Perfectly Imperfect

Perhaps this will come as a surprise to some, but this is an announcement I need to make. Ready the trumpets, switch on the microphone and turn all ears (well, eyes would be more appropriate) this way:

I’m not perfect.

Sure, I know how to use a semicolon and avoid colloquialisms such as “literally” and using “lol” in verbal conversation, but I’m really not perfect. No, really. Sometimes people are amazed when I misuse ‘me’ and ‘I’ in a conversation. Some take delight in pointing out a spelling or grammatical error in my blog (or email or in my life in general!). Others are just jerks and point out my faults like one would write out a grocery list for a dinner party. I hope they choke on an hors d’oeuvre. As for the rest …

Well, I am sorry to disappoint you … but I’m just not perfect.

I still can’t remember how many ‘m’s and ‘t’s in “commitment” (there we go, two and one – I’ll try to remember that), and on the odd occasion I muddle the ocassion. I love commas so much that I get a bit enthusiastic with them, though fortunately my tendencies for perfectionism ensure thorough proofreading and I tend to catch most of them and put them back in the jar before they run off into the wilderness.

Yes, I am a perfectionist. But this doesn’t mean I’m perfect. In fact, it is probably because I’m not perfect that I pursue perfection with a determination normally reserved for a post-work sprint to the Shiraz via chocolate.

I pursue perfection – I want things to be as “perfect” as they can be. This often means I spend hours staring at a single comma (though I’m not the first – right, Oscar?) and even longer trying to choose a hotel, book a flight, find shoes, buy a dress … and don’t get me started on haircuts.

Part of my perfectionism is my stubbornness. I like things done a certain way, I like things done properly, and I don’t like having to do things a second time because they weren’t done right the first. I like efficiency, I like maximising the use of my time and resources … I like perfection.

Perfection, unfortunately, does not like me. Perfectionism prevents me from trying something new in case I make a mistake. It threatens to smother me from ever making a decision for fear it is the wrong one. It makes me stop in my tracks and feel like everything is a mistake, everything is wrong, because I am not perfect. My life is not perfect.

Perfection and I don’t really get along as well as we should. Pursuing perfection is exhausting! Wanting things to be “just right” is terribly restrictive. While I’m caught up struggling with comma placement and debating the talents of one hairdresser over another, Perfection is running off with someone much more fun – someone who has realised that Perfection can only be attained by learning what is imperfect and embracing these imperfections.

No one is perfect. And it makes me very happy not to be perfect – it is in imperfection that I can live. After all, how boring would a bunch of perfect people be?

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11 comments on “Perfectly Imperfect

  1. Pingback: Slipperty Floors and Made Up Words | dodging commas

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  3. I had a friend who used to say “ROFL” (pronounced “roffle”) instead of laughing, for the sole reason that it drove me insane.

    You may not be perfect, Stef, but as long as you don’t used “LOL” in conversation, you’re alright in my books! 😉

    • Roffle. Ergh. Rest assured, I may just remain “alright” since I hope never to use such phrases in conversation. I don’t guarantee I won’t try to steal your left over dessert if you leave it on your plate and announce you’re stuffed, though. As far as I’m concerned, you’ve admitted defeat and it’s there for the taking.

  4. Pingback: My Weekly Writing Wish for You | dodging commas

    • Hahaha! Walk on over here and we can do all the walking you like! Orchid Garden? Along the beach? To the satay place with the good beer and popiah? 😉

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