Nobody’s Perfect…

I was having a conversation with someone yesterday, when I brought up the fact that I’m a bit of a perfectionist.  Since there’s no such thing as perfect, I’m always falling short of my own expectations.  Rationally, I get the paradox, but I still find there are times when I am frustrated by my own “shortcomings.”

In a funny coincidence (or maybe it wasn’t so funny) I got two emails in my inbox this morning that were like the little smack in the face I needed to step back from my own perfectionist attitude and learn to let go a little, to accept what I am and where I’m at in life.

One of my favorite movie lines is from Anna and the King, where the King tells Anna, “Roads or for journeys, not destinations.”  I often get so focused on the end, that I don’t enjoy the ride.

What brings up this deep philosophical discussion you ask?  This picture…

The day I was trying to photograph this bowl of Cinnamon Spiced Pecans for my Mother’s Day Brunch final project, it was on the verge of raining and the sun kept going behind the clouds.  I’d get it all set, and then BAM!  It would peek back out and my picture would look like that.  It was so frustrating!

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the best photographer on the planet.  I have NO idea what all the little extra buttons are on my camera!  But I can do better than that, and I knew it.  I kept at it, trying to diffuse the light from the window, only to end up with pecans that looked burnt they were so dark.  I tried to reflect the diffused light with a piece white board, but then only one side looked burnt and the other side looked like this light monstrosity.

Twenty minutes, and one bad attitude later, I was about ready to give up.  I had the shot framed exactly how I wanted it, but the sun just would NOT cooperate.  I mean, jeez, what is up with that?!

As I was sitting there about ready to give up, the sun hit the perfect spot, and voila!  I finally got the shot.  The one that every time you try and photograph food you hope you get, and you usually know the instant you take it, that’s the one.

See?  Don’t those look amazing?

But herein lies the problem.  It’s the moments when I do achieve exactly what I want – whether it be a picture, a recipe, or a hair day – that keeps me striving for it all the time.  I just need to learn to let go a little…

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  1. 1

    You do know that all those pretty food pictures you see in the magazines and cookbooks are made solely for the purpose of the picture. Most of the time they are inedible because they are either not fully cooked or they put toxic additives on the food.

  2. 2

    Jen…I think your food and your photography are amazing! And those pecans DO look amazing! Way to be patient and get the shot you wanted! : )

  3. 3

    As a toned-down perfectionist, I’ve realised perfectionism is underrated when it’s not harmful to others and only related to yourself; but overrated when it means you’re “taking people out” (metaphorically speaking) for not doing it your way.

    So, no harm, no foul :-)

  4. 4

    Like you I’m a perfectionist too. It’s a struggle to just let things be and enjoy the ride. At least we recognize that we’re Type A perfectionists, right? That’s the first step. :) Your pic turned out great! Too bad we’re a nut-free household!!

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