“There is no such thing as perfect in this world. That may sound cliché, but it’s the truth. The average person admires perfection and seeks to obtain it. But what’s the point of achieving perfection? There is none. Nothing. Not a single thing. I loathe perfection! If something is perfect, then there is nothing left. There is no room for imagination. No place left for that person to gain additional knowledge or abilities. Do you know what that means? For scientists such as us, perfection only brings despair. It is our job to create things more wonderful than anything before them, but never to obtain perfection. A scientist must be a person who finds ecstasy while suffering from that antinomy. ” ~ Mayuri Kurotsuchi
Quite some time ago I was asked, “Name a moment in time that changed your life and you didn’t even know it until it had passed.” (Sometimes it takes me awhile to answer.) Here is that moment …
Nearly 29 years ago, I made THE PROMISE (for the first time) to Rocky, my first love — the one and only promise I ever have broken. In doing so, I set-up myself for failure. I assure you it was spectacular on every level you possibly could imagine.
When you are raised your entire life with the mindset that perfection is the only form of acceptable achievement … When flaws were noted in full detail and either “disciplined” or discussed, as warranted … You learned that failure never was an option to success.
The entire situation was sad for both of us for many, many years — even though we would see each other off-and-on, now-and-again. It was made sadder still by a web of lies I only discovered many years later, which were finally dealt with, but whose effects still linger (on occasion).
It wasn’t until I was nearing rock bottom at a different time in my life (and thought I HAD dealt with my “perfectionism”) that I realized how much crap I was still carrying around. How much I still wanted everything to be “all right, all of the time.”
Here’s the great thing …
My life, literally, was going down the tubes. My health was for shite. My finances were in the toilet. BUT …
1. I had two sons who loved me beyond measure — The Overlord Protectors. Who refused to listen to me say, “Sorry you got the f’d-up mother,” one more moment, and sat me down to give me a stern lecture on everything I’d apparently done right.
2. I had the most amazing friends who wanted to shake the crud out of me, but respected my privacy so much that all they could do was sit back until I fell apart — which I finally did.
3. I had a job that I loved with decent healthcare to get me through the medical stuff.
Nearly three-1/2 years later, I’m still learning the lessons from my “failures.” Just let me say that I know it’s very easy for someone to simply say “do” and you will “be.” It’s one of the reason I am so very careful in the words I choose with folks. And those who know me well KNOW that I’m a great one for “faking it til I make it.”
“Ring the bells that still can ring, forget your perfect offering … There is a crack in everything – that’s how the light gets in.” ~ Leonard Cohen
My best is not perfect … Some days it’s intensely focused; while others days it’s overwhelmingly random. Sometimes my days are incredibly self-centered, and other times I don’t want to hear anything you say about me.
I have demons that I keep to myself because to share them with you will plant them in YOUR mind, digging away … or potentially cause you pain that I’m even allowing them in my mind in the first place. And that’s just the way I’m wired. I’m sure you have your demons, too.
BUT here’s the BEST part …
Every day I still have those two wonderful sons (AND a couple of incredible ladies — Junior Wingmen, too), those same amazingly incredible friends (and more), and work that fulfills me. Every day is a day for me to choose to be happy and to be my best so that I can give my best.
It is easier some days than others, of course. However, these days, my only failure would be not to stay true to myself in my choices.
So take a lesson from a recovering “perfectionist.” Learn to “fail.” Learn the lessons from winning and losing. Be gracious in both … to yourself and others.
And be spectacular!
Photo: Look for the gazebo in the Rose Garden (located in the River Park in Victoria, Texas). This was the scene of “The Promise”.