I have to admit: a huge part of why this blog fell silent for so long had to do with perfectionism, and equating purity with perfection. Things in my life did not go according to plan. In October 2012, Sandy came through the New Jersey shore and put my family and I in a hotel suite for months. Even when we moved back in, we were living without a shower, without heat, without fully functioning electricity. And then my dad was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. And then it was finals for graduate school. And then it was time for my students their spring performances. Engagement, moving into my own apartment, holidays — it all snowballed, and my life became something I’d never expected. My faith took a hiatus, my priest work went to the minimum.
Through all of that, I was scared to write here. In my head, I heard endless criticism: You’re a priest, why aren’t you doing more? If you were a good priest, you wouldn’t be so focused on other things. If you aren’t going above and beyond, you don’t deserve to be called a priest. In my anxiety I felt that if I were to write something revealing my flaws and my struggles, then my audience would lose confidence in the community of priests, perceiving all priests as flawed. My suitability for the priesthood would be questioned. I’d be demoted. The gods would hate me.
I despise anxiety.
It’s all ridiculous, and I know that now. While I am held accountable for my writings and for my actions as a member of an organized priesthood, the likelihood that anyone is going to lose faith in priests and in the House of Netjer as a result of my writing? That’s probably pretty low.
Thus, my drive to strive for purity, not perfection: my words may be pure, but I am not perfect. I can speak truth, I can uphold ma’at, but I can’t be perfect. I am facing new battles, both large and small. I did not come to this point in my life without getting dinged up around my edges. I think it’s time to stop being so afraid to let the dings and scratches show.
One thought on “More on Perfection”
Perfection is the one impossibility so many of us are trying to make a reality, often without even realizing we’re doing it. Thank you for sharing this. I can relate in my own way, and it definitely helped me to read.