I am a perfectionist and a highly detail-oriented person who can sometimes straddle the line of being anal-retentive. Sometimes. Whew. There, I said it. But to make myself feel better, I like to think of it as a gift and a curse. Gift because I tend to notice the minutiae of everyday life that often goes unnoticed by most people. And that makes me special, right? Curse because that same minutiae of everyday life can sometimes distract me from well, life. For example, I have this really weird thing with note-taking. I need my notes — mind you, notes that no one will ever see — to look aesthetically pleasing. What do I mean by that? Firstly, I can’t rush through my notes because then my handwriting will be sloppy and God forbid I take notes that no one will ever see in a messy, hurried scrawl. Secondly, my notes must appear organized and symmetrical. And thirdly, I need my notes to look non-basic; un-uniformed. There can’t just be bullet points and text because, how boring would that look. I need arrows, boxes, underlines and highlighting to break up the monotony. My notes need pizazz. But I sometimes get more caught up in how my notes look, than what I’m actually taking notes of. And therein lies the rub. They’re just notes. Notes that no one will ever see. Yet I inflate the details so much so that they become bigger than the entirety.
I care too much about outward appearances, often to my own detriment.
I want to be perceived in a certain way. I like being perceived in certain way. I strive to have a polished outward appearance because then it looks like I have it all together, like I know what I’m doing. And that constant desire is part of the reason for my lack of writing. Sharing the oftentimes messy inner workings of my life infringes upon all of my perfectionistic tendencies. And it makes me uncomfortable. In my head, I tell myself that I need my writing to be good. Always. And if I don’t deem something I write satisfactory, then it’s not worthy to be shown to the world. So you can imagine that the combination of these things creates quite the life dilemma for me. It’s very hard to truely live when you can’t live until everything seems good enough, perfect enough. I overthink things. I’m always in my head. I overanalyze. I live a life of re-edits and do-overs. But I do want to write honestly and that desire is constantly at war with my compulsive need for perfection. And it’s evident from my lack of blog posts that perfectionism has been winning the battle.
The thing about honesty is that it can’t be scripted. Feelings are sometimes so raw and intense and un-edited. Not polished. Not presented in this impeccably dressed little package with a pretty little bow on top. And I want to share that honesty. I want to BE and just write about BEing. And that includes the good, the bad and the ugly. It includes the messy and the mistakes. The flaws and idiosyncrasies. It includes the tough moments of life while I am in the midst of them, not after I’ve overcome them. But most importantly, it includes all the things that are making me, me. I know I have to learn to embrace the imperfect. The un-polished. Because no matter how hard I try to turn those beloved little details into perfection, its never going to happen. Nothing is ever truly perfect, not even circles.
So how do I find that balance? Still wanting things to appear polished and flawless, yet being okay when they are not. Focusing on the details, yet not being consumed by them. How do I let go more? Honestly, I don’t know. But if I had to guess what the next step would be, I would say it’s simply just to write. Write more and write often.