If you’re like me, chances are, when in the produce aisle, you sift through several pieces of fruit to find the most perfect one. I am that obnoxious person that everyone stares at because I look like a sloth picking the bugs off its young when it comes to finding the ripest piece of fruit in the bin.
Usually it takes me approximately 1-2 minutes, which is LONG in grocery transit time, but worth it. Which brings me to my next little noticeable that has crept up on me lately in life…comparison and the quest for perfection.
I am a self proclaimed and doctor diagnosed “perfectionist”. You may not be able to tell by my blog as it’s kind of one rambly incohesive piece of media, but beneath it all, there is evidence. (My sidebar’s actually the reason I freak out daily- it’s so messy!)
Crossing my t’s and dotting my i’s didn’t happen over night, it became habit when I was a wee lass in Catholic school. Nuns tend to smack your fingers with rulers if you don’t match their standards. (Which really, should they talk? No offense- but just because you’re holy, doesn’t mean you’re perfect!) (Oh and BTW– smacking with rulers was abolished years before I was in school- had to get the dramatic effect in there somehow!)
This perfection “serum” has been coursing through my veins for so long that it has literally consumed me. (If Frankenstein’s creator was still alive, I’d probably be his next specimen of interest to study…or
maybe Hitler’s, but wait- I don’t meet the physical requirements on that…nevermind.) I have tried countless times to “let things go” – (RSVP’s that are late, errands, food, weight, family matters) and there is such a strong current against that way of thinking that I cannot.
It’s quite bizarre because in reality, in person, I am easygoing. Out with a group of friends and I’m always cool as a cucumber whenever picking plans. I don’t usually voice a “nay” against something unless it interferes with my obsession with perfection.
With that being said, perfection is also associated with comparison. It’s a package deal, I believe. You cannot have one without the other. Every time I do anything, a rush of thoughts come into my mind…is it really as good as hers? Is this job really going to grant me validation over so and so? Can I really run more than them?
A little comparison is fine every now and then, but don’t let it consume you. I have a habit of doing this. Habits are hard to break and even harder to break when you are always seen as the “overachiever” or “the winner”. It’s kind of akin to Michael Phelps winning all those medals…he now has to maintain that every time, otherwise he’ll let a whole country down! (See what I mean…there goes that comparison again!)
I’m not saying I’m Michael Phelps by any means, but what other people think of me does play a huge role in my life. I am a work in progress, trying to uncoil myself from a straitlaced utopia (that doesn’t exist) and stretch out into more normal territory- the land of “Nobody’s perfect.”
All in all, lesson learned here is you cannot compare apples to oranges. She is different from you, who is different from me, who is different from them. It’s a basic principle, but we really are all different for a reason. We bring different ideas and thoughts to the large dinner table in life. I hope that one day I can sit down at that table without examining a fork for cleanliness, but rather enjoying the company of my fellow comrades.
P.S.- Did I wear you out with the word different?
What are your thoughts on comparison and perfection? What kind of person are you? Do you adjust according to the situation at hand?
Peace, love, and embracing yourself!