Hi my name is Lauren and I am a “recovering perfectionist.” I say recovering because I can still spend at least 30 minutes trying to create the perfect messy bun! (And if that’s not an oxymoron, I don’t know what is!)
Let me just fill you in on how much of a perfectionist I really am. So first, I can remember my mom getting so frustrated with my younger self when we worked on homework together because if didn’t write a letter or number just right, I’d erase it until I had it perfect. Honestly, I’m surprised I didn’t erase holes in my assignments. Around middle school I went through this phase where I wore a slicked back ponytail everyday to school (yeah it was terrible and I have no idea why I did this). And you guessed it, I would not allow a single hair out of place. Let’s see… I’ve rewritten birthday and thank you cards not once, not twice, but multiple times until I felt my handwriting was good enough. I’ve neglected to post on Instagram due to feeling I didn’t have the “perfect” picture or the “perfect” caption.
I’ve always labeled myself as a perfectionist. You know those dreaded beginning of the school year “get to know you” exercises? The ones where your teacher ask you to fill out an index card with your name and parent contact info and then three words that describe yourself? Ughh, I know, I hated them too.
Well when I was in middle school, “perfectionist” would be one of the words I’d write. I always thought this was a great word to describe myself. I mean being a perfectionist means I’m driven and I strive towards meeting a certain standard! It wasn’t until about high school/college where being messy and real and relatable was the “in” thing and I tended to try and hide my perfectionism. I tried with all my might to put less focus on having things be and seem perfect. I obviously failed. It’s just not in my nature. However, as I tried to be more “relatable” and “real,” I was able to come to terms with my perfectionism. Through this journey I’ve learned two valuable lessons. Here they are:
- Learn how and when to let go. Striving to be perfect in every aspect of your life can become exhausting! And quite frankly, as hard as we may try it’s impossible. Nobody’s perfect! (Ahhh, what relief right?)
- It’s okay to seem “perfect” sometimes. Let me explain. I am just as real when I’m having a great hair day as I am when my hair is totally messy. No matter what my hair looks like, I’m still Lauren; it’s the real me.
So yes, I now term myself as a “recovering perfectionist.” I don’t have it all figured out. Sometimes I spend way too much time on one thing as I seek perfection. I become frustrated when things aren’t the way I envisioned. There are some days I just don’t give a crap. And guess what? It’s okay! ⠀
Remember being real is not just presenting a messy, undone, carefree life. Being real is being YOU, the real you in all of its messiness, its carefreeness, its weirdness, even in its need for perfection.
One thought on “A Letter To A Perfectionist”
Love this Lauren! A “perfectionist” is a way I used to describe myself so you get it honestly. 🙂 I remember those homework days…you wanted everything to look perfect for your teachers. Thanks for sharing YOU!