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From Manicured to Messy: Embracing Imperfection

Posted · 23 Comments

I’m someone who’s long suffered from a persistent inner push to do the right thing, say the right thing, look the right way, etc.. I don’t expect others to be ‘perfect’ and I’m not attracted to those who claim to have it all together, yet occasionally I put impossible pressures on myself.

Legs and Feet

Some say this drive comes from a sense of inadequacy, or too much responsibility too soon…or maybe it’s my 3 planets in Virgo that keep me caught up in debilitating details. Wherever the fixation comes from, it can be an imprisoning place to be, where little ever lives up my idealistic expectations.

Recently, I lost my beloved little cat Marvin. No matter how I prepared myself, my heart broke open and bled everywhere. We’re all touched by life and death differently…and for me, Marvin touched my heart in the deepest ways.

Marvin Shadow edit

On his last morning alive, I laid him in the grass in the backyard, turned on I’m Ready by Alicia Keys, and danced for his little spirit…praising him, blessing him and thanking him. Hours later, he passed away peacefully.

The next afternoon, Chris and I buried him, and a day later I left for New York. I was very close to calling my agent and cancelling a big job. I had flown home only a few days before and wanted at least another day to pull myself together.

Choid, the masochistic alien-robot in my head, has a horrible habit of beating me up when I’m down. He has little tolerance for ‘feelings’ and expects me to be stoic and strong at all times. After all, “mature” and “spiritual” people don’t get angry after losing their loved ones. According to Choid, I didn’t get it when it came to grieving.

Even though the timing was terrible, a voice louder than Choid told me simply to show up the best I could and keep my commitment in NYC.

Hours before takeoff, I invited my husband to bed awkwardly. I had a million things to do, we were arguing, and I looked/felt like sh*t. Again, the timing was OFF. Initially, Chris’ response felt rejecting and my impulse was to run away in reaction. But something told me to stay…and stay soft. The intimacy we experienced as a result made me think of all the rich moments I may have missed waiting for everything to come together perfectly.

An hour after touching down in NYC, a profile piece about me appeared in the largest newspaper in the world.

Adele Uddo New York Times

Really? I wanted time to process Marvin’s death…and all that was right/wrong with what was written. In a perfect world, I would’ve had more time off before I had to be ON again for what was to follow.

But the world isn’t perfect, and god knows neither am I. The older I get, the more I drop the belief that I’m the one in the driver’s seat, expected to make all the right turns. I’m also better at telling Choid to chill.

A wise friend once told me, “Life is meant to disappoint you. It’s what you do with those disappointments that matter most.”

I had hoped when I returned home two weeks later, the lily we planted over Marvin’s grave would be in full bloom, representing a glorious rebirth!

Instead it looked like this…

Dead plant

…just another living thing, struggling to grow. How perfect.

Marvin was messy and impurrfect, and all I did was adore him. After professing my limitless love for him, he once said to Sonya the cat communicator, “I don’t even have to do anything.”

Marvin 5

That last day, when I danced and sang Marvin into the sky, he decided to leave a large brown liquid stain on my white shag rug – another reminder from Master Marvin that shit happens.

It’s up to us to show up the best we can, with all our magnificent imperfect parts.

Marvin 3 copy

23 Responses to "From Manicured to Messy: Embracing Imperfection"
  1. Jerry says:

    Marvin RIP

  2. Alan Pierce says:

    Ah, baby. Love you.

  3. Sarah says:

    That sweet lil’ Marvin will be missed. And this post is just beautiful. Here’s to being divinely messy! As humans, we all have that in common. Love you so. xo

  4. Mary says:

    Marvin was such a Pussy!!! (and you know I mean that in the most powerful and cynical of ways)

  5. Chris says:

    Love and will miss that messy Marvin.

    And I promise not to ‘reject’ you again, honey. I clearly was scared of getting messy myself.

  6. Lynn says:

    So sweet. And always your humor shines through!!! I’m so proud of you and Marvin is too:)

  7. nancy samuels says:

    this was so you, Adele. it was funny, sweet, touching and vulnerable. you said a couple of things that made me laugh out loud and a couple of things that brought tears to my eyes. you are so sensitive, beautiful, sweet and introspective. am i gushing here? thanks for writing this. it will help us out here as well as you in there!

  8. Michelina Gauthier says:

    I am so sorry to hear of Marvin’s passing. There are no perfect words that make everything better. He was such a handsome and lucky to have you as his mom/friend. I understand fully the bond, especially when our furry ones come to us as kittens. Love, love, love. You were lucky to have found each other. My heart goes out to you. xoxo

  9. TC says:

    I love your interpretations on Life. You have a lovely brain. I especially believe that “we are not in the driver’s seat” and we are sometimes overruled by our “magnificent imperfections.” Keep writing, keep loving in your special way, and keep accepting how much you are loved. TC

  10. Hey Adele: I’m sorry about Marvin but I’happy you look so great and otherwise seem very happy. Congratulations as well on your career success. It’s been a long time since we’ve spoken as I had to leave LA due to my Crohn’s Disease disabling me and I’ve been “stuck in the swamps of Jersey” ever since. But you were one of the nicest and most genuine person I met in LA and I could not be happier for all of your success. Keep it up and I look forward to reading about your exploits. Michael A. Weiss., Esq./MBA (Robert Peters’ atty).

    • Adele Uddo says:

      So great to hear from you Michael! And thanks so much for the kind words. I hope you’re coping well. I know that’s a really tough disease and my heart goes out to you. Hang in there in the swamps of Jersey 😉 Really wonderful to hear from you -thanks again.

  11. Randi says:

    My thoughts are with you, my friend; hoping you tread through this difficult time..indeed, this is your hardest part yet..

  12. Frank says:

    Great article. You have a gift for words but more importantly processing thoughts and emotions into lessons that ultimately lead to a better life/you.

  13. Oh Deli. I’m so so sorry about Marvin. But what a beautiful opportunity you took. I admire you soooo much on so many levels. You are peerrrfffuuucckked in your imperfection and that’s just truth. Your writing is beautiful, your lessons are beautiful, you are beautiful and I love you. Thank you for sharing and for all of the deep reminders!

  14. Clarita Riccobono says:

    Thank you Deli for growing and growing and always lookking for the deep-ly human piece in all of life. I love and admire your wisdom and beauty–inside and out!!

  15. carol gemelli says:

    Thank you for sharing this lovely story. I am so sorry about Marvin.

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