The Myth of Perfection
“I bet if we all threw our problems in a huge pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back. Don't compare your life to others”.
Regina Brett (author, inspirational speaker and newspaper columnist)
Blogger’s Note: I wrote most of this particular blog post last year but didn’t feel compelled to share my words until recently. The anniversary of both events that inspired me is approaching, which compelled me to remember and more importantly reflect. Thank you for reading.
Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade both left this world last year, just a few days apart from each other in June. I didn’t know either of them personally but I would say that they affected my life in different ways and in a manner that I’m sure affected thousands if not millions of other people. It’s an interesting thing—caring so much about a stranger that their life and ultimate death evokes emotion...
As a child, I was always so in touch with my emotions and the emotions of people around me. I was a sponge of energy and sometimes the energy could be so powerful to shift my emotions as fast as changing the channel on the radio. As we grow up, most of us learn how to regulate and control our emotions but from time to time, something from left field happens that slaps our adult masks right off of our faces. This is what happened to me with both of these tragic deaths.
My respect for Anthony Bourdain came from watching so many of his shows documenting his global travels. I can relate—I love travelling and seeing the world through different eyes. He appreciated the core of rich cultures; from Cuba to Mozambique, he did it all. I think I secretly envied his television life and that he had found, as a living, what I could only do as a hobby.
I identified with Kate Spade more through her products and less through her. To be honest, I knew very little about Kate Spade as the woman behind the brand until she died. What I had was a deep respect and love for the company that she and her husband founded. I absolutely loved and still love the whimsy of her products. I stand in awe of everyone that has embarked on an entrepreneurial journey—especially a woman that created fashion accessories that will continue to bring joy to women everywhere.
Their deaths saddened me but for different reasons and at the core was empathy for their family, friends, and the world that lost their unique perspectives and talent.
It was also an important reminder to me to never wish to have someone else’s life; on occasion, I have to remind myself of this. Besides being an impossible goal, you just never know what anyone is dealing with, no matter how perfect things may seem from the outside looking in. Professionally and in my personal life, I see so many people uncharacteristically act out because there is someone that they envy or they think has life figured out. But in reality, no one has life figured out and MANY people are fighting demons that you just never know about and unless they tell you or something significant occurs like a suicide, you’ll never know.
Remembering their passing still saddens me but out of those emotions is a not-so-subtle reminder for all of us to be grateful for the life we have, no matter how imperfect it may seem in comparison to others.