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The end....or the beginning

A few days ago we went to my niece's first grade concert. It was absolutely darling, but the piano music was prerecorded and despite the music teacher frantically waving her arms, there were times that the kids got excited and got ahead of the music. It was definitely noticeable, but it almost made me love the show even more, because it was so great to see how excited they were. At no point did I think, oh, it wasn't perfect, they are such failures. So why don't I give myself the same grace?

I have been a perfectionist for as long as we can remember. When I was in second grade I wrote a ten page paper on clownfish because for some reason I had it in my head that it would only be sufficient if it was ten pages. (Just to put it in perspective, we're talking those horizontal pages with wide lines, I was in second grade after all!) Good was never enough, I had to be perfect, which was pretty much unattainable, and now we know it is a part of my OCD.

When I started writing this book, I expected myself to be perfect. To write exactly what every person needed to hear. To change lives. To start a conversation. To spark legislation that would decrease disparity in the mental health field. And when I realized that I wasn't necessarily going to be able to do all these things I considered myself a failure. Clearly I shouldn't even try, because I would never meet my own standards.

But then I had an epiphany. The last song in my niece's concert was Sing by Joe Raposo (from Sesame Street). It's one of my favorite songs, and in it they say "Don't worry that it's not good enough for anyone else to hear, just sing, sing a song." That's exactly it. Don't allow your fears of imperfection prevent you from trying, just take a deep breath and do what you can, and take pride in whatever you do accomplish.

So, I wrote this book. It isn't perfect, and neither am I, but you never know what you can accomplish if you don't try. So whatever your "song" might be, "just sing, sing a song". Thank you for joining me on this journey. I hope it has helped you as much as it helped me.

With love, Liz Orvis

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