Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Giving Up on Being Perfect

“Rachel you are on a quest for perfection.”

Immediately I wanted to defend myself. I wanted to strike back with something witty that would knock him back on his ass. I was not! I knew I wasn’t perfect. I knew I had faults just like the rest of us! What kind of dummy would I be if I were striving to be perfect?!?!

Instead I just remained silent…. And let the air become icy in the room.

“Listen to me for a sec ok Rach. Everything you are doing and trying to be you are doing and trying to be in order to be perfect. Your life is based on, ‘when this happens then I will be good enough’ see”?

“But I know I will never be perfect” I am starting to get pissed off here. Who does he think he is?!

“That doesn’t mean you are not striving to get there. Think about it. How many times has your inner dialogue been, ‘when I graduate I will be good enough, when I get the grasp of Quickin then I will be good enough, when I make 100,000 grand a year then I will be good enough, when I blank blank blank blank’ Good enough for what? You are good enough already” He is looking at me intently now.

“Ok I am listening”…. fucktard

“You think when you are perfect you will be free not just from criticism from others but also criticism from yourself.”

“I like myself a lot though. I love many things about me..sometimes too much"

“But deep down you feel that if you were just as smart as your brother then you would be perfect.”

“Fuck my brother. He can kiss my ass.” Damnit he got me there. Defensiveness means its true.

“Why does he have the power to hurt you”?

Tears are welling up in my eyes, fuck fuck fuckidy fuck fuck.

“All he does is try to shoot me down! Whenever I see him he never says anything about the good I do or what accomplishments I have made. All he does is tell me to fucking graduate and get a real corporate type job and stop freeloading and he tells me I am too cocky and arrogant! I mean ME!!! Ok I admit I am a little cocky but at least I am cocky enough to try to bring out other peoples cockiness. He never even compliments my writing he just says ‘your blog is self absorbed and all you talk about is sex’ and of course I talk about sex I have the sexual drive of a Bonobo!!..I mean hellloo... and maybe if I just bring him down it will be better because lets face it I am way better with people than he is and I obviously got the cute gene and the dude can’t even communicate in normal English. It is like techie alien words! He just thinks I am this total fuck up; that I am the black sheep in the family because I did not do it his way.”

“Wow you really look up to him don’t you? I mean his opinion matters to you a lot. You admire him.”

I really want to kick people in the nuts, who have a better insight into me than I do, and then walk away while they squirm on the ground in pain.

And then the tears just start rolling.

Cause he was right. I am on a quest for perfection. Subconsciously I feel that if every single aspect of me were perfect, then no one could criticize. And why is it my brother that matters a ton you ask? Well growing up he was the first person that ever got close enough to hurt me. My first friend. And I love him cause he is my brother. He makes me laugh and he is smart like Einstein. I mean off the charts smart. He introduces me to rock stars and takes me to concerts. He is protective of me when something bad happens. He lets me hang out and be best buds with his wife too. So course it matters. I love the butthead. Think of it this way, if a stranger tells you that you are a class A idiot does it bother you? Of course not, cause they are strangers. But if someone you love dearly puts you down, it stings.

“So what do I do”?

“Rachel you are perfect as you are. There is nothing you have to do because perfection doesn’t exist.” He looks at me square in the eye trying to get his point across.

Perfection doesn’t exist

Perfection doesn’t exist

Perfection doesn’t exist

“Someone will always be around to try to knock you down. You are pretty lucky, your parents never did they only raised you up. Even when you get that devil streak in you they always raised you up. But someone will always try to knock you down and usually it is because you have something they feel they don’t have. You see EVERYONE is on a quest for perfection. EVERYONE has a sore spot of something. Even me. You are good with people, just see it as they are trying to make up for what they feel they lack. Turn it around, everything you make fun of Brother about relates to how smart he is. You make fun of him for being a nerd.”

Did I ever tell you guys how much I hate when someone else is right? I really do. I am really bad that way. Seriously.

“So how do I fix it”?

“By giving up trying to fix it. Giving up the quest for perfection and just being who you are. Those that love you love you because you are you Rachel, and look around you have a lot of fans. You have a lot of love. It is not because you are neat and tidy and great with money,” He winked, “And, it is NOT because you are a saint.”

I wiped the tears from my eyes and tried to regain my composure.

“I need to be smarter though. I need to be as smart as Brother.” Did that just come out as stupid as it sounded?

“No Rachie, you need to just see how smart, in your own way, you already are. You are always learning, changing, growing, but you will never be perfect”

I remained silent. My hands folded across my chest and my lip began to pout as it always does when I don’t get what I want.

“Give up Rach. Give up the idea that you have to be the smartest, most talented, totally together, responsible girl…give it up and then you will just be free to have your star shine. It is complete freedom to just be who you are. When that happens Rach, that part of you that illuminates a room is there. The part that I love is there. Give up the past. Give it all up. You are perfectly imperfect”

Silence. What am I even supposed to say to that? I can’t even call him a fucktard.


He takes out a piece of paper and scribbles on it.

I take it from him and read it. It says one word, “Perfection.”

“Now go outside and burn it”

So I did. It felt damn good.

And at that moment I got it. It mattered not what anyone thought. I am just me. And, something about me is magnificent. Something about everyone reading this is magnificent. Everyone has something. Someone out there will always be prettier, or smarter or more talented. Somebody will always have something we want that we think we need to be better. Not. Fucking. True. And, if anyone knocks you down just know it is because they don’t know what makes their star shine. If you knock anyone down, take a look in the mirror it is what you feel you lack or are insecure about.

I got it now.

I am free

So are all of you… if you give up the quest to be perfect.

Here endith the lesson



twobuyfour said...

Wow. You ARE smart! So's your bf. Everyone is uniquely special. That's what makes us who we are. You are right on the money. However, there's nothing wrong with trying to improve yourself. You just have to learn that getting a degree or making $100k or losing 5 more pounds won't make you perfect. I guess you got that. But that's not to say that you shouldn't try for those things. The trick is to accept yourself regardless of accomplishments or failures. You can try to measure yourself against others whom you think are perfect, but you'll always fail. There will always be someone else better. But you can certainly set goals for yourself and strive to achieve them. Just go in to it being aware that even if you fail you'll still be who you are - a perfect Rachel Kaplan.

Even the greatest hitters struck out 6 out of 10 plate appearances. Joey D. hit in 56 in a row. 56! And he slept with Marylin Monroe for chrissake! But he was ugly. So much for perfect. TG was the best since the Splendid Splinter. He hit 3000 hits and could have hit over .400 had the strike season not curtailed him. But he never won a World Series ring.

Nobody's perfect. Except a perfect fucktard.

D said...

the thing that nakes us beautiful as that we are flawed couple that with our mortality and you find its incredible how imperfectiontions are the things that seperate us.

work in progress said...

THAT was a great post! I can relate to your sentiment-that annoying enlightenment into your own psychy offered by someone who knows you well.

Fucktard indeed. But it's nice isn't it? To have someone who knows you so well that they can help you become a better you just by loving who you are already?

Anonymous said...

"Perfect is a fault... and fault lines change" - I Believe - R.E.M.


OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Hi Rachel..
Grear Post! Smart guy you've gor there...And may I say from my vantage point at the age I am at---this need to be "perfect" one sometimes has to fight for a lifetime....cause it rears it's ugly head whenever it can...the doubt, the fear, it can arise at a moment's notice. One thing I think I have learned is: Whatever you decide to do, weather it is to climb Mt. Everest, or make an omelet or create a painting---it is the journey. The JOY of the journey. The fun you can have; the actual doing of whatever it is--the act of creating--THAT is the real payoff...not so much weather it was the BEST, the MOST Wonderful, the GREATEST....Enjoy the journey because that is really all it is about. If something good comes out of it like $100,000...that's icing on the cake. I know because I have spent a lifetime being a perfectionist..but I must say, I did not miss the journey trying to reach perfection. I was able to lose myself in the process and truthfully that is when I was and am my most magificent self...! And I believe this is freeing Rachel.
Hope this made some sense...!(lol)

shpprgrl said...

As usual OOLOTH said it well. It's good not to let perfection drive you crazy. It can make a person nutty. (Ask me how I know!)

Keshi said...

Rach u r perfect...u know why...u r beautiful both in and out, smart, witty, loving, loved, u've certainly got the cute gene, knowledgable, sensible, classy and everything a girl should ever be. To me that is PERFECT.

I mean just look at the world...how many uncaring, insensitive and dumb ppl we have in it! And that's far from perfect...far from someone like u.


kat said...

besides, perfection is so totally boring. why the hell try to look, act, talk, work, be like everybody else when you'd just all blend in together? blech.

and besides, einstein forgot to wear pants sometimes. you think that's perfection and something to attain?

Tiffanie said...

That was awesome Rachel. I like what you've written here. And today, I REALLY needed to be reminded of this stuff.

Jewels said...

Found your blog via Tiffany. I loved this post. I think we all need to adjust our thinking this way.

Rachel Heather said...

TwoBuyFour - I agree and there is nothing wrong with trying to improve, grow, learn, etc. In fact it is needed to grow up. But doing it to become perfect was the point I was trying to make :) Giving up being perfect made me set goals just because I felt in my heart that is what I wanted to do. That was freeing.
My God you are a baseball geek too?? I am surrounded by them! People that know stats by heart. Crazy boy. Pad fan pfft.

D - that is suck a 4:00 AM quote. ;)

work in progress - I am pretty lucky I am surrounded by some amazing people. It is annoying though LOL

anonymous - nice quote. love that song

OOLOTH - I love your wisdom. You are so right on. It is the journey of self actualization that is the amazing part. My grandpa once told me that the path to Eden leads straight through Paradise. I now think that is what he meant. :)

Shopper - You sayin you nutty? Wow then Tink must be lucky. Cause nutty moms are the fun cool moms :)

Keshi - you are such a kind person. And freaking funny. I am going to go to Australia and we will have to meet and go to a concert :)

Kat - He didn't wear pants???? Whoa?!?!

Tiffany - Feel better babe. Remember what you deserve.

Jewels - Thanks for coming by! :) Glad you liked it

Keshi said...

**you are such a kind person.

my kindness has a reason...it's unique and fantastic ppl like u.


kat said...

ok, so maybe it's an urban legend that he forgot to wear pants. i don't know. i do know, though, that he wore a rope as a belt which was never in fashion. and have you seen his har? far from perfect or even in any way socially acceptable.

ashok said...

hi rachel...new to ur blog...very interesting posts...


-J said...

This has been stated by others a little differently. The idea being that you are perfect. Ever changing perfection. You might want to check out a really short book called Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach.

Mike Stickel said...

Wow is right. I know people that have been around a lot longer than you or I that still can't grasp the concept that total perfection is an impossibility.

Your brother is a smart guy — I know him and that's how I found your blog — and the fact that you are willing to accept what he has to say and learn from it is fantastic. My siblings would be very reluctant to do the same and I could probably say the same for advice they give me — at least until I read this.

Others before me have commented and put it in much better terms so I'll end by saying they, and your brother, are right.