Perfection (or not)

the condition, state, or quality of being free or as free as possible from all flaws or defects

“Puts a weight on ya. Goin’ out lookin’ for somepin you know you ain’t gonna find.”  – John Steinbeck

I have a compulsion to eat. I have an obsession to hate myself. I have a fear of rejection. I have a need to please. I cannot sit still. I cannot breathe. I have rough days. I lie. I cheat. I loath myself. I harbor emotions. I stew in self righteous ego. I cycle downwards. I have an addition. I need control. I see my relationship to the world as black and white. I know far too little and assume way too much. I see bad. I feel sick and demented. I don’t try my best. I have often wished that I was never here.

But it does not make me a bad person.

Maybe the reason why I am the way that I am is because that is the way it is supposed to be. Maybe I have yet to learn the inspiration behind why my perceived reality is (in my own mind) horrific. Maybe I am not broken and maybe there is no fix. There is a elegance in riding the wave. Doesn’t that make more sense than finding a perfect solution? The concept of perfection, is it reality or a systemic lie that we all subconsciously believe?

I think by now most of us have heard that no one is perfect. Personally, I understand that the idea of perfection is an idealized construction that is more fantasy than truth. Regardless of that fact, becoming perfect is still a norm that we all subscribe to. Whether or not we actually believe in the idea, we all try and work towards being better, being right, being true. The more we work for it, the more we are disappointed when we don’t followthrough. It is a torturous cycle of discontent. I myself find a certain masochistic sense of pleasure in the struggle for illumination, or one would think I do because of how often I repeat my actions. I want to be perfect, but I can’t. Are we setting ourselves up to suffer rather than be content? Can content and wanting to progress, to learn and to be better all be one in the same? Is it wrong to want more?

If I knew any of the answers I ask, I probably wouldn’t be writing. This journey that I am on is never about what I know. Sometimes I don’t want to know. In response to these questions proposed, I don’t think that a perfect answer exists, just a a perfect person does not exist. I think the better question might be why I am seeking the approval of the world, especially in matter that have to do with my own self. That question, I might be able to explore. This is the inherent flow with the statement of ‘no one is perfect.’ The essence of such a phrase hurts my soul. The nature of it being that someone else is telling me that it is ok if I don’t meet your standards of what perfection looks like to you. If I was more of a cynic I would be claiming audacity.

I am not that cynical and I know that no one is trying to tell me that I can’t be what they deem flawless. My teenage self likes to retain his aversion to all authority, even if it is only a phrase telling me that no one can be perfect. I know. I know what the saying is teaching me, but I am looking for excuses that might pardon me from feeling vile. I have lost the hope that I can just be me and ride the fucking wave.

Here is what I might say to me if I was someone else: Don’t try for perfect, but do not give up. You may have flaws, but they are beautiful. You may want to try and change parts of you that you feel like may not represent who you want to be, so try. Where you might fail is by going to fast, by assuming more than you know. Every person has a story that cannot be told using only one sentence. Be deliberate with your actions and have the best intentions. Treat yourself with kindness and love. Be forgiving when it doesn’t go according to plan, be flexible enough to make a new one. I will not tell you that perfect does not exist. It is what you make it to be – change what you know to be perfect and you may not have to change that which you are. You are the only judge that matters.

Today I dream big with all the best of intentions so that I might allow myself freedom from the ‘shoulds’ and forgiveness from the past. I want to crawl into my bed tonight without hate of what I said, did, or did not. I want to fight for myself and truly listen to his voice. I want to understand that I my never fully understand, but also I would like to offer the grace I would to someone who isn’t me. I want to see color and beauty. I want to have hope. I want to create. I want to give myself life, in whatever way it might be. I want to love that.

– Japes

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