|Color Run Queens 2014 with my Partners in Crime
I took the time to look up the definition again recently and was redirected to the word subvert. According to Merriam-Webster.com, it means to 1. overturn or overthrow from the foundation: ruin. 2. to pervert or corrupt by an undermining of morals, allegiance or faith. I realized that I had basically been asked what's something I've done where I colored outside of the lines or social rules lines; what's the most bold thing I had done.
The more I thought about it, one of the most subversive things I've ever done is let go of striving to be or appear perfect in aspect of my life:
In my physical appearance, love life, personal life, emotionally, professionally, financially, you get the gist. I'm a recovering perfectionist. I hated making mistakes and appearing stupid or like I didn't have it all together. But with this striving for perfection, I still was making mistakes right and left which would further frustrate me and I'd make more mistakes and the cycle would burn on. My quest for perfectionism became more counter productive than yielding results, I was getting in my own way and not learning anything. I began to see that we "perfect" ourselves and become our best selves by falling flat on our face, by trying something rather we'll be good at it right away or not and by tuning out society (and sometimes our friends and family) and honoring our intuitions and higher selves. We grow wiser and better by doing totally stupid things and learning from them.
My quest for perfectionism, in the past, cost me opportunities and learning experiences because I thought I wasn't perfect enough for certain things and didn't want to put myself out there until then. An example of this is early on in my makeup career, there were many times I missed out on great opportunities to learn and form networks and connections because I felt my skills weren't up to par. I remember, a few years back, I had joined a Meet Up group of photographers and makeup artists and because I felt I wasn't up to snuff, I would never go to any of the meet ups to even meet anyone! I was so scared to look stupid and inexperienced in front of everyone, I missed out on the possibility to learn from the other artists and gain more experience.
Sam Fine wasn't "the" Sam Fine [we know him as today] when he first started doing makeup. He started from where he was and "perfected" his craft over time and years by practicing a lot, working hard and doing makeup all the time. Once this realization hit me, I began to let go and take more risks. I put myself out there and welcomed feedback and constructive criticism. I took jobs even when the perfectionist in me felt uneasy and I started a journal just for my makeup artistry to jot down positive affirmations and what was inspiring me, to let out my thoughts and feelings on how a gig went and to record how I could improve and what skills I wanted to master and learn. I began to stop doubting and harshly judging my abilities and starting falling INTO different opportunities that frightened me; I wanted to experience them and grow. I cultivated the attitude that I would learn and be great by starting and not stopping.
I began to take myself less seriously and was able to take in more and learn more than I ever could have trying to be perfect on my own. My life began to feel more like a playground once I took that heavy pressure off of myself, I was able to run and trip like kids did in the park and dust myself off and keep playing. I'm able to live fully and with purpose now. I don't beat myself up as much about mistakes I make. I challenge myself instead to use that energy to learn and identify how I can and will improve. Then I take it a step further and share with others so they can learn too. That is the most subversive thing I have ever done and it feels better than mind blowing sex; I'm so serious. Peace within subverts perfection and unlocks all kinds of doors for magic and our wildest dreams to be experienced with passion, intensity and joy.