Project 52 [Twenty-Twelve], Week 4 ~ Beautiful Imperfection

The My Four Hens theme this week for Project 52 is imperfection. The topic of perfection has been on my mind a lot recently. My 7-year old son is battling some demons right now. Nearly every day (seriously, every day) at school since the New Year has been negative, with three referrals to the office and many write-ups for behavior problems. He’s seeing a psychologist who has diagnosed him with ADHD and depression and we are doing some pretty intensive therapy with him. He mentioned in passing that he wished he had a perfect life, that he wished he was a perfect boy. Perfect.

After I hugged him and tried to choke back tears, I talked to him about how nobody is perfect, that we all make mistakes. It’s in those mistakes that we learn and grow. That a perfect life would be boring because it’s people’s imperfections that make them interesting and beautiful. I don’t think he’s buying it but I’m going to keep preaching. I used to feel the need to be perfect, or at least to appear perfect. It comes from thinking you aren’t good enough, that you aren’t worthy. What a sad feeling for anyone to experience. We are all exceptional in our own ways. Thankfully, my husband really helped me accept myself for who I am and I let go of all the pressure I imposed on myself. I hope we can do the same for my son.

So what does this have to do with my macro photo this week of a white rose? A rose symbolizes beauty, innocence, and perfection. As a photographer, it is so easy to compare your work with others and feel like you don’t measure up. But what you are shown is their best work. When I was looking for a subject this week, I knew wanted a flower… I thought doing macro work with a flower would show imperfections well. I’m not entirely happy with the final image, it’s not as perfect as I would usually like to share. But that is the point.

I was running out of light and I had my son with me, so I only allowed myself three shots. This rose caught my eye because the stem was partially broken and the lower petals were drooping. I normally wouldn’t have chosen this rose to shoot, but the theme made me take a second look. I ended up not shooting the imperfections and I didn’t know why until I got home and really thought about it… my point with this image is that when you look past the imperfections, you find beauty. I had to go deep into this rose, into the petals, to find the abstract sensuality I knew it held. Every single thing, every single person, has beauty inside.

white rose macro flower

If you haven’t read Single Dad Laughing by Dan Pearce, you should… he’s an incredible father blogger who philosophizes on many deep topics. One that really hit a chord with me is the post, The Disease Called Perfection. It’s worth a read. Thanks for looking!

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  • Cary - What a beautiful post and picture. This post reminds me of a quote by Thomas Edison. It goes something like: It took Edison 435 tries before he invented the lightbulb. When asked how it felt to fail so often he replied, “I didn’t fail. I learned 435 ways how not to make a lightbulb. But it only took 1 try to get it right!” I’m sorry your son is going through a rough time. Sending warm wishes your way. <3ReplyCancel

  • Lauren - Beautiful post. And stunning rose. It certainly “looks” perfect from here, and until you told us, who would know that it isn’t? So often our blogs seem to be about perfect lives, and life just isn’t like that, is it? Your poor son. What a rough go for him and all of you, but what a relief to have a diagnosis.

    My 12 year old has is own pre-teen demons and he’s often asked me if I wished he were perfect. No, not at all. Just try your best and be kind. Life is hard, isn’t it?

    Holding you in the light. xoReplyCancel

  • Holly - Thank you, Cary. What a wonderful quote!

    Lauren, I so appreciate your sharing something so personal about your own son. Thank you for reaching out and it *is* hard but friends like you make it easier. Hugs and thank you. <3ReplyCancel

  • jessica r - Lovely, just lovely post. I hope things improve for you and your son soon.ReplyCancel

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