Perfection is something I have always attempted to reach but could never quite touch. Today, is the first day I actively reject the idea that someone can be perfect, I use the word ‘actively’ as I know it will remain in the back of my mind, no matter how hard I try to push it out. Obviously it’s only natural to want to better yourself and set goals to aspire to, but knowing your limits and accepting your mistakes does not make you a failure.
I think about all the things I missed out on because I couldn’t accept myself with my flaws and imperfections. I’d miss out on parties, events and meeting friends and family just because I didn’t like the way I looked, I made excuses that I’d do more when I’d lost a few more pounds, bought a new outfit or improved myself in some other way. I attempted to control all aspects of my life and I thought that once I had the perfect body, life, friends, car, etc. that I would feel fulfilled and then I could start my life being truly happy. But now when I look back all I see are the things I missed out on because I was too afraid to fail or that people would judge me.
I used to categorise myself as a perfectionist – nothing was enough and nothing was the best, including me. I recently reflected on a memory from school, when I was no older than 9 or 10 years old, we had been learning about perspectives and were set an assignment to draw a chair from our own perspective. I remember the feeling of frustration as I couldn’t quite draw an exact replica of what I saw. My teacher noticed that I kept erasing my ‘imperfect’ drawings and starting over, he came over and took away my eraser and said “art is meant to be real, not perfect”.
Only now that I reflect on my strive for perfection, I realise this was something I had always done. Metaphorically, my life was that drawing, I have been trying to control my mistakes and gave up when something was not quite ‘perfect’. I am slowly starting to accept my flaws and mistakes and live my life without an eraser, that’s not to say I can’t make improvements and develop myself, by adding a splash of paint and glitter to my metaphorical drawing. I hope if you are a so-called ‘perfectionist’ like me you can do the same, start living your life without trying to be perfect, and just be you.