It is no mystery to anyone who knows me well, that I have often struggled with perceived perfection. I make the distinction by inserting “perceived” because I do not actually function as a perfectionist in my daily life. I would only consider myself fairly organized, and my thoughts are scattered frequently. Really, my motivation has only been to be perceived as perfect, knowing full well that I could never live up to such an unrealistic standard.

Perception of perfection is significantly easier. You only have to keep up the mask in increments. Maybe only for a few hours at work, or during a dinner with some acquaintances. What gets difficult, is trying to justify this lifestyle to yourself. It’s odd. I ask myself frequently why I even care to put up the front that everything is perfect. I have surrounded myself with people that truly would accept me either way and have seen me in my least perfect state. But for some reason, I can’t quite shake the internal dialogue that is telling me to keep the mask up. It’s becoming exhausting. I think I may be easier to just pick a side. Go all in with the perfectionism or just leave it alone all together.

I have found that I normally don’t leave any room for gray. I’m either all in or all out. My life is a reflection of that narrative thus far. I’ve chosen a career that deals primarily in the realm of fact and I make all of my personal decisions independent of others input. For some reason I can’t quite commit to being a full blow perfectionist though. And I can’t shake the thought that it will be unfulfilling at best. It’s as if I like the small bursts of drama that come when the mask slips off. It brings a little bit of unpredictability to my life that ultimately builds endurance for the days ahead. Someone with a true perfectionists heart would leave no room for unpredictability, so I guess I should just end that discussion.

Fortunately, my quest for perceived perfection has fooled basically no one in my inner circle and to be honest, I glad it hasn’t. In my mind, as scattered as it may be, my circle is the reason I haven’t truly felt the pressure to be perfect. A good friend is meant to come along side you in difficult times to help navigate and better each other. Not only that, a good friend will also recognize when you aren’t yourself and pursue it like it’s their issue. My greatest hope is that I can see through their own perceived perfection as they have seen through mine and continue to grow in ways I never thought possible.

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