Perfection and I have been besties since as far back as I can remember. I always had a strong inclination toward being perfect. I wanted to be the perfect daughter, the perfect student, the perfect employee, the perfect wife. Truth be told I only saw value in myself if everyone else thought I was perfect. For a long time I thought that was what drove me to succeed. I thought I am successful in my life, career, and marriage because I don’t settle for less. Also I wasn’t happy, not really happy. I mean that kind of peaceful contentment and acceptance. Not a manic annoying bouncing off the ceiling happy! That is crazy town. I was willing to give up being happy, comfortable with who I am in pursuit of perfection. Which if I am being honest, I never achieved, even when all outside signals may have indicated otherwise to people.
Over a year ago I started to meditate and do this blog. I started to really let myself get uncomfortable, by questioning where I was and what I always believed. I don’t really know why. I can’t tell you this was the particular moment I decided to meditate and look at my life. I guess like so many other things, I was just ready then. I don’t think the me of even 2 years ago was ready. When I started to meditate, I could really hear myself for the first time in the silence. I could hear what I say to myself. Learning to take a breath in the heat of conflict I learned to hear what I said to others. Truth was, I was not perfect. I was not open to criticism, because it is hard to be criticized and perfect at the same time. You should try it. I could be so judgmental and sometimes mean. I still struggle with the impulse to defend myself, to interrupt out of my discomfort. It is an ongoing and imperfect struggle. Out of which I might become a slightly better version of myself.
Perfection kept me from a lot of things. It is hard to be vulnerable and fully present when part of your mind is always questioning if that is the perfect answer, or did I ask the perfect question? What are those things any way? Is what I declare to be perfect or what someone else points out as my “perfection” actually perfect or just someone’s iteration of perfection? This has been a difficult realization and even more difficult letting go of it. Frankly, without perfection I felt unsteady and unmoored for a while.
What happened in the uncertainty and fear was finding a more true version of me. I am impatient, sometimes, unfriendly, distracted, judgmental, self-involved, loyal, passionate, hard-working, compassionate, generous, and imperfect. I am now a little kinder, a little more forgiving, starting with myself. Once you realize you are not perfect it becomes easier to accept the imperfection in others. We all have things that influence who we are and what we think. I am definitely not the arbiter of what is right and perfect. I am just another imperfect person trying to be a little more me and live a little more in tune with what I believe and value, regardless of whether or not that appears perfect.