An ode to tolerances

ain’t gonna hold this girl back.

Yes it has been over a year. Almost two, in fact, since the man who figured he was my last chance at a future put me in this predicament.

In case you missed it: I had hired a contractor to solve a drainage issue.

To my surprise, he charged only a fraction of the price I expected. So when he offered to remodel my bathroom, laundry, hallway, and even help me with my kitchen and living room floors at an also awesomely low price, I agreed.

It wasn’t until after he had demolitioned that he decided to tell me about a hidden cost: he expected me to marry him. We had met literally a few days earlier. Of course I said no, and ended up terminating his employment with me.

“You’re never gonna find anyone else…” he warned. “You’re going to be all on your own.” He meant with the house project. I think.

But with the help of almost a dozen different friends, everything but the bathtub is functional now. And I’ve slowly been working at that.

The first tile I put up had to come down. It was really, really bad… so bad I dreaded trying again. Tile contractors l told me I would have to pay a lot extra for my mistakes. So I had to take it down and patch the wall on my own.

Now I’ve been working on round two for almost three weeks. I keep getting the cuts wrong, or accidentally breaking the tile. I ordered new tools to help make it easier. Then I broke three more tiles and messed up four more cuts before finally getting that part right.

Today I put those tough cuts up. The first shelf is done, too. With just one more batch of thinset I’ll be over half way done.

And yeah, most contractors and even most do-it-yourselfers would have had the whole thing done by now. It’s just that whole paralyzing fear of failure thing, you know?

So I just felt like crying when I noticed that in spite of levelers and spacers, I’ve made several mistakes with the grout lines. And I thought about tearing the whole thing down, again, and waiting for another month when I will have more time to work on it.

But I didn’t. Because you know what? The wall is holding up just fine. It’s totally solid in spite of being a few millimeters off here and there.

It doesn’t have perfect. Nothing in this world is. And I thought about how many successful and confident people out there have what they do because they learned to let go of perfect and just move on.

So today I choose to stop being held down by a desire for perfection. NOT TODAY, Satan. Not today. Life is all about those tolerances.

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