Perfection is when we accept and make peace with our imperfections.
I grew up with extreme lack of confidence. Living in the shadow of a ‘perfect’ mum has made me constantly doubt myself, feeling unworthy and incapable of many things especially in relation to household and motherhood. Seeing her as someone who can do almost anything and realising my limitations, I used to question if doing what I did, the best way I could, was still not enough. I used to beat myself up for not being as physically strong, nor as diligent or meticulous in household chores as my mum does. This self-doubt continued even till recently, particularly when my mum was around, staying with me and my family.
Questions after questions kept bugging me, “Should I try to show her that I can do like she does, or even more? Should I attempt to please her, doing things that I wouldn’t be doing when she’s not around? Or, should I just be me, hoping that she would accept who I am?”
Yet, being married to my husband has shone a ray of light, bit by bit dissolving my lack of confidence. The way he has accepted me and ensured me that I am completely perfect for him and our son has encouraged me to understand my strengths and weaknesses, accept them and enjoy doing what I have to do without feeling unsatisfied with it.
With the help of both my beloved husband and son, I continue setting my feet forward in a life-long journey of self-discovery, capable of feeling happy simply by being ‘me’.
Being confident with what I am has revealed that I actually can do things that I didn’t think I could do before. For example, while I used to believe that I couldn’t stay in the congested and heavily-polluted Jakarta, I have now turned to love the metropolitan so much for the down-to-earth interactions I encounter with its people on daily basis, on top of the amazing opportunities it provides. I now enjoy riding motorcycle in Jakarta, navigating my way through the city quite easily, finding it a refreshing activity to do, despite my old folks’ doctrine on its potential danger and my past reluctance on doing so.
In spite of others’ skepticism, I’ve found that strong conviction makes what seems difficult to some easier to go through. Besides, constantly referring to those who are less fortunate but can still be happy, I know that theoretically, I should even be happier and more thankful, “I’m definitely more privileged than many out there!”
To conclude, although I still can’t top my mum in household chores, I now believe in myself for things I can do OK, or even better. I learn to scrutinize others’ comments and criticisms, not taking them by heart if they don’t help at all in making me a happier and more thankful person. Having understood the key to overcome my lack of confidence, I am excited and looking forward to encounter more amazing and beautiful discoveries of ‘me’ in this journey, insya Allah, God-willing.