When I was a little kid, I knew exactly how my life was going to end. I knew what kind of house I was going to live in. I knew the kind of job I would have. I knew what kind of man I would marry. I had my own little perfect world planned out.
Boy, how things change.
They changed early for me, this is evident. Being told at 16 that you are pregnant, and especially being told this when you had planned on having ZERO kids… It sort of knocks plans off kilter.
Growing up I was embarrassed by the garage sale clothes I had to wear. I was mortified by the beater cars my mom drove. I was humiliated when my mom would show up to school functions straight from work. She worked on a chicken farm after all. I shouted more than once “My kids will NEVER wear garage sale clothes; and I will NEVER drive a car with any rust!!” Most of these outbursts were directed at my mother, and they happened after I was told I couldn’t have something I really wanted.
When I got my first job at the age of 14, washing dishes for a local restaurant on the weekends, I was able to start buying some of my own things. This quickly turned into having to support myself on $2 an hour. I would bring home an average of $50 per week, and at 14 had to buy my own clothes, school supplies, and hygiene items. It taught me at a young age to fend for myself, but you could say it jaded me slightly.
I’m still jaded, who am I kidding?
Perfection is a tricky thing. Perfection can translate into an infinite number of areas. Is anything ever perfect, though? The optimist in me wants to believe that there are endless ways to improve on anything. A skewed sense of perfection may drive people to destroy themselves financially, physically, emotionally. They can be mentally destroyed from the devastation of NOT living up to their own desire to be perfect.
People spend billions of dollars each year visiting plastic surgeons, therapists, interior decorators… this could go on for a while so I’ll digress. Do we NEED to be this perfect all the time? Do we really NEED to have the best, biggest, fastest, strongest, prettiest, thinnest, perkiest… anything?
Why not be happy with what we have? Why not be grateful for the things we have succeeded with in life? If you have a healthy, strong body, why jeopardize your strength and health by forcing foreign objects into it? Why chisel, vacuum, nip, tuck, anything? Why the pressure to feel like this is our only option? Everyone is beautiful (OK, maybe not YOU Renee Zelwegger). It’s not such a big deal if you can’t fit into a size 4, 6, 8, 10… It doesn’t matter.
No one cares if your TV is 2” smaller than your buddy’s TV. Save the money and go for a walk with your kids. Buy them ice cream and let them get the bigger one, even though it will drip all over the place. They will thank you for it.
When it comes right down to it, we’re all going to die. Is it really such a big deal to spend so much time on trifles such as how fast your blender is, or how many CC’s your implants have?
20 years ago, I was a snotty 11 year old brat with a tilted sense of reality. By laying out my perfect world, it was a means of escape from the horrible life I had at the time. I was being molested. My mom was gone a lot at night at the bars, bringing home random men. My big brother, who I adored, had moved out. By saying “My life will be perfect” it was a way for me to be in control of something.
Isn’t that all that perfection is; a way for us to be in control of how things turn out?
Perfection as a means of escape, what an interesting concept. For some people, their struggle to achieve the perfect world results in mountains of debt, health problems, marital troubles, lost friendships – Some really serious issues. After all, who cares what your credit looks like, just as long as you have a TV so big that people in passing airplanes can see who got voted off Survivor?
Honestly, it has to be exhausting being so perfect all the time. I don’t claim to be anything more than what I am. I’m broke. 95% of my things are in storage (They’re just things). I’m overweight. I don’t have my purple slider phone. I still haven’t been to the dentist to get my crown installed. My left front tooth has a small white spot on it from when I ran into the door. My fingernails are uneven. My ponytail is crooked today. I did an inventory process backwards, resulting in a small panic at two off-site labs. I’m not, nor will I ever be, perfect. As frustrating as that may be, I have to accept it. There is nothing I will ever be able to do to be perfect.