Remember cyclist Lance Armstrong? He was a BFD or at least according to Outside magazine he was. Armstrong, then thirty-eight in 2010, didn’t agree when the magazine called him a ‘big f*****g deal.’ I guess that’s nice, right? To be humble and what not. It’s unclear what the real controversy over his magazine cover shot was. Why did Outside want to point out what a BFD the seven-time Tour de France champion was? Was Armstrong irked because he didn’t think he was a BFD because he didn’t win honestly? A bigger deal than his record-breaking championships was when he had the titles revoked after he was found guilty of using performance enhancement drugs. Truthfully, it seems pointless for both parties to have made a BFD out of photoshopping ‘38. BFD.’ On Armstrong’s plain t-shirt. There was a disclaimer in the corner stating it wasn’t really what was on his shirt, so what exactly was the BFD? Life goes on. The slang term is now outdated and the updated version yours truly proposes is BFN. An acronym meaning; best for now. It came to me recently when pondering the work of the greats that have gone before me. Literary geniuses and musical masters. How did they know when they had something exceptional at their fingertips? Many creative craftsmen are known to be perfectionists. When searching for the elusive mirage that is perfection, how do they know when to say when? I can’t say that I know when to say when in the art of writing. I can tweak each adjective and phrase until I pass out from exhaustion. It’s a compulsion. What I write can always be better. The improvement is infinite. What I write today will be better if I rewrite it tomorrow. What’s a woman to do then? It’s nonsensical to write the same words for years. Writers do that, they work on the same project for a decade because to be a better writer means to write again. How then, can insanity be avoided? By making a conscious effort to refuse to obsess. Bleed out the ink and let it settle, don’t cut another vain. Do the best for now. BFN. The solution to the perplexing concept of perfection. There is no version of perfect, not on this earth.
A) perfection does not exist on this planet. 2) perfection is subjective. Even if I thought I’d written something as flawless as the words of Fitzgerald, it’s no more than my perception of perfection. How crazy-making is that? That’s where BFN comes in, it’s a philosophy that acts like a crazy-making seal around my compulsively critical creative process. It’s not about perfect. It’s not about the best. It’s about the best for now. Television writer Shonda Rhimes didn’t want to pitch Grey’s Anatomy the way she did but it got the show on the air. Michael Jackson shocked everyone when he unveiled the moonwalk and while the world sat with their collective mind-blown, Michael was wishing he had performed better. That’s the curse of perfectionism, doing wondrous, game-changing works and still thinking it should have been better. I aim to write big, then bigger and bigger but so help me God if I ever believe it to be perfect. If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word. Even now as I write about the unreachable standard and striving for greatness, I’m editing the text on the coffee mug in front of me. Perfection is relative.
It’s not about perfect. It’s not about the best. It’s about the best for now.-Genevieve Rose
BFN is how to avoid breaking down and burning out. It’s the momentum to continue. It paves the path for improvement. Hypothetically, if perfection could be achieved here on earth, what would happen after we hit it? Nothing because there is nothing better than perfect. In turn, not being able to be perfect is a blessing, our flaws leave room for improvement. In raising the continuously elevating bar of the ‘best work ever written’, satisfaction can be reached more than once and a sense of accomplishment is how we keep our heads up. Thriller is still the best selling album of all time worldwide but Michael Jackson didn’t stop there, that was only his second album. He continued to break records, records he maintains to this day. He recorded four more studio albums after Thriller. The first draft if you will of Thriller was thrown out because Michael didn’t think it was good enough. It wasn’t up to his standards. It’s a wonder what would’ve happened had he not re-recorded everything. Jackson’s second solo album is the most successful album in music history but I personally don’t think it’s his best work. Perfection is relative. I’m pleased to know I will never reach it. I would much rather give my God-given gift back to the One who gave it to me by staying in step with the Spirit and slowly but certainly becoming a more powerful Word Wizard than I was yesterday.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.-2 Corinthians 12:9
May I achieve the best for now and then have the grace to be able to top that. May there always be a challenge for me to conquer. May the best in me continuously improve. May I never be perfect.