What Will You Lose If You Fix Certain “Problems?”

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“You have to be careful about what you fix….If you irrigate a desert, you might empty a sea. It’s a complicated business, fixing things.”

-Percival Everett, “The Fix”

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I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching lately. It’s easy to get comfortable when nothing changes for a while. To get so you’re used to the way things are and the way you’re managing your life.

But when there’s upheaval, you’ll learn a lot about yourself. Sometimes this is wonderful; it can throw light onto places that were previously dark. Make sense out of chaos. It can change everything — in the best possible way.

Other times, this self-knowledge can hit you differently. It can feel inconvenient.

I am definitely not a person who is at my factory settings. A lot has happened over the course of my life that I’ve had to work through. And every time, I have. I’m not a person who generally shies away from self-work, from challenging the status quo — whether it’s society’s big status quo or my own personal comparably tiny status quo.

At this point in my life, I’ve had a lot of therapy, asked myself a lot of difficult questions, and have struggled through accepting a lot of unpleasant truths.

And yet I’m not perfect. I have things that I could — and probably should — work on… that is, if I want to be perfect.

But I’m not sure I want to be. And I’m starting to wonder if the best disposition for those last few bits and pieces is just to accept them.

Because I think there will always be something left.  And while once upon a time I despised myself, felt like there was little to nothing redeeming about me, and couldn’t begin to fathom why anyone would tolerate me, let alone love me, these days I have an entirely different relationship with myself.

These days I generally like who I am. And I don’t want to change parts of myself and upset other things I actually do like about myself.

I don’t want to change something and become someone who violates my own values system.

And as I contemplate working on small nitpicky issues, I find myself wondering: What will I lose if I fix certain “problems?”

Would what I lose be worth it?

And for the first time in life, I’m not confident that the answer to that second question would be “yes.”

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