By Cecilia Wilbur

I quit ballet when I was thirteen after ten years of trying to be the best dancer my teachers had ever seen. When I was three my parents signed me up for dance classes in Miss Jodi’s basement studio. There, I wiggled my tiny rear end to Disney songs. When I was seven I was …

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Being Enough

By Rosalyn Eves

When the same message comes at me in the same week from vastly different sources, I’m learning to pay attention. Sometimes tender mercies come disguised as coincidences.

A couple of weeks ago, I was sitting in Relief Society in my parents’ ward—the first time I’d been to Relief Society in a very long time. (I’m the primary president). I was feeling generally worn down: truth be told, I didn’t especially want to be there.

Angelo Trezzini [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
As some of you may know, I wrote a book. It doesn’t come out until early next year, but already there is some pressure to be present on social media, to promote the book, to build a community of readers and writers. It’s wonderful and exciting (a dream nearly 30 years in the making!) and downright terrifying (strangers—worse, people who know me—are going to be able to read it and judge me, not just the book). And sometimes, truth be told, a little depressing. Because even after (nearly) reaching a goal I’ve worked toward for a very long time, some days it still feels like too little, too late. So many other writers I meet online seem smarter, funnier, younger, prettier.

Sometimes I feel like my whole life I’ve been chasing some elusive idea of enough: that I will be smart enough, talented enough, something enough to matter.

That week, I’d been reading Brené Brown’s Daring Greatly, a gift from a good friend who thought I needed to read it. In the book, Brown describes our current culture as one of scarcity, that preaches two lies: one, “an ordinary life is a meaningless life” and two, “we’re never enough.” At its root, a culture of scarcity insists that if we are not extra-ordinary, we do not have worth. And so we spend our lives hunting for a constantly moving bar of achievement that will say now—now I’m enough. Now I am valuable.

It’s exhausting. And that Sunday, sitting at the back of a familiar room, I was exhausted.

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2013 – A Year of Failing (Maybe Even Spectacularly)

By Kellie Purcill

This time of year, I look back as well as forwards. I even give myself a general, not-looking-at-the-details-too-closely kind of report card as well for the previous year. Didn’t Accidentally Set Anything on Fire: A+ Kept One’s (Mostly) Beloved Children Alive, Fed and Mostly Intact: A Continued Education of Offspring In The Following Electives: Sarcasm: …

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Doing Things By Halves

By Kellie Purcill

I baked someone half an apple streusel recently. I didn’t deliberately set out to do it. Too many apples, a new baking tin, a prodigal pack of butter returned from the crisper and an internal bellowing for sweetness had me humming and puddling thick mix between my fingers and the springform’s edges before I realised …

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Acceeeeeentuate the Positive

By Maralise Petersen

I am absolutely, overwhelmingly enchanted and in love with ‘the world’. You know that ‘world’ that gets labeled in every Sunday School, seminary, and primary class as being the enemy? Yeah. That one. Can’t keep my hands off of it.

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The birth of a perfectionist

By Shelah Miner

gradeWe noticed while reading essays for this year’s Heather Campbell personal essay contest that many of the entries focused on the writers’ perfectionist tendencies. We also agree that perfectionism is something that many of us on the staff struggle with. So we decided to devote some time on the blog to discussing it. Over the next few weeks, we’ll have a series of posts dedicated to feeling the pressure to be not just good, or the best we can be, but perfect.

Growing up,  I never saw myself as much of a perfectionist. I was a swimmer, but far from the best on the team. I was a dancer, but never a soloist. I was an actress, but played Patty Simcox instead of Sandy in Grease. I was the assistant editor of the school newspaper, not the editor-in-chief. And I wasn’t a straight-A student. I didn’t even aspire to being a straight-A student.

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