What’s perfection? Who is perfect? What does it mean to be perfect? And, why does perfection leave me inherently disappointed? These questions I’ll be attempting to address throughout this blog post as this time of the semester and the year, with everyone comparing themselves to each other. The most “wonderful time of the year,” is also the time of year with grades coming out and the holiday season where your “favorite” uncle asking why you haven’t accomplished the X, Y, Z thing that your cousin has.
Living in a world where we’re constantly bombarded with images of the perfect life on social media and the constant price of comparison has left me with a taste of dissatisfaction in my mouth. When I’m bored, or let’s be honest, when I’m avoiding awkward elevator conversation, I scroll through Instagram and Facebook. There I find myself comparing my life to people that I barely know anymore and wondering ‘Why can’t I have what they do?’ “Why aren’t I good enough to be like them?” Then, I’m back into my typical spiral: Thinking about the regrets I have in life, how I could have been like ______ or had ____ if only _____, and eventually I tire myself out or snuggle up to the bag of Oreo’s I keep for my monthly (okay, weekly) breakdown.
What if I told you that I’ve found a way to slow down the spiral? All I do is say to myself, “Perfectionism is the highest form of self-abuse,” and I pause.
Let that sink in.
I then remember that I’m abusing myself by constantly comparing myself to others for being what I perceive to be perfect. Our society has found a way to make insecurity a currency. Don’t like yourself? You can change anything you want about yourself, for a price, and for some it’s the price of likes or followers. Don’t like others? Don’t worry, you can hate everyone else and still have a huge ego, just like our president. It’s funny because the times I feel myself most honestly connected to others is when I’m being my imperfect self. Yet, I go to social media to try to feel connected, why?
The real question I’m afraid to ask: Can I be happy if I’m not perfect or have a perfect life? To be honest, I’m not sure the answer which terrifies me. Will I always be grasping for something more and something that is so unrealistic, something that’s perfect? And how will I know if I actually obtain it? However, it seems like the most vulnerable thing that we can do is to live imperfectly. The more we are willing to be vulnerable, the more we build connections with others, and isn’t that where truly happiness lies? So, I guess this is my challenge to all of my fellow perfectionists out there:
Live imperfectly as best as you can so that you can start letting your true self be seen and you can finally feel like you truly belong. Because SHOCKER you do. You belong. Find your folx. Be honest with them and yourself about who you are, then you’ll have your happy imperfect life.