Perfectionism is a plague that robs the individual. Perfection is the destination unreachable. The line that gets further and further away with each seemingly forward momentum. I was never perfect, this much I know. From day one the sea of faults came tumbling down around me like a rapid avalanche of “not good enoughs.” But you should be perfect. You should lose the weight, you should ace the test, you should bat your eyelashes and tuck in your stomach because to be perfect is to be loved and who doesn’t want to be loved? In first grade it was the childhood model who was hoisted up by her ladies in waiting, pronounced the queen and coveted by all. She was perfect. She had it all. And from far away in the judgments of the digital world, it seems she still does. By her carefully manufactured definition, who am I? My lack of achievements proceed me before I enter the room and you know, they all know, that I am not perfect. It weighs on me and swells my physical shell. The shell I use to cushion the blows of judgments thrust upon me. Punch after punch. I swallow my pride and my ego and the processed and artificially manufactured bag of happiness. Ingesting emotional Novocaine to prepare for the sting of humanity and the sea of faults I leave streaming behind my every stride. Trudging and pushing and swimming and striving for more and more and more. Be better. Be prettier. Be thinner and accepted and liked and normal and STOP.
STOP the madness. It is all an illusion. An ill-fitting definition of a world manufactured to stifle potential and keep us all small. And yet we add it willingly to our shopping cart, enter our credit card number and billing address and pay for overnight shipping so that we won’t waste one more moment living our exposed lives without the key that will lead us to our yellow brick road to perfection. And for what? For approval. Who’s approval is it we seek? Because the universe inside my body could hardly ascertain the cosmos of any other living breathing manifestation of this ultimate unknown we call life. And if I can never know my true reason for living then what is perfection really about and who provides the definition? The magazines or the media or the insecure teenager starving herself for your approval? How could anyone stake such a golden claim as to know what perfection is and how it should be defined? I certainly could not say with certainty that I know the bar I should try to pluck and tweeze and suffocate myself to reach. And yet I pluck and I tweeze and I weigh myself multiple times a day because the number or the smooth hairless skin makes me feel more accepted, makes me tolerate the reflection staring back at me. Until, I take the time to look deep inside my own eyes and ask myself, to what end? If I define my self-worth by the lengths I have traveled towards the ever distancing horizon, will I ever truly live? Can I remove the judgements and criticizing filter long enough to make an impact? Can I forgive myself for the mistakes I have made for long enough to live a life worthy of the gifts that have been bestowed upon me? I know absolutely nothing with 100% certainty but I feel inside my bones that if I can not accept myself, love myself, and be honest with myself and those around me about who I REALLY am, I will leave no legacy and my inner critic will die along with my body having put a closed lid on the truest potential of a life well lived. And for what? For the myth of outside approval? My heartbeats in my ears and my glands fill with sweat. What am I to do with my time if I remove the necessity for hours of self-hatred and judgements of myself and the world around me? Perhaps, I will achieve greatness. Perhaps, I can add my voice to the choir of souls pulsating around the ether desperately trying to report, YOU ARE ENOUGH. Everything you seek, you already have within you. You don’t need to augment your life for anyones approval. We are all just heartbeats desperately trying to find our place in the world. Beating and beating and beating. Searching for the answers and the signs. Tell me what to do. Tell me who to be. Perhaps, we already have the answers. Perhaps, if we search hard enough, or dig deep enough, we will find that the answers have been living inside of us all along. I love you because you are me. A lost soul on a mission. United we stand. Better because of our differences. Reflections of one another. The good and the bad, the pretty and the ugly. All of it together is what keeps our planet spinning. Maybe perfect, is not so perfect. Maybe striving for someone else’s greatness only leaves you forever inferior and alone. If we are all we have, then perhaps we have some digging to do. If I can excavate my inner world, perhaps I can impact the physical world around me. And maybe that is why I am here. Wouldn’t that be living your best life? Wouldn’t that be leaving your unique fingerprint embossed on the world for eternity? Wouldn’t that be perfect?