Written June 5, 2018
It just isn’t me. Asking me to be perfect is like asking a cat to bark, or asking a dog to meow. 🙂 It is like asking a bird to shovel dirt, or forcing a dancer to sit all day.
I set out from a very early age to fulfill my dreams. I recognize that I never considered another option. It turns out that my dreams required lots and lots of flexibility. They required creativity. My goals and dreams lent themselves to thinking outside of boxes and divergent thinking over convergent thinking. They never required perfection, as perfection is not an effective tool when your dream is to break molds and hack all structure that needs hacking. I am about as opposite as one can get from a life of perfection, checking boxes, correct answers, and fitting in a mold.
But, life takes its turns, and I now find myself in a roll in which perfection is requested. I am failing in the quest for perfection. I do my best to double check my work before I turn it in. I know that I am intellectually capable of A+ work, but I beat myself up because A+ work eludes me. I have been pondering why I continue to make mistakes. It has to do with who I am at my very core, and it’s an important lesson to anyone struggling to fit their square peg-selves into their round tasks. I have pondered and sought the answer to the in-congruence in which I find myself now. I have observed my feelings and my behavior. I have come to the conclusion that I don’t want to check the perfect box or fill in the perfect data. I can feel my mind wander to more interesting thoughts as I am trying to compare numbers and columns and check-boxes. I’m super thankful for colleagues who are happy to double-check my work (you know who you are!). If my well-being depended on it, I could do it. And the scary part is that for some time, I think I put my own well-being in the hands of perfection. But it just didn’t fit. It just didn’t settle. It just isn’t me.
Yesterday I decided a few things. I reminded myself how good it is to be my most sincere me. I embraced my imperfection. I saw clearly that I don’t want to be perfect. I recognized that the A+s I’ve been shooting for are incredibly ironic, as I am the lady who thinks very little of a grade-based goal. I embraced my skills, gave them a pat on the back, and headed to my box-checking job a little bit inspired. Then low and behold, before 9:30 am, I made a mistake that would have sat in my belly just 18 hours prior. I made the mistake and moved right on by, committing to not making the same mistake again (I probably will). But yesterday, the mistake would have lived its corruptive minutes in me. Yesterday, the mistake would have slashed a piece of me and made me enjoy my position less. Today, after some effective self-therapy (a deep, good cry in the bathtub), a renewed belief in exactly who/what/how I am, and a commitment to new thinking, I literally moved right on past the few mistakes I made. I had a pretty damn good day, and nobody was hurt in the making of today’s film.