perfect imperfection

When I get a new roll of film developed, I immediately search for the mess ups, the photos that were unintended. Whether they were mistakes made by me or the camera or in processing - they’re the ones that make me want to keep shooting film. The blurry, out of focus, off-kilter photos are the ones that move me. They are the ones that make me feel something in my chest, an ache only true beauty can cause.

And in the people I love, it’s their quirks that make me love them. The spontaneity, and maybe recklessness, of a friend who will abandon all responsibilities to spend the day with me. Or the way another friend won’t make eye contact when they share a truth; how they wring their hands so they have something to focus on. I love how some people laugh when they’re nervous, or cry when they’re angry. I love when things don’t make sense.

Imperfection is your best friend who is incapable of wearing matching socks. It’s the bigger-than-life laugh from your coworker. It’s the paint staining your hands from your most recent art project. It is endearing. It makes life interesting. Imperfection is perfection itself.

So why, then, do we try to rid ourselves of it? Why do we believe that imperfection in ourselves is unacceptable? I love imperfection in everything and everyone else, why can’t I love it in me?

I’m trying to stare at my imperfections and let them move me, the way a blurry photo moves me. I’m trying to let them stay. I’m trying to give them the love they deserve; the love I deserve. I think you should try it too.

Bob Ross used to say, “We don’t make mistakes, we just have happy accidents.” In paintings, in photos, in life - nothing is imperfect. We are all happy little accidents.