In a perfect world…

In a perfect world….

The video focuses on a smiling couple, a barking dog, then pans out. A sea of happy faces and hardworking bodies fills the—/sifhn \\D[F;[]F–FF mY CAT—sorry—my cat storms across the keyboard, scattering pens and crumbs everywhere. His claw snags on the placemat as he shoots to the ground, swiping it like a magician. Unfortunately, he’s utterly talentless and the coffee mug topples, oozing what’s good for me and very, very bad for my computer all over the table. I yank the laptop from harm’s way but, alas, it’s too late! Coffee sneaks in via the micro-SD card slot and creeps through the advanced thermal cooling system, sending fireworks through the flash memory system and leaving the hard drive as blank as the cloudy night sky, or so the Apple Genius sadly informs me later that day, a look of ultimate pity and kindness on his face as his left hand fans a brochure of the newest models.

Yup, this definitely isn’t a perfect world. I doubt it’s even the best of all possible worlds. So then why do so many of us feel such pressure to be perfect? The lure of the ideal of perfection is that it assuages all the nasty worries and concerns. For the many of us lacking complete confidence in ourselves, it is deliciously tempting to think of that amazing high school valedictorian or principal dancer who lands the main part every freaking time as perfect and worry-free. But perfection is an evil fairy godmother whose gift comes at a cost. Cinderella is eternally chasing that elusive goal at the expense of other more important things such as family, friends, fun, health, career goals. She can’t give up because that smacks of weakness.

I speak simply of perfection, but it comes in many flavors. I can seek to perfect myself, an artwork, home décor. However, for many women, trying to perfect themselves is the road to serious problems, such as anorexia and long-lasting metabolic damage.

As I grew up with two workaholic parents, our apartment tended to exist in a state of controlled chaos. Although my heart couldn’t completely grasp my mother’s eternal goal to have a flawless and beautiful home (her mother was and is a pathological hoarder, an uncomfortable legacy), neither could she ever understand the manifestation of my own strain of perfectionism. Achieving validation in one troubled area of our life certainly does not fix everything.

Perfection is such as weird concept. It really is impossible to be perfect on earth because the definition of perfect varies. A perfect woman here is not  a perfect woman there, and it’s foolish to claim that my perception of it must be right. We only shoot for what looks perfect to us and a few people whose opinion we value, relying on the belief in the existence of a universal perfect. Some religious people and Greek philosophers might argue that yes, there is a universal perfect, but, personally, I believe in a bottom-up order to the universe. The smallest particles that gradually coalesce into a beautiful image don’t follow a blue print laid down by God or the Forms. As long as you believe in yourself, you don’t need to worry about disappointing some other plan because the plan for you is still in the making.

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