The month of Love has arrived. If you are single like me, this month is a reminder of your failing at bagging a life partner. African and south Asian families are great at reminding you how unaccomplished you are if you aren’t married at after 25 with kids. That already tells you how inadequate you are. Weirdly, there is always a cousin, a sister or a friend who has ticked all those boxes at the right time. Queue: why aren’t you like the daughter of… who has married a banker and has twins? Arrrgh. The short of this is, by you not having a home, you are IMPERFECT!
Of course, having a chronic illness and a visible disability makes meeting that elusive partner even more difficult. Those two every day are reminders that you do not fit in society in its current form. Society isn’t built to welcome people with visible or invisible defects (disable) therefore it seems nothing is built to help us evolve even with our disability. Yes, there is the Disability discrimination act 1995, but how many people even know it exists?
I recently saw on Instagram a Disability Community page, I found it to be a great concept and for the first time, I saw the black community opening acknowledge that there may be black people with disabilities. There weren’t many comments on the page, not many followers. There were 5 messages and 2 of them, were messages from women damning the idea that there could even be black people with disabilities around. Just because people refuse to acknowledge something, it does not negate it existence.
Another place where Disability and Perfectionism collided in my life in the past was my desire to perfect every single thing I did. Especially at work. I have come to realise that my desire to perfect everything around me was to compensate. My imperfections were visible: the missing bones, the patch work scar going from the neck down, the funny walk due to chronic pains. I had to do something about it.
This summer I completely embraced my disability. I recognised that in the eyes of the world I was imperfect, but the person who made me [GOD] thinks am perfect. He repainted the cracks in me with gold and made me much more valuable (see kintsugi).
And it is true.
The next step was to accept that I cannot spend my life ironing every aspect thereof because Good should be Good Enough, Very Good is better than Good and Perfectionism is just a way to public declare our insecurities to the world. Yes, perfectionism is the result of insecurities.
My disabilities have created insecurities in me. Society declared me imperfect so, becoming a perfectionist was a way to prove that I could do ‘IT’ far better than anyone who was an able bodied, whatever ‘IT’ was.
It is tiring to be a perfectionist, it becomes obsessive, many projects don’t see the light, you have eye in the back of the head, things are check, double checked, triple checked and even so, still put in the drawer after so much work. Perfectionism can cause paranoia, mental health.
During the lockdowns, I understood the perfectionist me, embraced my disabilities (imperfections) and my place in society. I feel a lot lighter and more productive. Am now unearthing old projects that should be further along and looking forward to what’s in store for Miss Nang and Co in a Post covid world economy.
Hope you stick around as the journey take a new turn post pandemic, it is going to be an interesting new way of living with a mind freed at last.
Do you fancy continueing this conversation?
Join me on Sunday 7th February at 6pm live on Instagram.
See you next month.