If I can take the time to slow the eff down, I learn a lot from my children. Here was yesterday’s conversation with 10 year old Emma when I picked her up from school (don’t the best conversations happen in the car??):
Emma: Gertrude* wasn’t at school today. It was nice.
Me: Why was it nice? I thought you guys were friends.
Emma: We are friends. It was nice because she wasn’t there to…to…be so perfect.
I laughed out loud (LOL, but not LMFAO) because I could relate. I have been known to breathe a sigh of relief when the “perfect” person doesn’t show up too.
I know this girl, Gertrude. Emma perceives this kid as having it all: smarts, beauty, the “right” clothes. She is the girl all the boys like. She makes life seem effortless and easy. I can tell she unintentionally makes Emma feel inferior.
Me: (trying to be a supportive mom who says the “perfect” thing): Well, there are many pretty “perfect” things about you too.
Emma: But, I don’t want to be perfect. It’s boring. It’s not real.
BINGO!! She is my teacher disguised in a butterfly shirt, cropped pants and knock off Ugg boots. How the hell did she get to be so smart? How did she learn this at the age of 10? I’d like to say she learned it from me, but I doubt it.
As if the goal should ever be to be perfect. What an illusionary crock of shit. What looks like “perfect” to you or me is never what meets the eye. There is no “perfect” out there.
This is what gets so many of us in trouble: we compare ourselves with others. We under value ourselves. Just yesterday I had a personal situation in my life that for some reason shook me to the core. It played on every insecurity I had. In fact, it punched me in the gut and blatantly reminded me that seeking external approval and praise will never ever fulfill me. I have to get behind myself. It sounds simple and very, very corny but I need to love who I am – imperfections and all. I swear that only by grasping and living this concept will I ever be free to be my best self. Told you it was corny.
Here are my top 6 reasons that being perfect sucks (I could do 5 or 10 reasons but that would be too “perfect”):
- It makes you inaccessible to people. They cannot relate to you when you do and say everything right. People connect more with people who they see as having vulnerabilities.
- It is boring. If you are perfect, what are you striving for?
- It is isolating. See point point #1.
- You’ll never have any good stories to tell on your blog because you never crap yourself, have a wardrobe malfunction or fart during a final exam.
- People just don’t like you that much. It’s annoying.
- It is too hard to keep up. If you are that pretty, athletic, popular, smart, etc. you have an image to uphold. It takes a lot of work and is damn stressful. I don’t know this for sure because I’ve never been perfect, but it’s my guess.
The ironic thing is that in all of our imperfection, we are actually just perfect. Now I’m talking out of my ass. But you know what I mean.
Now go have an imperfect day in your imperfect body, driving your imperfect car, picking your imperfect nose. It’s fun!
*Name has been changed to protect the very innocent, perfect ones.