Killing Marsha Brady: A few final remarks from my inner perfectionist.


It was not until 3:39a.m. that I realized that I could not and would not write this blog post.

I went to sleep early last night, feeling the weight on my shoulders to produce something worthy enough to be read. In translation: I went to sleep beating myself up over the fact that I have not been inspired to write in nearly a week. Instead of “Good night, Hannah” and “Sweet dreams, dreamer,” it was more like falling asleep to visions of never being good enough dancing in my head.

I woke up startled and unable to sleep after having a dream about hammers and nails. Renovating a house. Making it look so perfect but then watching it crumble to the ground because of an unsteady foundation. I took the dream as a sign of something, especially since it refused to let me slumber softly for a long while after. And so I sat in my bed at 3:39a.m., eating a soy ice cream sandwich, realizing that I had to let the perfectionist inside of me write part of this post.

Readers, I now introduce to her. But I want to warn you, she is quite perfect (and she knows it).

Make no mistake of it, I am perfect.

I am the life of the party. I get perfect grades. I study hard. I wake up looking perfect. I go to sleep looking even better. I am there for each and every one of my friends, whenever and wherever they need me to be. I drop everything for them. I never think about myself.

I wear perfect clothes. I always match. I never miss a beat when it comes to new fashion trends and the hottest fads. My hair always looks good. My teeth are perfectly aligned. My body is perfectly toned. At the gym I sweat perfect sweat. I smell perfect. Sound perfect. Sing Perfect. Talk Perfectly. And did I mention how smart I am? Because I am SO smart. Perfectly smart, in fact.

People often see me and they comment on my perfection, which, in this case, I simply smile and stay poised. I don’t slouch. I don’t belch. All guys want to date me. All girls want to be me.

I am always smiling. I am never down. I never cry. Never Ever. I have everything figured out. A 5-year plan. A 10-year plan. I don’t hurt feelings. I don’t play games with people’s hearts. I am the best listener in the world and I give phenomenal advice.

I am perfect.

I used to have a basin of sympathy stored inside of me for Jan Brady. She always shrank ten sizes too small because of Marsha.  She let negativity and green envy overtake her instead of ever taking the time to accept herself. I have a Marsha Brady living inside of me, one who managed to grasp onto the word “perfection” at a fairly young age and then resolved to never let it go. She often wonders what people think of when they look at her and talk to her.

She worries more about THEM than she does about HERSELF.

Yes, she is smart and she is ambitious but she tends to get carried away, to the point where someone should really shut her up and remind her that no one is perfect. No One Is Perfect. Perfect is an illusion, a fantasy, a fairy tale that only graces pages but never people.

The problem with perfectionism, when we give into it, is that it causes us to believe that we were never good enough to begin with. It is like starting far behind the starting point and needing to take drastic measures to catch up. More work. Less sleep. More coffee. Less enjoyment. More exercise. Less Calories. It all is contained in this mask we put on. The Mask We Wear In The Outside World. And that mask does not tolerate mess-ups or mistakes, burdens or hardships.

What would it take for us to spend a single day being completely happy with the way we are right now? What would it take to forget about renovations to our Bodies & Minds & Souls and pay ourselves a few compliments today?

It is pretty morbid on my part to type into Google: How many people die each day? But when I see the search results, the numbers that estimate nearly 150,000, I realize I need to rip the hammer away from the clutched hands of the perfectionist inside of me. If there is anything wrong with my life today, with the way I look or the state that I am in, perhaps a good chunk of those 150,000 people who lost their lives today would love to trade spots with me. And they might do a better job of not criticizing themselves for silly little flaws or things that are beyond our control.

Today I propose we buy one-way train tickets for the Marsha Brady’s in our souls.

I would be so quick to just abandon her in a lost & found box but then I fear that some other little girl might find her, ask her to be her best friend and realize (shortly after) the dangers of letting perfectionism take hold. I see a lot of young girls and women who have made a pact with perfectionism and it worries me. I don’t want another young girl to find my inner perfectionist sitting in a lost & found box.

And so I will head over to Target to see if I can pick up some attributes to better equip me in dealing with this perfectionist who refuses to take shelter elsewhere: Tolerance. Acceptance. Understanding. Wonder. Awe. Inspiration. Kindness to myself.

Yes, yes, if she won’t take the train ticket and go then I will kill my inner Marsha Brady with every inch of kindness that I have.

Any final remarks from your Inner Perfectionist before they get the boot?

25 thoughts on “Killing Marsha Brady: A few final remarks from my inner perfectionist.

  1. I think that’s what I love so much about the writing life… it forces me to confront my inner perfectionist… the one who holds me back. She’s a great big stall tactic. Giving myself permission to write badly is a gift to myself… a lot of time I go back and read what I’ve written and realize, it’s actually pretty good! I think the inner perfectionist is also the one who makes me feel guilty when I don’t feel inspired to write for a period of time. It’s okay to take a break. We aren’t required to be a constant spout of inspiring thoughts. We need to fill the well!

    1. Yup, that is totally her.. Definitely the one who confronts me lately.. When you are not inspired to write do you still write regardless?? That is something I need to get better at.. And my mother always gives me the same advice, the reminder to take a step back and fill up the well.

      I am filling back up today with a manicure and coffee ha ha.

      Best,

      Hannah Katy

  2. First of all, great post. I had actually been thinking a lot about something very similar to this this morning. Perfectionism is something that when it comes to things like work or school we pride ourselves on it. But when that perfectionism seeps in to apply to every aspect of your life, it starts to muddle things up. There are just somethings that can never be made perfect and just should be taken exactly how they are and appreciated for what they are at that very moment. I am guilty of course of trying to perfect everything I do and the hardest part is realizing that no one can actually accomplish perfection. But such is life.

    1. You are so right Car.. I think we deem perfection in our work to be acceptable.. which is kind of scary in itself. Its hard when we are looking perfection in all area of life from looks to relationships. It is a never winning battle…except I think you are pretty perfect just the way you are love ;). Always adore when you comment.

      Best,

      Hannah Katy

  3. Hi Hannah,

    Cute post. Glad you wrote it. So true about Marsha Brady and the perfectionist syndrome. I somehow eradicated most of that horrid syndrome from my life. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have found the courage to live while I’m alive.

    Trying to achieve perfectionism is like hoping Godot will show up. You waste your precious “trial run” life in the process.

    If anyone tries to box you into a perfect “10” corner with false promises it will make you happy, run as fast as you can away from that person or that system, you’ll free yourself in the process!

    Enjoy being imperfect! It rocks …

    Giulietta, Imperfect Inspirational Muse

    1. Ah help me to do this? I need mentor in this area for sure.

      Today I am trying on imperfection for size, a lot more manageable pair of shoes to fill.

      Best,

      Hannah Katy

      1. Ah, I also meant to ask you… Are you a fan of SARK? Your writing sometimes causes me to draw parallels to her. She is my absolute favorite.

  4. Hannah, I love you for everything you put out into the world. I am still working on the perfectionist syndrome and your words have played a huge part in my journey. It’s so hard to change a lifetime’s worth of “not good enough” thoughts, but I’m trying with all my might to believe that the power of choice is just as influential. Choosing to be grateful, to live, and to focus more on cheering ourselves on for being good people who really want to make a difference in the world, instead of beating ourselves up. I once read a book called “Breaking Free” and it was a Christian book which described the devil as weasling his way in around our thoughts, telling us we’re not good enough, and if we believe those things, then we’re allowing him to win. I know it may sound a little drastic but I think when I read that, that was the moment I really decided I wanted to “break free”. Thank you so much for always being so inspiring, and reminding us to be aware, and be thankful. ❤

    1. One) Thank you so very much, always happy to add this stuff to the world and the internet. Two) I am so so so happy for you love, you deserved to win that competition more than anyone! Three) I believe you have mentioned that book before, I am going to have to check it out.

      Best,

      Hannah Katy

  5. As screwed-up as I can be, perfectionism is never a quality I’ve struggled with. I’m actually pretty OK with just being average at what I do. My blog posts don’t have to be perfect and bursting with insights. My hair is messy more times than it’s properly done. I’m OK with making mistakes, even if they hurt.

    Let’s kick Perfectionist Hannah to the curb. I like Real Hannah a lot better. 🙂

    1. Imagine if perfectionist Hannah wrote all the posts.. yikes.

      That is pretty sweet that you don’t have to worry about perfectionism so much. Want to rub off on me?

      Best,

      Hannah Katy

  6. wow. This post is so eloquently written and perfectly stated. I loved the part about the 150,000 souls who have passed on. We certainly take what we have for granted, don’t we? Every single human being needs to embrace the beauty that is THEM and stop aspiring to be this made up thing called perfection.

    I am absolutely in love with your blog and your words. You are such a good soul and I am thankful to have come across you!

    Thank you for stopping by my blog, we certainly do have a lot in common and its those like us who will change this world one small step at a time!

    ☮ & ♥ Sami

    1. I am on board with you! I wish it were easier to give it up though, ya know? Where did the origins of perfectionism even come from??

      Have you ever read Anna Quindlen’s Perfect Me.. I believe that is the name of it, great little book of knowledge.

      And thank you for stopping in to read, hope you come by again soon.

      Best,

      Hannah Katy

  7. Great post! I think of myself as a recovering perfectionist (it’s like being an addict, you never really stop being a perfectionist, in my opinion). Perfectionism for me was crippling – I didn’t want to do something if I couldn’t do it right. I was afraid of being judged, like you described.

    What’s really helped me is adopting a “good enough” mantra. There are some things where I need to strive for perfection. Other things I should just do a decent job of. Other things that are just for me that I’m allowed to be bad at! For me, that’s incredibly freeing.

    Anyway, I’m glad you didn’t release your Marsha Brady back into the world. Your writing is beautiful, by the way. 🙂

    1. She is too dangerous to be in the world… quite destructive if you ask me ha ha. And thank you for the compliment on my writing, it means a great deal..

      I like your “good enough” mantra.. Trying that on for size.. I want to allow myself to be bad at things, genius!

      Best,

      Hannah Katy

  8. Your post made me think a lot. I have never been a perfectionist and I used to wish I was. I would see peers who were bothered by getting less than an A or gaining a pound or crying in public or having someone not like them or feel angry with them and I always thought they were missing the point of life, which (to me, obvs) is to learn and to never think of ourselves as “perfect.” Doesn’t perfect mean finished, or no room for improvement? Where is the fun or growth in that? Sitting down and looking at a flaw someone has pointed out or one I’ve realized myself, and then getting to work on it by looking at it from all angles and reaching a conclusion is just the most satisfying thing. There is raw beauty and strength in being a work in progress.

    Sorry for the long comment, as I said, your post really made me think. Thanks!

    1. You just made me think as well! I never really thought about it in that way, that perfection really does mean that there is no room for improvement.. Improvement is good, especially when you can look back and see how far you have come.

      Thank you for this comment.

      Best,

      Hannah Katy

  9. I gave up on my inner perfectionist years ago, when I realized that, well, she wasn’t perfect! Nor would she ever be.

    And the moment I accepted that was the moment I began to truly love every last little imperfection about me.

    🙂

  10. Oh, I can so relate to this perfectionist syndrome. I think it comes with being the oldest of three kids and feelings like everything I do had to be perfect as an example to my younger sisters. I definitely try to squash her every chance I get, but she pops up on occasion…

    I just found you on 20sb, congrats on being the featured blogger! Love love your blog.

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