There are different ways to go from last to first in a race. One way that I've heard of is to be faster than everyone else. My personal preference is to start running really fast the other direction and invent my own race. It's a good way to be a winner.

This morning I admonished my classes about the dark side of perfection.

I am not fond of it, as it is often bane of the creative process.

You get paralyzed by indecision;
frozen with the idea that you have to do something absolutely correct;
stopped in your tracks by a fear of failing.

And all because of that lousy pursuit of Perfection, of trying to achieve what is usually somebody ELSE'S IDEA of flawless, instead of pursuing your own definition of beauty and achievement through uniqueness. You gotta stumble. And when you're so focused on perfection, you're never gonna stumble.

"Just try your best, try everything you can.
And don't you worry what they tell themselves when you're away." 
I had forgotten (until now) that Jimmy Eat World actually wrote a song about this. 2001's The Middle is probably the best pep talk song EVER about being your own person, and personally (I haven't told Becca yet) we'll be blasting this 3-4 times every morning from now through Christmas, just to remind us to, umm, be ourselves. In case we forget. It is so amazing how these guys managed to pack the most encouraging high school anthem ever into the catchiest guitar riff ever.
"You know you're doing better on your own, so don't buy in.
Live right now.
Yeah, just be yourself.
It doesn't matter if it's good enough for someone else."
Yep. Funny thing is that The Middle is all about being yourself and being alright with standing alone and not comparing yourself to others, yet it somehow managed to achieve three minutes of absolute pop perfection that makes it a better song than pretty much anything ever written, ever. Probably the Greatest Song Ever. Which makes it a perfect song for today, which is the birth-day of one of my favourite people ever, Jeremy M. Long.

Happy birth-day, Jeremy. You are a walking, breathing version of The Middle.


Jimmy Eat World
The Middle
Bleed American

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