As a writing exercise, I was once asked to write a boring character, in a boring story. And I did. I wrote about the most perfect man, who was with the most perfect woman, leading the most perfect life.
Well, to be honest, I wrote only part of the story because it was too dull to go on. I could see where it was going.
Perfection is boring.
Not in an “oh, yeah, but wouldn’t you love to be perfect?” kind of way. I don’t. I don’t want to be perfect. I want to be awesome. I want to be thoughtful and warm. I want to break and mend back stronger than I was before. I don’t want to be married to someone who is perfect. I don’t want my child to be perfect either. How does someone who is perfect learn how to deal with the scrapes and bruises of living? How is a perfect person capable of sitting next to a friend who is feeling inadequate if they’ve never felt that way themselves.
“Perfect” does not look good on me, and that’s okay.
Think about it. Picture someone who you think has the perfect body. Someone who says the perfect thing at any point in time. The person who has the perfect joke for every situation. The perfect hostess. The person who says the right thing to you. The person with the perfect family, perfect love story.
Would that be the person that you would go to when you were sad? When you were having a bad day? When you were frustrated and anxious? Would you really want that person as a friend? Could that person identify with you or, more importantly, could you identify with them?
Think about the perfect trip. The perfect date. The perfect dinner.
Wouldn’t you rather stay out too late than be home on time? Wouldn’t you rather that the perfect restaurant was overbooked and you ended up sitting at the dive bar next door?
Wouldn’t you rather be with people who aren’t perfect? Who mess up, but laugh at themselves? Who make mistakes, and learn from them? Perfection isn’t funny. It’s not unique. It’s not warm.
It’s cold and calculating and pressurized.
I come back to this when I find myself picturing perfection in anything. When I find myself pushing and striving toward the perfect dinner, the perfect date with my husband, the perfect life. The best trips, the best moments I’ve shared, the biggest laughs and misadventures, were when something wasn’t perfect. When something went totally, fully, completely wrong. That’s where the love, warmth, and humanity came in.
We say it all the time, “I’m not perfect. I’m only human.”
But let’s not say it like it’s a disappointment.
Let’s strive to be human! To be unique, to be interesting, to find strength in our quirks. Let’s avoid perfection at all costs.
Wishing you a few moments of clarity amidst the chaos,
Do you need a reminder to stop striving toward perfection? To revel in your humanity? Did this resonate with you? Let me know! Share this with your friends!