I scrolled through my Twitter this morning and all I saw were things that hurt my heart.

The first story was about a graduating Bowie State University senior, Richard Collins III, 23, who was fatally stabbed by a University of Maryland student in Maryland for no reason other than his race, according to police. Collins was a black man, and he was just visiting his friends before graduation. Read the story here.

I also saw a video on Twitter taken in a Wal-Mart, where a Hispanic woman was shopping for her medicine when a white woman pulled her cart up to block the medicine shelf, and began spewing racial slurs.

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This is the beginning of a new series on the blog called The Happy Playlist! More information below! 

“The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.”  ~ Anna Quindlen

As humans, we push ourselves to be the best version of ourselves, and in our heads mistakes are failures. I’m here to tell you right now that this train of thought is detrimental. When I start trying to make my life seem perfect, whether that be on social media or in person, I immediately become unhappy. I know I’m not perfect. No human that walks this planet is perfect. Not even Beyoncé (and she’s kind of close y’all).

You do not have to be perfect. I repeat. You do not have to be perfect – to live a full and happy life. Here’s why.

Mistakes are important.

When I tell you that I wish I could take back all the dumb stuff I’ve done thus far in life, too? I know some people think this is failure, and that mess-ups are a sign of weakness, and whatever. There is definitely zero truth to that.

All the stupid stuff I’ve done, I’ve come to realize that there were lessons that emerged from these reeeaallly dumb decisions. These lessons vary. After burning oatmeal, you could learn how to cook. After getting pregnant unexpectedly, you could learn that love is the answer to everything and that life is a beautiful gift. Lessons come from everything.

Every single thing you learn, there’s a lesson coming right behind it. If you try to hide your mistakes and cover up your faults, you’re only restricting yourself from a really good lesson. Try being more open to understanding your mistakes and what you’ve learned from them.

Striving for perfection leads to overwhelm.

This one gets personal. Every single day of my current life, I struggle with trying to be so on point, reliable and helpful to everyone. I try to be the perfect journalist, perfect blogger, perfect student, perfect club member, perfect person – all of that, every day. This lead to stress, less sleep, less eating, less self-care, even less time to even go to the freaking bathroom. In and out of meetings, to class, to work, to sleep. Ultimately, I caught myself crying some days for five minutes and then going back to doing all of the above.

This was not healthy. I did and still have to tell myself that I am not perfect. I cannot be everything at once. I cannot do everything at once. I can’t save the day for everyone else and not try to save myself. I really had to learn how to pace myself, and take everything one step at a time.

This can go for any situation. Trying to be the perfect mom, planning the perfect wedding, trying to apply to jobs and be someone after college graduation. None of this requires perfection. It requires hard work definitely, but you don’t need to lose yourself to be the best. Your kids don’t need a perfect mom, they just need a caring mom. Your wedding doesn’t have to be perfect per-say, it only requires you and your fiancée. Interviewers don’t need a perfect applicant, they need a person with ideas and room to grow.

You get the point right? Takes me to my next point..

Perfection & being yourself don’t go together.

What does this mean? You absolutely, positively cannot begin to find yourself unless you stop trying to be someone else. Or being something that you are not, which is perfect. We just can’t be the perfect person no matter how hard we wanna be. This isn’t meant to sound pessimistic, but how can you truly know who you are if you strive for perfection? You’ll be too busy with trying to keep everything looking together and perfect when it isn’t. Things can be good, things can be great! But perfection leaves no room for lessons, and leaves no room for learning to be yourself.

Perfection is something only Jesus Christ can say He exudes. If you aren’t religious, then bottom line: nobody is perfect. We have to strive to find ourselves and be that, instead of being oh, so perfect.

The Happy Playlist No.1

Hi everyone! I’m very excited to bring As Told By Sunny back to life. Much of this post hold enough reason of why I’ve been gone. I’ve created a series called The Happy Playlist, where every week I talk about a topic that I struggle with, or something you all struggle with, and share a song to make you feel better. I find that when I’m in a really dark space, music can sway my mood. Accompanying each post will be a song at the bottom that I think relates to the post. The plan is to create an actual Spotify Happy Playlist with all of these songs at the end of the year so we can listen back! I think this will be a really cathartic experience for me, and maybe for some of you out there!

This week’s song:

Have a very happy week, check back next week for more words of wisdom!