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I used to want the title, the letters after my name. I wanted something that would prove I was important, I was worthy, I was somebody. I wanted to be the hero, the rescuer, the one who swoops in with a wealth of knowledge and just the right answer.

And then came the letter… “Ms. Wentworth, we regret to inform you that you have not been accepted for early admission…” All I read was, “You’re a disappointment. You’re a failure. Just not good enough.” I cried. I sobbed. I cried some more. I was hurt, confused, lost and a shell of myself.

I felt like someone was taking the wrong end of the hammer and hacking away at me, chunks flying here and there. And in a way someone was… it would take me years to see it, but God was whittling me down, shaping me, painfully molding me…

Now, my title is different… no Dr. Roberts or Elissa Roberts M.D. Now, I am wife to my best friend and mom to a little girl who stirs my heart in ways I couldn’t have imagined. Now, I treasure sweet tea and sewing nights with my friends more than promotions or raises. Now, I am becoming the person I truly want to be, not the person I wanted people to believe was me.

I’m learning to forgive myself, to insist on joy and not perfection, to let it go and to enjoy right here, right now. We haven’t had friends over in forever because I thought my house wasn’t clean enough, the yard looked quite “tropical” and my baseboards are just plain pitiful. But I’m tired of believing that if it isn’t perfect, it isn’t worth it. I’m ashamed to admit it, but I wanted the title and the prestige because I wanted people to think I had it all. It hurts to say it, but I’m grateful for the pain I went through when I got that letter because it started a journey that has brought me to now.

Tonight, dear friends will come over and we will eat yummy, delicious soup (even though it will be made with dried basil instead of fresh because I forgot to buy it when I went to the grocery store and I don’t feel like dragging a four month old to the store for basil). We will savor salty Brie and flaky puff pastry, and I won’t care that my sofa needs to be cleaned or my floors need to be mopped. I will not miss out on today’s moments for fear that everything won’t look perfect. I will not sacrifice joy for perfectionism. And I will relish my titles of wife, mom and friend with the respect they truly deserve…

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2 Comments Join the Conversation

  1. What exactly do you mean your baseboards aren’t clean?! Did you not do the entire flylady check list in one single day like another NUTcase you know? ;)…lastly, I (for one) will greatly enjoy being the benefactor of your making peace with imperfection because I can’t WAIT for the tomato soup with delicious dried basil. Thank you Le Creuset, Ina and Liss.

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  2. Well, guess what? My oh-so-sweet hubby is going to get me some fresh basil! Oh, how I love him! And I can't wait to see you soon!p.s. my baseboards need to be repainted but WHO wants to do that???

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