// here's a copy of the speech i gave yesterday. OT Asylum Crew helped me out with a couple of the things mentioned here so i figured i'd share it with you guys. A couple years ago I was having dinner with two buddies of mine. Originally we started out talking about girls and sex, you know, manly stuff. But then somehow we eventually got to talking about love & relationships; and it was one of the most deepest conversations I've ever had. I remember my friend Chris telling me about his ex-girlfriend. He said, "I hate her so much. She put me through so much pain." I asked him, "If you could go back in time, would you do it all over again?" He looked me dead in the eye and said, "Yeah. Even though it hurts now, I did love her at one point. And we really did have some great times." We kept talking about it. I started asking him questions like "What do you look for in the perfect girlfriend? And the perfect relationship?" He said to me, "Mel, you need to stop looking for perfection; you're not gonna find it. No one's perfect. Nothing's perfect. Everything has flaws. But its these flaws that you have to deal with to make it work." I thought about this idea of imperfection for several weeks. I finally realized that this theme of imperfection applies to so much – it applies to people in the form of flaws, to relationships in the form of heartbreaks, and to life in general, in the form of failure. We all have our fair share of flaws, heartbreaks and failures; things we’d rather not have or rather have not experienced. But I’m here today to tell you that these imperfections are okay. * * * * * First, I’d like to explore the idea of imperfection in people. When you apply imperfections to people, it comes out in the form of flaws. Let me ask you this: what if everyone in the world was perfect? And if everyone was perfect, what would seperate one guy from the next? What would make people unique? What would make your boyfriend or girlfriend more special to you than everyone else in your life? Lets look at TV as an example. What would the tv show Friends be like without Chandler, who’s insecurities cause him to make witty comebacks all the time? What would the movie American Pie be like without the bluntness and cockiness of Steve Stiffler? You see, our flaws give us personality. It gives us diversity. Our flaws are what make us human. If we were all perfect, we'd all be the exact same. * * * * * The second aspect of imperfection is the idea of failure. When I think of failure, I think of what happened to me just over a year ago. Just about a year ago, I received a letter from Cal Poly. That letter cited my 2 consecutive quarters of straight Fs. I knew it was coming but I couldn't believe it -- I was academically disqualified. I was kicked out of Cal Poly. After reading the same letter over and over and over again, in hopes that I was just reading it wrong...my denial finally gave into reality. I had to admit it -- I was a failure. For the next few days I'd come home and just look around at all the things I have…and I'd just feel guilty. I'd think to myself "a failure like me doesn't deserve any of this." It was just painful trying to think how I was gonna break the news to my dad. I eventually decided that I would not tell me dad about it. This was my mess; this was my hole that I dug myself into and it was my job to get myself out. And that's exactly what I did. I talked to my adivsors. I took classes @ Mt. SAC. I paid $200 a unit for classes here @ Cal Poly through the Open University program. One year later, it all paid off -- I got back into Cal Poly. I get straight A's and B's now, I haven’t ditched class in a year, and I am finally reaching the potential that my dad had been preaching about for so long. I remember feeling so depressed when I first got that letter. But now, I almost feel proud of it, because I look back on it as the turning point in my college career. I have no regrets whatsoever. * * * * * And now I’d like to talk to you about imperfection and relationships. Imperfection in relationships comes in the form of arguments and heartbreak. This topic in particular reminds me of...well...me and my dad. My dad and I would get into pretty big fights once in a while. A little over a year ago, on my 22nd birthday, I had the biggest fight with him ever. I don’t want to get into what that fight was about. Instead, here's a small portion of what I wrote in my journal after that fight: I'll never forget how much hate I felt that day. Fast forward about 18 months later. I was lying in bed when exactly at 12:55am, I got a phone call from my cousin, Rose Mary. She was in tears and at a complete loss of words. When she finally managed to catch her breath, she said to me, "He's gone. My daddy's gone..." I woke up my parents and we headed over to her place. Her dad, my beloved Uncle Rolly, had passed away to lung cancer. Even though we all knew that day was inevitable, it was still painful, nonetheless. I will NEVER forget the tears on my cousin's face as the coroners came and slowly strolled away her dad's body. That night opened my eyes forever. I could see the love and the loss on my cousin’s face. I promised myself that I will never take my dad for granted again. * * * * * Its sad to think that it took the loss of a loved one for me to realize this. Bad things happen to good people; and we can’t change that. Imperfections are just a part of life. All that we can do is accept it and learn from it. So this is what I ask of you: to embrace all of the bad as well as the good. Its okay to have imperfections in your life. Know that its your flaws that give you personality and make you who you are today. Know that failure is just another opportunity to succeed. And lastly, know that heartbreaks are just a dramatic way of keeping things in perpective and opening your eyes to things like who you really love and who you can really count on. Don’t let imperfections hold you back. Dance like no one’s watching. Love like you’ll never get hurt. Thank you.