This I Believe

Hannah - Dallas, Texas
Entered on October 15, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I believe that real beauty lies in imperfection. This is true in so many ways. What makes a smile beautiful if not the random dimple on one side of the mouth, or the crinkle of the nose? What makes a lover appealing if it isn’t the slight nervousness they give off as they grab your hand for the first time? What makes a song beautiful if not the emotion given off in the voice of the singer? Contrasting, asymmetrical, mismatched, imperfect things are what makes your life different from anyone else’s, it makes what is your own your own. When I was little I was a fiend for all things perfect. I drew perfect people, I tried to write perfectly, color perfectly, speak perfectly and act perfectly. Everything put in front of me was ten seconds away from being lined up into rows, or centered perfectly in the middle of an imaginary square. When I was about eleven I heard the song “Castles Made of Sand” by The Jimi Hendrix Experience and I still remember thinking about how not perfect it was. His singing was unorthodox and emotional, and the music wasn’t just about happy things that were going just fine and “get around round round I get around” and all that. Because of that I could feel what the song was talking about; I could find myself watching castles made of sand slip into the sea. No power pop song from a musical could move me to full on experiencing another state of being. I then realized that what makes things worth IT, worth living, and beautiful, what connects us to each and every other person in the world are not our perfections but our imperfections. I became a fanatic for little oddities. I started collecting broken toys, mutant fortune cookies, and old grocery lists. Opening myself up to the beauties in imperfection brought so much more joy and respect regarding other things into my life because I wasn’t discriminatory towards flawed people, things, and situations, and I could love and appreciate that much more. Imperfection is what makes things truly beautiful. This I believe.