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I’m Ready and Willing to Admit I Have Flaws — I Just Can’t Think of Any!

Credit: Carey Salvin

The other day I was talking to my therapist about self-confidence. We’ve been working on this for a long time, and together we’ve done a great job. She’s entered my psyche, unraveled my problems, and knit them into a beautiful scarf of self-love and personal pride. That’s not to say that I haven’t also been working very hard on developing myself. 

This lends itself to a clay metaphor: with the untouched lump of clay I entered therapy with, I’ve sculpted a beautiful bust of a stunning, thriving, and otherwise perfect young woman. She has the eyebrows of a young Cara Delevingne, cheekbones that could be mistaken for those of Jack Sparrow, and a shocking lack of buccal fat akin to Lea Michelle.

Anyways… I’ve gone through the classical ups and downs of a college student living a normal life. I’ve lost Wilcaf punch cards (frown), watched a good hair day slip from my grasp in the high rise wind tunnel (cry), and endured vast spans of time without the chance to eat a meal of only truly delicious foods (scream). But I’ve also gotten to travel to the Poconos (smile), spend time with friends in my favorite on-campus establishments (laugh), and attend Penn performing arts shows (cry, but happy tears). 

As a confidence-building exercise, my therapist had me write an acrostic poem about myself, and I’ve transcribed it here for you:

C: Cool as a cat

A: Awesome as an anteater

R: Rad as a rat

E: Epic as an elephant

Y: You are stupid for thinking I could come up with an adjective and an animal that start with Y

After I shared it with her, she said to me, she said:

“Carey, this shows me that you have more than enough self-confidence and are maybe even a little narcissistic!” (shocked!) “I now task you with writing down your feelings every time you think you don’t live up to someone’s expectations, disappoint your family and friends, embarrass yourself in front of others, look disheveled in Commons, or fail to follow up on promises you make to yourself and to those around you.”

Then I said to her, I said:

“Therapist woman, that is easy money. I’ll come up with so much. No one is perfect, and that includes me!”

So I went around for the next few days ready to write down everything I did that wasn’t up to the standards that I have set for myself. But as the time went on, my outfits continued to slay, my comments were endlessly witty, and my parents told me they were proud of me every 15 minutes. Each time I saw my google doc entitled “Careys flaws," I had a feeling that I would very soon have something to say. But I never did! I just continued living my life as I normally do – swallowing my gum by mistake, jaywalking across 39th, and turning in all my assignments late. 

The moral of the story is you be you and don’t apologize (but only if you’re flawless like me)!