Oh there it was again. A mistake. A mistake I had made. “Stupid idiot. You’re so dumb,” I curse at myself because it was something so simple that I had missed in my 15 times of checking it over. I had made a mistake and I was going to have to tell the people I worked with.
For any normal person this wouldn’t be a big deal. People make mistakes all the time and it’s usually OK. But for me, it’s almost like the world is ending. My anxiety increases which causes my palms to sweat and the admission that I wasn’t as perfect as the image I give off was a realization my brain couldn’t deal with. No one has ever told me I’ve done a bad job but I know that I was better than this.
I remember an ex telling me that I was a control freak. “Nothing is perfect so just let it go,” he said. Hilarious. He was telling a perfectionist to let go of control. That didn’t fly so well. And when he cheated on me three months later, it was because of impeccably high standards that I had set for him. I had ended up forgiving him because it was my fault for wanting everything to be picture-perfect.
That was the weird thing, other people can make mistakes and I’m completely fine with that. But if I screw up then it’s the end of the world. I often thought the reason I wasn’t happy was due to physical reasons I wanted to change about my body but actually it’s because I hold myself to these standards that no one in the world could ever meet.
It all came to a crash halt for me in July when being perfect had finally taken its toll. I couldn’t get out of bed and deal with the real world. I didn’t want to see my friends, I didn’t want to talk to my family and worst of all, I didn’t want to write. Everything had loss meaning and if I couldn’t be a perfect friend, sibling, daughter or coworker, then I had lost everything about my identity.
The need of being perfect may sound trivial to most. “So you like to do a good job on things. I don’t see a problem?” There is no problem if all I wanted was to do my best and then I’d be happy. The problem is that my best is never good enough. It literally is never good enough.
I wanted to lose weight and after losing 40lbs you would think that I would be happy with where I am but I’m not. I’m constantly taunted by my brain that if I want to be perfect I’ll lose another 20lbs. But the thing is that even if I lose another 20lbs I’ll probably have another ridiculously high standard to meet. This in turn will lead to feeling inadequate once again.
The point of our lives is not to be perfect. It’s to be the amazing person that we are and to accept that every single one of us is human. Giving up the search to be the best at everything will lead you to a life that’s filled with experiences you would have missed in order to fit into a box you’ve created for yourself.
I can tell you one thing for sure I’m working so hard right now to be imperfect. Because imperfection is beautiful.