Phantoms and Ghosts

Picture by Robert Valenzuela (@3rd.knight)

What role do our memories play in how we hold on to people?


I romanticize my exes.

Even when years have passed, they cross my mind. I do this just enough so I can trick my self into thinking how I regret losing them.

 I’m surrounded by phantoms; ghosts of lovers past who I tap into every time I want to feel wounded about my crap choices in partners, lovers and men who are far from perfect in reality; yet I paint them in very different and much more favorable colors.

I’m the painter, it’s my canvas I’ll cry on it if I want to.

I’m content with how my life is right now, and after some time has passed, I’m fine with my choice to not seek any further romantic involvement, with all my failed romantic escapades. Yet… my skin feels the touch points he touched, I romanticize this imperfect and quite ridiculous person into some prince charming when he was far from it…

I clung for years to my memories of these imperfect men like little nuggets of a fairy tale gone horribly bad. 

Of course they were imperfect, not what I truly wanted or needed in my life then or now. My loneliness played tricks on me, and we all do this; I projected characteristics, reactions and romantic comedy bull shit scenarios to these toads, who adorned me with fancy words, and over the top flattery.

Rhinestone Cowboys I like to call them. You know the type of men who will pretty much say anything just to get recognition, a smile, vulnerability, and ultimately power over you. And you let them; despite all the cautionary tales, and your friends telling you he’s full of shit, and your own brain trying to avoid another collision course, because it’s inevitable you will fall for the ones who tell you what you want to hear.

When we sit down and take stock of our past failures in relationships with people who on the surface may have seemed “perfect for us”; ultimately what we lament is not the loss of these seemingly perfect people, but the loss of ourselves, in them.

We must not lose ourselves for the whims and wants of others. 

We must not lose who we are, we must not lose who we want to become, or hold back to please other peoples idea of us. As hard as that is, as challenging as it may seem, holding out for those who meet us half way or all the way for that matter are far more gratifying, appealing and beautiful.

There is no time for false narratives, bad stories and fake vulnerability. Holding on to ghosts as backward as it may seem to many, has at least helped me know what I definitely don’t want. And for many, recognizing even that; is a start to letting go of the ghosts and the phantoms of the past.



Nobody is Perfect

Γηράσκω δ’ αἰεὶ πολλὰ διδασκόμενος.

I grow old ever learning many things. — Solon of Athens.


For as long as I can remember I’ve fought against a perpetual ideal, the constant striving and constant self critical cycle of wanting to be the best at something ( or die trying??) and missing out on what my failures are teaching me in order to become better.

Well Yes “No one is perfect.”

We are taught at a very young age to strive for betterment, perfection, ideal, the “best” of something and at something. We fight for grades, we pull all nighters to get a degree, we deprive ourselves of comfort, sleep, and sanity to reach a higher goal and achievement. And when our flaws are pointed out to us or we fail at something we tried, so hard for, we repeat ourselves its ok… “Well… no one is perfect”. And often we give up.

Yet, perfection or the attaining of it in its original form is a flawed premise. It defeats the purpose of a teachable moment, its gives us an excuse to stay focused on an unattainable unreachable ideal rather than the beauty of constantly improving and learning from our own imperfection. We have to keep saying : it’s ok I suck at this and I’m not good enough right now, but I won’t give up”. We give in to this ideal in our minds,  yet perfection isn’t what we should be aiming for in the first place.

Of course no one is perfect. There is no such thing.

Perfection isn’t the point. It’s the mastery, improving, evolving and learning from our mistakes. Perfection is a fallacy, it’s a mirage. And those who battle with perfection, reaching it, attaining it or embodying it, are losing on the beauty and necessity of imperfection.

One of my favorite Ashtanga Yoga teachers is in my eyes absolutely perfect. He is my ideal practitioner and teacher. He is kind, loving, supportive, funny and a really cool dude, as well as probably the most accomplished Ashtanga Yoga teachers worldwide. I credit a lot of my teaching ethics to him ( I won’t say his name cause that’s not the point). Yet one day, during a workshop I was attending, this seemingly perfect teacher with all the answers, said that he still struggles with a pose I find absolutely excruciatingly difficult, even though it’s not considered that challenging.

And I felt a wave of irony and laughter filling my lungs.

What??? This guy is not perfect? He has flaws, he struggles with poses, but he’s like a god! And all of a sudden, the way I saw my own practice and of course my whole relationship with yoga changed. I no longer aspired to be the best most perfect practitioner of all time, (which wasn’t a realistic goal to begin with) but to be the most empathetic, supportive, driven, and disciplined I could be with all my physical flaws and imperfections.

Let’s be honest; when someone tells you “well you’re not perfect… but….”  run far away. Because perfection is stagnancy and a bad excuse for not trying harder, not evolving and improving on what you already have. Perfection as a measure of character is also unrealistic and this pervasive thought that if you’re not perfect you aren’t good enough; isn’t helpful for betterment.

Challenging our boundaries, finding ways to advance our craft, our selves, our way of thinking means fully accepting that we’re all works in progress, constantly improving and learning.

We will never reach perfection and that is just perfect.