, often.
I have days when all i want to do is lie down on the sofa.
I forget to brush my teeth sometimes.
I have cellulite… everywhere.
I hate shaving my legs.
I’d rather eat fish ‘n’ chips than drink a wheatgrass shot.
I can work all day in my dressing gown and think nothing of it.
I don’t always love myself.
I swear a LOT.
I’m doing the best I can.
I make people laugh.
I tell it like it is.
I don’t know how to bullshit people.
I have big dreams.
I love kissing.
I walked through fire and survived.
I’m learning how to forgive myself.
I like scary films.
I bring people together.
I have double-jointed shoulders.
I see what others might miss.
I like giving presents.
I am an auntie.
I am a daughter.
I am a sister.
I am a friend.
In other words, i’m too busy being a vibrant, contrary, fleshy, determined, silly, passionate, unique human being to be perfect.
And that is okay with me.

Written to join the fight against perfection, as started by the lovely Brene Brown in honour of her new book, The Gifts of Imperfection.

62 responses
  1. Gina

    Love this! We all need to embrace our imperfections because I think they are part of what makes each of us US…

  2. Shelley

    this is a beautifully honest post. imperfection is perfection. thank you for reminding me. i kind of want to print this out and hang it on my wall.

    have an unashamedly, gloriously imperfect day :)

  3. deb

    and I love that you noted on your little bio that you are a work in progress.
    why are we so hard on ourselves?

    imperfect is the new perfect .

  4. Colette

    Bravo sweetheart and oh so brave. I love you! I was amazed at learning your shoulders are double jointed.

  5. Steph

    In which case, I think you may like ‘Wabi Sabi for Writers’, a lovely little book about the Japanese aesthetic of wabi sabi which teaches us to embrace imperfection in order to achieve peerless beauty.

    And while I am at it, I should add that I’m covered in stretch marks. Knees, inner elbow, back, tummy… everywhere bar my face.

  6. Melanie Tinken

    You and I have a LOT in common, except for the sister bit, and the double-jointed shoulders. BRAVO!!

  7. jo marks

    … and this is why so many of us love you xxx

  8. Nicola

    Fabulous! Though you would be the envy of everyone in the yoga class with those double jointed shoulders. xx

  9. Debi

    Thank God for all of the above. Thank you! Screw trying to be perfect – it is too exhausting and seriously, the food is much better on our side of the aisle. Love you!

  10. susannah

    LOL! :)

  11. susannah

    i;ll do a video of them one day… it looks weird when they come out their sockets ;)

  12. Bridget

    Yay! I like how you live your life as an experience instead of focusing too much energy on improving, improving, improving. A work in progress is a work that’s informed by the world around it, and that’s a lovely being to be.

  13. kristen

    i’m sitting here nodding my head…we have a lot of similarities and at this point in my life, i’m ok with all of it for myself and i’m that you are good with yourself too. xx

  14. Mary Beth

    It’s all good! Our imperfections make us who we are and enable us to “see” things others don’t. It’s good to be aware. Thanks for marking out the path to be trod in Unraveling.

    My neck is double jointed and it looks pretty weird too. :-)

  15. deborah@applesinwonderland

    love your perfectly imperfect list. i don’t make lists. and then sometimes i do. and i forget where i put them.

  16. bella

    i love you exactly as you are.

  17. Tanja

    Wow! How brave to share all this. Can I just say….this makes me feel so normal :) thank you.

  18. playcrane

    Your honesty is so perfectly imperfect!

  19. merr

    you are funny and real and it is so refreshing. i wish we spoke like this in real life more with large groups as opposed to our closest friends only. who knew there would be so much healing in blogging.

  20. sonrie

    Amen! Every woman should read this.

  21. Jen

    dear god i love this!

  22. susannah

    i have a tendency to speak like this in large groups too :)

  23. Ingrid

    i LOVE this. lovelovelove it. i think i will do something similar on my own dear bloggy. thank you for the inspiration, and for the reminder!

    you are perfect in your imperfection, and you are loved just as you are! <3

  24. karen d

    love it.. perfectly imperfect.. and I can relate to many of these..

  25. Meg

    Ok, so I’m one of those terrible people who never comments on people’s blogs (see, imperfect. and that’s why no one ever comments on mine, i suppose. anyway…) but I saw this post and just had to (HAD TO) say that I think you and I would get along really well. In fact, when I get out to the UK again, I am treating you to fish’n’chips and chocolate. And then while you are popping your shoulders out of their sockets, I’ll slip the ligaments off the knuckles on my fingers. Sounds like a party :D

  26. Lesley Denford

    Love love love.
    Susannah, you are fabulously imperfect. :)

  27. susannah

    yowza!! i may need a beer or two before you show me that ;-)

  28. Orianne

    Celebrating a perfectly imperfect life is where I am now in my journey and as it looks like I share almost 20 of your same traits, let’s do raise a glass!

    I find it takes more work to be content when you are a perfectionist in all you do because you can only allow yourself to stop and be truly appreciative and happy once you reach that level of perfection; the journey doesn’t seem to count as much as reaching that end goal. It takes more courage, vulnerability and honesty to realize that real happiness can also be found in the acceptance of limitations. That doesn’t mean that I don’t think that we shouldn’t try to reach for challenges, but rather that we can allow ourselves to enjoy the journey no matter the outcome.

  29. echo

    Why is it that we all try so hard to seem perfect, and yet it is our imperfections that endear us to each other? I loved reading your post, and I found myself smiling when I read things like, “I have cellulite…everywhere” and “I hate shaving my legs”, because both those statements are true of me as well! There is no perfect person in this world, so why do we all beat ourselves up for our imperfections?

  30. Liz

    loVe this… but mostly just love you— in whatever state, whatever form, whatever dimension… xo

  31. Caroline

    Well thank god I am not the only woman with cellulite and swears like a sailor! Thanks for sharing this with us today! xoxo

  32. Eadaoin

    I LOVE this list! I saw myself in so many places in it, both good and bad. I’m so with you about hating shaving my legs, I’d much rather have grizzly bear legs than go to all the hassle of getting them perfectly smooth lol. I may just make my own version of this list, I like the idea a lot, I must visit the lady who inspired you to write it.

  33. Eva

    Dear lovely Susannah,
    This is it! I adore imperfection and vulnerability in others, while I still strive for perfection :).
    This would be the first on my list of being imperfect: I am a perfectionist and struggle a whole lot with it.
    Thank you for your post. It frees something inside of me.
    Love from Eva
    P.S.: I feel so inspired by this, would you mind if I would post a list of my imperfections on my blog with a link to yours as my inspiration.
    P.P.S.: You are such a charismatic and inspiring woman from what I can sense over your blog. Thank you for this.

  34. Krista

    How wonderful! Love the skinny bitches sign too!

  35. Mel

    And indeed glorious you are. :) And that is ok with me.

  36. susannah

    i miss you lizzie!!!!!!! xo

  37. susannah

    go for it, love! let it rip! :)

  38. Wendy

    Yes! I’m saving my new copy of Brene’s book for my flight to San Francisco this week. Hours to fill my brain full of her wisdom. Who knows what imperfections I will embrace and celebrate.

  39. Milena Widdowson

    Oh Susannah, thank you so very much for this post. I am feeling pretty gloomy tonight, not feeling very good about myself at all, and then along comes your list! What a fab reminder that there is more to me than the mood I am today, that it is ok to be me:) The photo made me chuckle too xxx

  40. Michelle

    So beautiful. I’ve been meaning to make a list of my imperfections for awhile.

  41. Carmen

    This is so absolutely perfect! (or imperfect, but either way, you rock my socks off.)

  42. Jude

    These are all gifts, perfectly imperfect and I love them.

  43. Katherine

    I am sooooo in love with Brene’s call to protest…loving all the wonderful posts & thinking it’s inspired.

    PS: does anybody really “like” shaving their legs?!

  44. Charlane Killough Griffith

    you are wonderfully you and i would have no other …

    and yes…i will join in.

  45. Miss Isabell

    I LURVE this. It’s just what I needed. I just joined in too. Thank you, thank you, gloriously imperfect, wonderful you!

  46. Brené

    Love this: “I am unashamedly gloriously imperfect.” And replacing cigs with food . . . holy $#*&$#.

  47. donna

    Love this post – and it makes me even more anxious for your book. Hope there’s more writing like this.

  48. Celina Wyss

    Beautiful. Real. Inspiring. Thank you

  49. echo

    I’ve posted up my own list. I would be honored beyond words if you (or anyone else) would take a look at it!

  50. Tara Sophia Mohr

    I love the message of letting go of perfectionism….AND, I have to say, I don’t even see any imperfections in this list.

    Hating shaving legs? Seems pretty reasonable. Not liking yoga? What’s imperfect about that?

    I think part of the journey for women is also discerning the difference between “imperfections” in ourselves and rebellion from the crazy “shoulds” that we or our society set up for us. And getting dressed every day is one of them! Pajamas are more comfortable! This is rational!

  51. the sleepy time gal

    thank you so much. i want to join you. what a great movement for us all.

  52. gina

    I love this!! Other people’s lists are so fun to read!! Thank you for sharing. Hurray for people like you who are REAL. So refreshing.

  53. Rachel Nixon

    This made me laugh, so many like me, (including the sweariness & double-jointedness!!)


  54. CathyP

    I hear ya on the yoga ! I know it’s not for me so I don’t give myself a hard time by even trying – go for pilates instead…

  55. Jess

    I hate shaving my legs, too.
    I still talk to him.
    I am a recovering brat.
    I used to fake it for affection.
    I say no harshly now, because I’m not used to standing up for myself, and I’m learning, and saying no at all feels harsh to me, but I need to get it out somehow.

    Thank you for this.

    Much love.

  56. susannah

    a bold brave list – YAY you!! xx

  57. Anjelica

    Your post is so inspiring. I think we so often strive for perfection because being anything less makes us feel inadequate. The truth is that most of your descriptions match my life, and millions of others. Its our imperfections that make us similar, and we should be at peace with our flaws and welcome growth and improvement. Great job!

  58. boho girl

    your honesty (and your legs) are delicious, my friend. one of the reasons i love you so.

  59. Sara

    brilliant post!!!

  60. Tegan

    Okay, how ive only just read this post I dont know, but I saw so much of myself in this list…. especially forgetting to brush my teeth….I am so ashamed when i do forget but sometimes I just do!

    and I cant bullshit people to save my life, sometimes this gets me in trouble but if people cant deal with the truth then its not my problem!

    Ill add a few more of my own:
    – I hate doing dishes and will leave them for days on the countertop before I get too ashamed by the pile.
    – I am exhausted by my family sometimes and wish I could have a few months without them needing any help (this is harsh but im exhausted).
    – I never ask for help because I dont want to owe anybody a favour.
    – I have knickers and socks that have holes, so there!

    Thank you for this list, it reminds me that its okay not to have everything ‘sorted’ all the time!

  61. Mary Montanye

    This has to be my favorite blog post written ever by anyone. I’m SO looking forward to meeting you at the Creative Joy Retreat. You and I are so alike, although you’re young and beautiful and I am not so much — I’m okay with that, though. :-) We can still be friends.

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