Perfect Makes You Tired

February 22, 2018
By sarahyaacoub SILVER, Bowling Green, Kentucky
sarahyaacoub SILVER, Bowling Green, Kentucky
5 articles 0 photos 1 comment

I want to be perfect, the kind of girl that impresses people.  I want to be the best, and I want to succeed.  I don't want to be happy because happy makes you lose your drive, but I want to go far enough that I'm comfortable in the things I've accomplished and the person I am, and I want the recognition for the fruits of my labor, the products of sleepless nights and mindless routine.  If all the world's a stage, I need an audience fit for a star, and I want them all clapping by the time I take my final bow.  It seems like nothing's enough though, and I don't know what more I can do before I crack, freeze, yell "line!" in the middle of the performance and admit I don't know what I've been doing, but that would be failure, and I don't fail.  I don't fail and I don't give in, and I don't stop trying.  I do my best and I give everything I've got and it's enough because it has to be, because not being perfect is a pursuit inherently pointless in its nature.  Imperfection is the most serious threat to brilliance, and the potential for perfection is the motivator for my entire life.  My entire life can't be pointless, and I will be perfect if it kills me; I have walked each step with only perfection in mind, the light at the end of the pitch-black tunnel through which I stumble, clinging to hope and shreds of faith that I will stay afloat amid this ocean of doubt and defeat.  I have to win this battle so I can win the war.  I have to be perfect.


But life has taught me things already, the first of which is:  perfect makes you tired.  Perfect is long days, longer nights; perfect is captain of every team, president of every club; perfect is applying to everything and somehow giving all of it a hundred percent, even when you've sunk to zero and you feel like you're running on empty; perfect is no mistakes, doing more than enough and more than too much; perfect is taking life head-on and seizing each opportunity that knocks because what if now's your only chance?  Perfect is exhausting, an uphill battle, an endless war.  Perfect is distress and mental collapse, the verge of a breakdown and constant fear of the burnout they warn you about; perfect is scared they're right and you're wrong, and perfect is the way it feels when you're almost at the top but you can't find the strength to take another step and you're so out of breath you just crumple to the ground.


The truth is that I don't want perfect because wanting is not critical to the continuation of one's objective reality; I need perfect like I need water, like I need oxygen, or maybe even more.  I need perfect and it is essential to my existence and without it I cannot be who I am.  And maybe that means I'm crazy, broken; maybe that makes me an overambitious, overanxious overachiever who doesn't know her limits and lacks in common sense, but it's me, the way I am, the way I've always been.  Striving to be perfect is for me a way of life, and you can see that in my visible symptoms:  the dark circles under my eyes, my all-out-of-energy smile, how I melt away progressively just a little at a time as the days wear on.  


It's worth it for perfect.

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