Adventures in Imperfection

A Little Lost, A Little Found

“Getting lost was not a matter of geography so much as identity, a passionate desire, even an urgent need, to become no one and anyone, to shake off the shackles that remind you who you are, who others think you are.”
Rebecca Solnit, A Field Guide to Getting Lost

 

Rusty barbed wire lines these fields — 

My favorite thing to do when I write is to throw a Spotify playlist onto shuffle and see what surfaces. My words are often inspired by music, and anyone who writes to music understands the power and passion that a serendipitous set of lyrics or chords can invoke.

Gravel dust behind the wheels – – Drifting like my mind into the rear view

Much of my day-job involves three to six-hour road trips–all completely music-filled. I keep my phone handy so I can speak my story ideas into the recorder as the song plays. When I hear the music, my mind goes to photographs I’ve taken, cherished memories, and people I love. Florida-Georgia Line showed up first this morning–dirt roads, sunsets, and feeling a little lost.

I’m rolling through the open wide–Searching for a song to drink beer to–And trying to find a place to disappear to

When I get home, I write the story and file it away until I need it for another day. For what? I never know. Most of those song-inspired stories never get shared because they feel too personal and not relevant to anyone but me. Who would want to read that crap anyway?

For anyone who has thought that I have my sh*t together, thanks for the vote of confidence, but it is so far from the truth. I’m still learning, growing, and trying to beat down this inner notion that I have to be perfect. I’ll never be perfect, but for whatever reason, it doesn’t stop me from trying.

I light up the night and let it burn

 

Lean back and watch the sundown fade-Do what I do when life’s a little sideways

 

Embers in the ashtray glow-like memories that won’t let go I’m out here trying to get ’em untangled

 

I’ve been blogging in this space for 3 years and 2 days. My intent was to celebrate imperfections and make you laugh. I’m not sure what the mission is any more – I’m not that funny, and I have yet to kick the need to be perfect. I’m still waking from that summer slumber I mentioned a few weeks ago and stretching like a lazy cat leaning back into the groove of writing. I can’t find the trailhead entrance, and keep getting turned around at the switchbacks.

And there it is. My confession – an owning up that I am a little lost these days. But, not in a bad way. These between spaces are my comfort zones, and I’m at peace with being lost. Ever notice that you find the most amazing things while you’re lost?

In the darkness on the edge of town

A little lost, a little found

Waiting on a call from an angel

That guy in the windshield looking back looks just like me
But there’s a crack in the reflection
Hope she’s moving in the right direction

Hint: Read this again while listening to the song below. See if you find yourself inside this lost and found space, too. Don’t worry – it’s not as scary as it seems. xo

58 thoughts on “A Little Lost, A Little Found

  1. Trying to be perfect … I get that. I don’t know that I try to be perfect. All I know is that every day I fail at being as good as I can be. And I think the weight of that has left me feeling lost for some time now.

    The question is how do you get found again.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes. Perfection would be boring. But I wish I was more capable of accepting the idea that I won’t ever actually be the best person, husband, father, boss, employee, human being that I can be. I think I’m getting there a little bit at a time. But it’s been a long struggle.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Dear Mark,
        It sounds like you put a LOT of pressure on yourself. I have a feeling that the people in your life already view you as their very best (insert noun). We do the best we can, and learn to accept ourselves as is. Oh boy – that’s easier said than done, right?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I probably made it sound worse than it really is, but I’m a never-ending self-analysis machine. 😉 For some time, I was battling with myself and my weaknesses. Lately, I’ve tried to expand my ability to accept them and recognize that my weaknesses are a pat of me just as my strengths are. I’m trying to relax and let go of some of my battles. A daily effort to move towards a more peaceful inner existence.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. “And there it is. My confession – an owning up that I am a little lost these days. But, not in a bad way. These between spaces are my comfort zones, and I’m at peace with being lost. Ever notice that you find the most amazing things while you’re lost?”

    Michelle, I can totally relate. This post was a perfect 10 on the relatability scale. Sorry, no pun intended. 😀 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And how fitting to hear from a “long lost” friend 🙂 This was one of those stories that started in the woods and ended at my keyboard – kinda fast and unedited. I’m so glad you could relate. I have a week in the office…I’m going to spend it getting caught up with my friends – people like you who always help me find my way 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I look forward to it, Michelle. I know you’ve had a lot on your plate which is why I haven’t been in touch with you as often as I would like to have been, but also because it would have probably bummed you out if I had been fully truthful with you, haha.

        I’d been quite ill, and trapped in poverty because I couldn’t work. But my situation has taken a turn for the better. People long to relate, but they also long to be inspired, and I just didn’t think I could do that without feeling like a hypocrite. It’s OK to not always be positive. It’s OK to not look for silver linings. As one of my dearest friends wrote:

        “It’s life and there’s nothing tidy about it.”

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh no!! I am so sorry to hear that you’ve been sick.
        I should have known…my little victorometer was ticking in my head this summer and I should have listened better. I’m gonna drop you an e-mail, sister! xo

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  3. A little Lost, a Little Found. I like that phrase. You remind me of 2 of my daughters. They are ultra-perfectionists (I don’t know why…they sure didn’t get it from me) and often they beat themselves up because they just never measure up to where they think they should be. Meanwhile, I look on at them and think, “They are soooo amazing! Why can’t they see that?” I think God looks upon us more that way too. He knows we aren’t perfect, but when we try and do our best (even when our best isn’t good enough or we fail others or ourselves), He is smiling and cheering us on from the other side, knowing we’ll get there eventually and see ourselves as He sees us.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I love the thought of God smiling and cheering us on from the other side.
      And you are so right about our children – if they could only see themselves through our eyes. And, do you know who else I think about in this context? Lizzie! She’s a little lost, and little found and as I near the end of the book (yay!) I’m hoping she finds herself 🙂

      Thank you for taking the time to stop and read – I know you have a LOT going on. How are you feeling???

      Like

      1. Lizzie is a little lost and a little found. Love that character. Still feeling a little icky. This surgery took a lot out of me. I guess I went into it thinking I was more invincible than I really was.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I am so sorry…I’ve sure been thinking about you. Take this time to rejuvenate and take care of yourself. Isn’t it crazy how we mamas think a super hero cape comes with the territory??

        Like

  4. Me too, Michelle. You said it best with the line about finding the best things while we’re lost. Fall seems a natural time to fall back, no pressure to create or finish. I look forward to listening to that song later. Amazing photos, as always. What do you shoot those on?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Kristen,
      I think that’s why I love Fall, too. And thank you for your kind words about my photos – your Instagram feed and mine could be sister pages–same tastes! Most of the photos on this post were with my Olympus camera using tilt shift photography edits — my go to application for ethereal feeling photos. I also use my iPhone 5 with Snapseed edits to take out the user error (i.e. aging eyes!)
      I like the grunge stuff, too…but I don’t have the grimy writing to match my photos. Hmmm….maybe something to do for Halloween.

      I am especially loving your blog these days – your writing keeps getting better and better…and it was amazing to begin with. More please!
      xo

      Like

  5. Settle down, it’ll all be clear
    Don’t pay no mind to the demons
    They fill you with fear
    The trouble—it might drag you down
    If you get lost, you can always be found

    Just know you’re not alone…

    Yep, I know all about being inspired by song lyrics. 😉

    Enjoy your journey. You’re not lost. No matter where you go, there you are. ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh yes….you get it. You always have. You’ve led me to a trailhead more than once or twice. xo

      This post is a bit funny if you know the background. I sat down to finish my marriage killer tomato/humor post. I didn’t feel funny today and my mind kept wandering back to the trails I ran yesterday.
      The original was full of words..SO.MANY.WORDS. And look what remained. I started cutting and cutting – Alice in Wonderland, Rebecca Solnit, JRR Tolkien…so much I wanted to put in. The bottom line was that I was making it too complicated, like I often do.
      A friend told me once, for when I get lost on a trail, “Close your eyes and let your skin feel the sun as your internal GPS kicks in” — turns out that same concept works in writing, too.
      So, this fits, too. Thank you, Sunshine ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We write for ourselves.
        We edit for others.
        All those words were words you needed to write. They served a purpose.
        I love that internal gps. 🙂
        Nothing is ever truly lost. Not even my sunglasses which I cannot keep up with at all. They’re simply misplaced.
        As I am too sometimes.
        ❤️

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I am laughing so hard right now. I hope hubby reads this comment and understands that I am not the only person who misplaces sunglasses. I either have no pairs, or 5 sitting all in one spot – usually in the opposite car in which we are traveling.

        And you are right about all of those words – it feels good to write, and good to let them go. I can tell that I’m out of practice though. I have been getting overwhelmed by my first draft – it almost makes me anxious until I get it pared down to where I want to go. I just gotta remember to breathe, right? Seems like another important thing that my sunshiny friend taught me 😉

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  6. Thanks for this.
    You are completely relatable, that’s your gift, and it’s a good one.

    I have so many stories/blog posts/updates written that never get published I have yet to fully understand why, but I think it’s more that it’s almost impossible for me to let people in…i don’t care if I’m perfect or awful, just let me be! And when things are rough the hole is deeper, when things are changing radio silence ensues because I think I have to figure it all out on my own before I cop to the feelings “oh, this happened but now I am yada-yadda-yadda so its all ok”
    Not helpful when you write, like I do, more personal stuff, unless you like, like I guess I do, a full word press queue. sigh.

    i’m looking to be found but refusing to admit being lost.
    I needed this today.
    xoxo

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Mishedup, I can appreciate and relate to what you said. I, too, have many stories written that never get published, but I think I have a better understanding as to why this is so. Brené Brown wrote:

      “Our stories are not meant for everyone. Hearing them is a privilege, and we should always ask ourselves this before we share: “Who has earned the right to hear my story?”

      and

      “I only share when I have no unmet needs that I’m trying to fill. I firmly believe that being vulnerable with a larger audience is only a good idea if the healing is tied to the sharing, not to the expectations I might have for the response I get.”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. YES! In fact, when I opt not to publish a story, it’s your noted Brene’ quote I hear in my head. Often times that means I go several weeks without doing so…but who cares, right? What a great reminder…thank you, Victoria ❤

        Like

    2. Dear Michele,
      Your words mean the world to me – I always worry that my stories are “too much me.” I opened up the draft folder this morning, saw 46 in queue and decided that I didn’t like any of it and wrote this instead. I would LOVE to see your draft queue in print – you know I love and learn from everything you write. That’s your gift.

      I also like your perception of “looking to be found” rather than being lost. Maybe that’s where I’m at, too. Maybe we are there together. In fact, that thought alone makes me very, very happy.
      You keep doing you and publishing when you feel like it. You know I’ll be here when you hit that button. xoxoxo

      Like

  7. I loved this! You are totally relatable…’Who would want to read that crap anyway?’ I, for one, enjoy reading your exploits and thoughts. You so eloquently pen what I would struggle to organize into a cohesive thought. The road to the elusive idea of perfection is such a messy one and I’m glad I’m not alone on the journey. Thanks for writing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Tricia,
      You are the sweetest ever – you are always so good to me. I’m glad someone else can relate to being a little lost, and a little found. You are one of the most positive people I know and am blessed to call you a friend. Thank you for your kind words – you organize cohesive thoughts just fine. I don’t know what I would do without you ❤

      Like

    1. LOL! I used to be a panic-person, too! I get lost so often that I usually leave an hour before I know I need to. That way, I can take the time to enjoy the lost aspect and still be on time. The best times are my free afternoons – I was gone for so long yesterday that my husband even noticed. Nice to get lost, and equally as nice when you’re missed 🙂

      Like

  8. I am feeling a little lost myself these days. It was a long wedding season for me and I am so tired. My dear, I think you are very funny. I love your humorous way of writing. But I am also enjoy these reflective posts. I’d love to read some of the stuff that you haven’t posted. 😉❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have watched your wedding season from afar and have been exhausted for you. What joy you bring to people, Joanne! I love seeing your photos and hearing/reading the stories about your weddings. In fact, the main character in my new novel may be a wedding planner…I’m still playing with it and am waiting for her to tell me if that’s her real job or not. I already know she at least does the flowers and catering, so we’ll see where she lands 😉
      Thank you for always being here and providing a wonderful sense of positive energy and spirit. I am feeling reflective these days, so why fight it, right?
      I hope you’ve had a great Monday – I’m counting the minutes till 5:00 so I can go play in the leaves! Xo

      Like

  9. Ooh, I’d love to run those trails…finding myself at the wildcat hollow switchback:) I’d jump off the top and reverse turn. It was my job as the “nature specialist” at camp to know all the trails, and dog gone it if I didn’t end up lost a hundred times. My poor understudies went with me a few times, and remarked, “you’re strong.” Well, it doesn’t get any easier…we just get stronger. Or smarter. I hope a little of both.

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    1. Where were you a nature specialist at, Angie? Was it here in KS? I remember going to CYO camp near Junction City – it felt like hours and hours away from home. Oh, but the memories! I recall our nature specialists being cute boys only a few years older than us middle school campers.

      “Well, it doesn’t get any easier…we just get stronger. Or smarter. I hope a little of both.” Your phrase is poetry. But, would I have expected anything less from you? Thanks for popping in, Angie! My California Kansas sister from another mister 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I have found it amazing the wonderful people you bump into when you are lost. Neither knows the way but both seem to know the value of a traveling companion. I’ll walk a mile or two with you!

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  11. Of course… this video starts with baseball. My boys (and your’s) didn’t make it into the playoffs this year. But that’s ok. They needed a rest apparently. It has been a difficult year with a lot of injuries and heart breaks. Even the best teams have down years. I am not a fair weather fan. I am one who is there through thick and thin so I kind of get the whole Cub fan club this year. But I can’t help but pray the Dodgers throw them to the side this week and step up to the plate. Anything can happen in the playoffs……
    What were we talking about again? Oh yeah.. getting a little lost and then a little found. I’m still a little lost *sigh* but I see the surface or the light at the end of the tunnel, as it were and it is not a train this time. Things seem to be calming down and going well for a change in my little world, but I just can’t seem to find the time to write. US History and Government are in the forefront of the brain and I have to know the 27 amendments to the Constitution by Monday… LOL!
    You are awesome as always. Rock on chicka… rock on!~

    Liked by 1 person

    1. C/K: You always amaze me with your energy and I love your positive spirit…even in the midst of controlled chaos. I threw up in my mouth just a little at the thought of memorizing those amendments – though, being in school as an adult sounds so appealing. Maybe I’d pay attention this time around.
      Yep! Our baseball guys needed a rest. I am pulling for the Cubbies because it’d be cool to see Ben Zobrist win back to back titles. I’m just saying ‘anyone but Toronto’…though, that would have made our Paul very happy.
      You lost? I don’t think so. You are right where you a supposed to be, my friend. I’d follow you fo sho!
      As for the writing – don’t stress. The time will come and you’ll be able to do it again. I’ll be ready and waiting with my reader’s glasses, too. xoxox

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well if it would have made Paul happy, I will concede a little bit to the Cubs pulling it out. It’s just that when the Cardinals play the Cubs (#1 rival) the fans I have encountered are obnoxious and unprofessional. Yelling obscenities at the players and arguing with people sitting around them. I almost left a game once because of the “Cub fans” sitting around us. Ruined my day :-/
        But I can’t dismiss good baseball and they have had an incredible year. They have stayed #1 in their division AND the National League all season. So more power to them to go all the way with the title. They certainly deserve it! I agree… I don’t want Toronto to win, and I have a tendency to root for the underdog. I think it would be 10 kinds of cool if the Cleveland Indians pull it out!
        We have been studying the Constitution all semester. I have actually “learned” them and not just memorized. I need to get them down cold by Monday which won’t be too difficult, but my test is over 6 chapters. I am more worried about all of the OTHER stuff I have to know.. lol!

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Oh, I’ve missed you. I needed your beautiful spirit today and these words are like a balm. I love being a little sometimes and you’re so right about the amazing things you’ll find. Cash told me that google is actually a number so I’m sending you a google hearts today! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Google hearts!! I love that little guy of yours.
      I have missed you, too – your words have always been a balm to me…and as you know, to others as well. I hope to be here a bit more often – trying something a little different for Friday if I get organized enough. I hope you and yours are doing well and that the new home is warm and cozy as we head into another season. xoxoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Perfection is so far over-rated and should only be used to describe a ones garden or a meal or a cup of coffee or better yet, that first sip of wine after a long day! You my friend are an inspiration to many and I love when I see an email pop into my box. Gives me something to tag to come back to when I have a few moments to myself ( like this morning) to catch up with those that remind me I am not alone in this world and feel like I too am losing myself.

    Imperfections are what makes us who we are! Don’t ever, EVER change that!
    Beautiful post and I love that song.
    Love and hugs this Friday!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Obviously I’m behind and catching up on some of my blog reading. This post struck a chord with me (see what I did there? chord? musical inspiration? 🙂 )

    Anyway, I was lucky to have a boss once who taught me the difference between striving for perfection and excellence. We all know that perfection is impossible. We’re human. However, striving for excellence – our own personal version of being the best we can be – is actually pretty noble.
    I’m still working on my version of excellence and likely will for my lifetime 🙂

    What resonated with me though was your description of feeling lost – trying to find the trailhead. I know that feeling .. I’m old enough now to recognize that that feeling creeps in as a precursor to change. I now know to patiently wait to see how that change will manifest itself.

    Good luck and best wishes for the changes that are coming in your world 🙂

    Like

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