I’ve learned a lot about myself in the past month, I’ve learned that I was going after perfection.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise to me who always knew myself as a perfectionist, but being picky and meticulous is one thing while being on the quest of what’s absolutely perfect is something completely different.
As a blogger I tend to check out frequently other blogs to see what other people are writing about, the responses they’re getting from readers, what works for the crowd and what doesn’t, what designs are better than others, and while doing that I can rarely resist the temptation of comparing my blog to other blogs especially on the design level, and I would often find myself saying something like “Ooh I like how this blog looks, I wish my blog could look like that”, “Hey! This blog has features I don’t, how can I get them?”, “My blog template looks very amateurish compared to this one, I want this template!”.
After I decided to give life to my dead blog a few months ago I thought a change of design would be nice. After all, I wanted a design that would reflect the theme and vision I had in mind for this blog.
So before looking over my neighbors’ fences to see how green their grass is I set out to redesign my blog exactly the way I wanted it.
After adjusting the final tweaks, I had my product in hand. I was proud of it. It was my blog, it was perfect.
And as the days and weeks rolled I started reading other blogs and that’s when it all went downhill. As innocent as it might sound to read other blogs, I realize now I wasn’t doing it for their content as much as I was doing it to compare.
Suddenly my blog wasn’t so perfect anymore.
I started comparing font choices, layouts, colors, gadgets, social media links and the list goes on. In comparison, my blog seemed weak, boring and ugly. Even though I had gotten a lot of encouraging words on the content I was posting I could see only one thing: the imperfect design.
This put me on a three-month-long quest for perfection in which I think I changed my blog design four times, an average of 1+ times per month, trying different templates, layouts and colors, and all the while unable to get rid of the feeling that it was still falling short of other blogs.
Finally, in my ongoing search I stumbled upon a blog run by a blogger geek who specializes in blogging tips and tricks. It was blog paradise to me, I had hit the mother load.
This guy had created the perfect blog and moreover he was even offering his template for FREE!
Somebody pinch me!
I downloaded the blog template in seconds and uploaded it on my website host, made some minor changes to put my stuff instead of his and in a matter of minutes I was up and running. I had the perfect blog.
I hated it.
I don’t know why, I just did. I hated it. For one whole day I couldn’t pin point what it was exactly that I didn’t like about it, it was everything I had ever wanted, it had the perfect professional design, the awesome font choice, the great colors and all the features I could wish for and more, yet it just didn’t click in my being. It was perfect and nothing was wrong with it except that it just wasn’t quite me, in fact it wasn’t me at all. It was someone else’s blog.
Being unable to shrug off this feeling of dissatisfaction, I couldn’t wait to get back home and change it all over again. Only this time it was different. I finally knew what I wanted, I wanted my blog.
I started off a simple template and started adding all the things that I wanted according to the design I wanted instead of what other people wanted. As I was finishing the design a feeling of peace started to come over me until I was completely done. It finally clicked inside.
It didn’t look like any of the blogs I had compared it with, but I couldn’t care less. It was my blog, and I was completely satisfied with it. Somehow deep down I knew this was it, and I wasn’t going to change it ever again.
I changed it the next day.
Haha no, I’m not that crazy, but I know I just made you laugh.
There’s just something about being content that I had never fully grasped before until now.
My father taught me something when I was a kid that his grandmother had passed on to him: “Contentment is an everlasting treasure”. I guess now I know what that really means.
There’s a fine line between not settling for less than what you want and not settling for anything less than perfect. Don’t judge what you have based on what other people have because perfect is never perfect until you’re completely satisfied with your imperfect. (Awiyeh la2?). After all it’s true what they say: “the grass is always greener on the other side”.
“You shall not covet… anything that is your neighbor’s.” (Exodus 20:17 ESV)