Perfect should try to be you

This is a hard topic to try and talk about, because sometimes it’s really difficult for me to see my worth, and I know I’m not alone. Even my most confident, beautiful and wonderful friends struggle at times. You can’t blame us, not in a world constantly saying you aren’t good enough.

While I could spend hours writing about the negative effects of advertising and the media on how we perceive ourselves, that isn’t the focus of this post. It’s more in how let others treat us and how that affects our value.

I think too often and without realizing, we let the opinions of others change the opinion we hold of ourselves. For some, it happens when you’re too young to realize you deserve better and for others it happens so slowly over time until you don’t believe there’s anything different.

To really summarize this idea, I’m going to borrow a quote from the brilliant Stephen Chbosky:

We accept the love we think we deserve.

Now, before I read The Perks of Being a Wallflower, I saw this quote circulated around social media so frequently I wrote it off in my brain as a silly way “edgy” girls romanticized their poor dating choices. Please know I’m not proud of this judgment I so easily passed.

I didn’t read the book until they started filming for the movie in Pittsburgh, but I’m so glad I waited. The first time I read it when I was very early into my 20s, it hit me like a welcome train of awareness. Yes, the characters were teenagers and going through things I couldn’t even imagine, but the truths were there waiting for me. It made me think about how I let people treat me and my motivations and through it, I began to confront some demons.

Another book, The Mingling of Souls by Matt Chandler, taught me the important lesson surrounding this idea of ‘deserving.’ We go through life telling our friends they deserve better, but at the root, they (and we) don’t. Yes, this sounds crazy and no, it doesn’t mean you should let everyone treat you like garbage.

Love is a gift we give and receive, and we learn to love because our Father loved us first. At no point have we ever deserved that love. I mean really, read pretty much every Bible story ever and you will see a people continually falling short. None of that matters, though, because of His great love. He created us, knowing we would never be enough. He continues to pursue us, knowing our hearts are wicked and prone to other gods. Nothing we do can change His love either way. We can’t deserve more by good behavior and we can’t deserve worse by bad behavior. This is such a powerful truth.

It’s not about deserving better treatment, but realizing we’re worth more because we’re children of God. We aren’t designed to let people treat us poorly because that’s not what Love is about. This is so much harder to actually follow, I realize.

Getting back to accepting the love we think we deserve, I think in some concepts deserve is used very well. When we accept the love we think we deserve, we are accepting imperfect love. Love that is flawed and conditional. Love that only works on the terms established by someone else. We are failing to see the beauty of love because we’re so blinded by the things within ourselves that make us feel less.

In my life, this lack of self-worth is related to my father, which is tragically far too common. Despite being a Christian all my life with a good stepfather, I was still trying to earn the love I never received from my father.

Because I never loved him as well as he thought he deserved, my father made me feel less and like I had to continually work to gain anything from him. I would go out of my way to see him and talk to him until it was me initiating every conversation. This pattern is one I can spot in almost every romantic relationship I’ve had.

Until I paid attention, I didn’t realize this was a problem. I assumed it was just guys and I really didn’t know what it was like to feel wanted. I questioned everything about myself and changed trying to find someone who would actually love me.

Because I didn’t see my value, no one else did who I was pursuing. It didn’t help I pursued men I could see weren’t good for me in any capacity, but their slight interest was all I needed to give up my ideals and compromise to make them happy. I was trained to work in exchange for fake love that never lasted.

When I couldn’t see my value, I accepted less than the love God intended for me to have.

Our need for companionship can be so strong it leads us down paths we know we shouldn’t travel. We pick people we know aren’t good for us but we tell ourselves lies like it’s nothing serious anyway or it’s just fun or this is just how guys treat us (and reverse for men, obviously). Or we even think that somehow we can change them and then they will love us in the way we want.

Think about some of the incredible married, engaged or in a serious relationship people in your life. Do you think they got where they are by making their significant other feel less or like they don’t really matter? Do you think the strong couple foundation is built on belittling or neglect?

The answer should be no. If we see healthy relationships, why do we assume we can’t have it, too?

On the other side of this, I can tell you the behavior justifications won’t hold up once you begin to really look at your life. I can’t excuse those pieces of my past, like staying with a guy for too long because it was fun and a distraction, because now I know better. All of these experiences shape who we will be, both alone and in relationships.

Now I have a hard time believing men are actually attracted to and interested in me. I doubt their motivations when they’re nice to me and convince myself they’re like this with everyone. If they stop talking to me, I assume it’s because they are like all the rest.

Maybe you’re reading this and thinking yeah, but it is nothing and just fun, and I really hope that’s true for you. What I know is it isn’t true for me, and every bad experience lowered how I valued myself a little bit more.

When we say yes to people we don’t really like or go back when we say we’re done, we’re showing them how we value ourselves. I know these are generalizations, but that’s where I’m focusing and I want to acknowledge I know there are exceptions. But on the whole, when we give in, we basically tell that person I don’t really value myself at all.

The other side to worth is thinking you aren’t good enough because of something in your past or where you are. We diminish ourselves because we aren’t exactly where we should be or we’ve made mistakes in the past and can’t believe someone could see past them. We carry that weight like a sign around our neck that says ‘I’m a crummy person and not good enough for you.’

Please know that’s nonsense.

Worth is tricky, isn’t it? The power we have to affect how someone views themselves and the impact we can have to make them see they are worth more. It’s hard to convince people of their value, but all we can do is try. And try and try and try because this is a fight you shouldn’t give up on, no matter what.

Even though I’m better than I was, my best friend still needs to remind me of my value when I start to doubt. I can still lose my mind over texts without replies and delays in conversation. The difference is now I’m more selective. I don’t just let anyone in. Conversely, I’m learning to tear down the walls I built to protect my heart and realizing not every man will hurt me. The way I guard my heart now is by reminding myself of how I am so loved by God, and that is the person I want to keep safe so no human can make me feel less.

So what can you take from all this? Remember that while we don’t necessarily deserve anything, we are worth way more than the way we let people treat us. I don’t know what happened in your past or what you did or how they hurt you, but I know restoration is possible. It will never be about finding the right person who will love us the right way, but by learning to love ourselves first and recognizing there is a Greater Love at work within. Completion comes from God alone and successful relationships happen when you can look at every piece of you, whole and broken, and realize how valuable you are.

Maybe you will get to a point where you know and feel this and don’t need reminders or maybe you will still need a daily check in with yourself to see how amazing you are. Either way, you are amazing and valuable and loved just as you are right now.

I will end with a poem by Bo Burnham, called Perfect:

I love you just the way you are

but you don’t see you like I do.

You shouldn’t try so hard to be perfect.

Trust me, perfect should try to be you.

Find Your Sam

The story of finding my Sam is basically all I need to remember God has a plan for our lives and man, is it good. Our story isn’t one that begins with instant connection or common ground. We didn’t hate each other and suddenly realize we should be best friends. We were just people who, by the grace of God, found each other and He worked out everything else.

Before I begin, let me describe what having a Sam means for your life, so you can understand the idea. Best friend is a description casually assigned to a lot of people that you may enjoy spending time with and may know all of your secrets. You hear people use this a lot, and sometimes I wonder how many best friends a person can have (I’m not saying there should be a limit, of course).

But a Sam is different.

A Sam is someone who is your person, your actual person. Not the person you latch onto because you WANT a person. As Emily Bronte describes it, whatever souls are made of, yours and your persons are the same (adjusted for my purposes). By my estimation you can only have one of these people in your life because they will understand you so thoroughly and so terrifyingly that more than one may overwhelm you. It is the person who always sees right through you, tells you when you’re being an idiot and never wavers in love and support.

That’s abbreviated of course. Now back to the story.

My first memory of Sam is her backpack. I was the nerd in class ready to crush freshman year with my Jansport classic and she had a corduroy backpack covered in flowers, probably purchased from somewhere hip like PacSun. She was there in my first college class, and she had a cool backpack.

One of the first things I said to her was I like your sweater. This was a few months later and we were standing outside a professor’s office. It was very nautical with red, white and blue stripes and gold buttons. I now possess this sweater, almost eight years later.

During bingo night in the Beehive (our cafeteria alternative), she was there with a bunch of people I kind of knew. She was wearing a giant sweatshirt and proudly owned the fact she wasn’t wearing a bra. I was partly mortified and partly in awe of this hero among women.

In our second semester, we had back to back classes and a mutual friend who sat between us. There was the occasional lunch and conversation, but nothing substantial. It wasn’t until an early morning drive and a rooming snafu that our paths truly crossed.

As you can tell, I could spend endless amounts of time describing the interesting events that brought us together and the relationship that developed. We became roommates for our sophomore year and strangely decided to have the same class schedule. She arrived on campus before me and when I got there, told me one night she was sure someone was breaking in but it was just a soda that exploded in the fridge. This is one of our earliest stories and still one of my favorites. She just waited in bed assuming she was about to be killed.

Back on track.

It’s been more than seven years since we became roommates. I’m not sure when we became best friends, but it slowly built until one day we just were. I think I like that best about us. We just were. We weren’t each other’s first roommate so the pressure to be best friends wasn’t there. By that point we had mostly established our own identities on campus. We weren’t desperate freshmen adding everyone on Facebook. We didn’t need each other then, but I definitely need her now.

She’s the person I can completely open my soul to – the good and the bad. I can tell her anything and trust that she will be there. I can try to lie to her and know she won’t tell me she actually knows better. Love is patient, love is kind, and love is my Sam.

The greatest gift she’s given me is acceptance. All my life I’ve worried if people still liked me, or if I annoyed them too much, or if I said too much. I meet people and leave feeling terrified, even if it went well, because the record plays of all the reasons why they shouldn’t like me. Even conversations with friends I know well can put me in a spiral because I’m never sure where I stand or if maybe this time I’ve been too much.

I never feel that way with my Sam.

It doesn’t matter if I’m in the middle of a breakdown, saying the same realizations I’ve had a thousand times before but still not changing anything. I can be completely delusional or in denial of how I actually feel. I can be condescending or self-righteous. I can be the worst version of myself around her, but I know I none of that will change how much she loves me.

What having a person means is true, unconditional love. Love like Jesus. Even if we’re both busy and we don’t talk as much as we used to, I still know how she feels. I can see her pursue different interests that maybe I don’t like and know she will still love painting her nails and going shopping with me. Our friendship isn’t jealous of other friends, because even when I see her with someone else a lot, I know how she feels because she tells me and makes me feel that no matter, it’s still me.

This is why someday our husbands will die and we will buy a house in the Hamptons, fill it with cats and raccoons and live out our days together. There is no better future.

The best advice I can give everyone is find your Sam. When you do, you will never be the same. She will challenge you and make you a better human bean. She will help you understand just how much God loves you and the way He loves us. Find your person who will still love you when you text her on her birthday to call her rude because she responded to your sister’s text and not yours.

Find your Sam, but don’t stress the people who won’t be. You’re not going to miss who God puts in your life, trust me. I didn’t find Sam. God brought her to me and made sure I wouldn’t miss out on the amazing adventure of being her best friend, her person, her soulmate.

I thank my God every day He gave me Sam.

Bare Minerals

Ugh. I knew this day had to come and I was prepared to hate it. To really emphasize my dismay, I have really dirty hair and a large wide headband to hold my bangs back and I am not in peak form.

A lot of people love and swear by Bare Minerals which is fine DO YOU but personally it’s not my thing and if you’re like maybe this review taught her to feel differently, you’re wrong. Let’s go.

Products Used

Also I used Anastasia Brow Wiz and gel for my eyebrows and Natural Love by Too Faced on the eyes in case you’re wondering why those important features are done without their products listed.

Prime time BB Primer-Cream Daily Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 30, Fair

This was fine. I have nothing else to say. SPF is a nice feature and my skin felt nice after but I wasn’t like sold on it or anything.

Original Foundation, Fairly Light 03

Man  I have no idea how to use loose powder foundation. I did my best. Honestly my skin looked okay kind of, but I think I have too much texture for it to look as good as I would like. But I hated the application. HATED IT.
Blemish Remedy Concealer, Light

Well-Rested Face & Eye Brightener

Broad Spectrum Multi-Tasking Face, Well Rested

So it weird using a combination of creams and powders on top of powders and by the time I was done my face felt like it was minimum five different colors.

Invisible Bronze Powder Bronzer, Fair to Light

Invisible is the key word here.

Blush, Golden Gate

I think I hated this product the most. Don’t get me wrong – you get a lot of color, but you have to be SO CAREFUL. And I’m a girl who loves her blush, but it was still all over the place and so strong. I had to use the foundation on top to tone it down.

Invisible Glow Powder Highlighter, Fair to Light

Again, invisible is the key word.

Prime Time Eyelid Primer

This created a nice base for my eyeshadow so no complaints.

Lash Domination Volumizing Mascara

People have told me they loved this mascara and I thought maybe this will be a redeeming product, but no. I mean I think they look fine, but I just didn’t like the application at all.

Statement Matte Liquid Lipcolor, Fresh & Luxe

I was also excited about these and chose two colors because I couldn’t choose between them, but you can’t really tell on the lips I have two on. They also didn’t last a super longtime which was a bummer.

So yeah, my opinion of Bare Minerals remains the same. It just isn’t for me.


This day started out as kind of a best because I had to work on a Sunday morning which was a huge buzzkill. Not because it was a weekend morning, but missing church is really hard for me because it’s the highlight of my week.

Even so, I plowed through my emotions and used the opportunity to try a new brand in Lancome. While I have used certain products before, most of the line was new for me. In the past, I’ve used the Teint Idole liquid foundation and the Hypnose mascara because I heard it’s what Kim Kardashian uses. This was before I realized that fake lashes are a real phenomenon and I will never look like Kim Kardashian.

Let’s get into it.

Products Used

Visionnaire 1-Minute Blur

I don’t know if my imperfections and pores are just too large to be blurred or if all these products are liars, but I saw no blurring on my skin. Saying that as you can deduce, I never see any blurring effects and it’s sad because I want my pores to disappear. It did, however, feel very nice and create a nice base for my makeup.

Miracle CC Cushion, Yellow 02

Someone used this one me during one of my trainings and I really love it as a color corrector. It does a great job of eliminating minor redness and is lighter and easier to blend than some other formulas.

Teint Idole Ultra Longwear Foundation Stick SPF 21, 110 Ivoire C

Many of my coworkers like this as their favorite foundation, or favorite stick foundation if nothing else. My entire complexion looked nice after Lancome, and while I don’t think it’s my favorite, I liked the blendability and coverage.

Teint Idole Ultra Wear Camouflage Concealer, 090 Ivoire N

I was really tired and sad this morning and this concealer + foundation helped remind my face I was actually alive, which is nice.

Les Sourcils Definis, 106 Dark Brown

The product itself wasn’t bad, but ‘dark brown’ is a stretch.

Star Bronzer Magic Bronzing Brush

Ugh, I didn’t like this at all. It was weird and I ended up putting too much on my forehead and it was very orange.

Blush Subtil, 373 Aplum

This was nice as well. Nothing much more to say.

Click & Glow Highlighting Skin Fluid, Lumieres Roses

I really don’t like liquid highlighters. This one wasn’t bad, but it definitely wasn’t my favorite that I’ve used.

Color Design 5 Shadow & Liner Palette, Taupe Craze

I’ve probably talked about this before, but I hate eyeshadows that aren’t in full palettes or in singles. Five is not enough. I mean I know technically it’s a full eye look BUT I WANT MORE. They were nice and I actually didn’t mind the eye look until I ruined it with the next step.

Drama Liquid-Pencil Longer Eyeliner, Brique & Cote D’Azur

Lancome is known for these nice eyeliners and even though I’m a liquid kind of girl I thought why not. I used a red and blue one because it was so close to the Fourth of July, but it wasn’t good. I won’t blame the product for this because it’s more likely it was my complete inability to use pencil eyeliners.

Cils Booster XL Super-Enhancing Mascara Base

This was a mascara primer ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Definicils High Definiton Mascara

I’ve used a few of the Hypnose mascaras before and tried the Definicils. I have no real complaints about the product, but it didn’t provide as much drama as I like.

Matte Shaker High Pigment Liquid Lipstick, 189 Red’y in 5

This may have been my favorite part of the look. I like this formula a lot. It’s matte, but not complete so it looks really nice on the lips. The applicator is weird and the product itself is flammable when liquid so there are some negatives, but I would definitely try it again.