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?