, , , , , ,

© Lydia Hudgens

I know why families were created, with all their imperfections. They humanize you. They are made to make you forget yourself occasionally, so that the beautiful balance of life is not destroyed. – Anaïs Nin

I used to call a relative every week to catch up on the latest news, share craft ideas, and hear about a family who lived across the street from her and appeared to be blissfully perfect in every way.

From my end of the phone line without the visuals, I imagined a family similar to one portrayed in a J. Crew catalog – dashing, smiling, and engaging. With no more than my relations’ vantage point to go on, this family’s success stories, over time, began to gnaw away at my satisfaction with the day to day goings on in my own household.

Until those conversations, perfection was not something to which I aspired, but then, quite insidiously, perfection was something for which I yearned even though I knew it was as elusive and as ethereal as a cloud and antithetical to the things that made my family the happiest  – creativity, originality, and spontaneity.

One day my relation contacted me to say that the mother of the perfect family had asked her eldest to fetch daddy for Sunday dinner. When the daughter entered the father’s den, she found him dead – hanging from the rafters. The mother and daughters moved away shortly thereafter and no one ever learned what darkness lay behind the family’s spit and polished exterior.

The illusion of perfection was shattered and has remained so for me since. I have no interest in chasing some ideal of perfection or near perfection and am quite content with the wabi-sabiness of my well-lived and well-loved life.

Model: Lauren DiMarco