Perfection, a Gorgeous Nightmare

December 1, 2011
By HalenH BRONZE, Phoenix, Arizona
HalenH BRONZE, Phoenix, Arizona
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Have you ever put forth an excessive quantity of time and effort into accomplishing an objective, making sure it’s done right the first time and reliably? If you have, more than likely you have a characteristic known as perfection. Most people look at perfection as positive, but they fail to look at the obstruction that comes from the negative. It is a double-bladed sword; it pierces through the heart of many, such as myself, and also generates a better work ethic in everything I do. Perfection is life-long battle that is never won and will never fade away; it is what separates me from society’s accepted norm. Perfection means a lot of different things to millions of people, but from my vantage point its definition is something exclusively distinct.

In my life, Perfection has benefitted me in a multitude of ways and I, over time, have come to my own understanding of what it is. My mom instilled in me, at a very young age, to always do the best in any given opportunity and to never stop until I am fully content. From this way of thinking, school instantaneously became a priority in my life. My belief was that it was the light that unveils the uncertainty of the future. It would be misleading to say that learning in school came easy to me, as early on I struggled with a mild case of dyslexia. This disease posed as a treacherous threat and restraint to my learning that seemed lethal. The hours seemed to drift into the nothingness, as my mother and I practiced different exercises to help me overcome this roadblock; she even enrolled me into Rancho Solano, a school specializing in improving math, reading, and writing skills. Finally, after countless months, I got over my dyslexia, and the difference between the simplest things like a 6 and a 9, and the harder things like reading and spelling, became clear. School became effortless to excel in as long as I put my time and heart into it. Elementary school was right around the corner and this time around I had a new set of tools to work with. Ever since my first year at Stetson Hills Elementary, I have received straight A’s and I plan to never accept anything less than that. I am still walking on this route in high school to this day and I am going to continue fighting for what I aspire for. Straight As has become the epitome of what Perfection in school means to me, no flaws or mistakes. Nothing but the best is the standard I grade myself on. Because perfection is a necessity to me, I stay motivated to improve my work and through these efforts I have become a perfectionist.

Perfection has cast out a ray of darkness into my life as well. Perfection is the master of all deceit, almost satanic. It appears beautiful to the eye, but it can cause serious harm by corrupting your vision. Not only does perfection make me a better student, it leaves me with an empty feeling and scars that tell me that I am never good enough. “My paper doesn’t flow well, I hate it! I have to get an A in this class or I’m going to lose my class rank! Where are my errors? How can I make this perfect?” These questions arise from the fear of not meeting perfection. As a result, unnecessary stress is added into my life. To the average student, homework is the primary stressor on a normal day; however in my case I am afflicted with the thought of teachers thinking that my work is rubbish. My biggest fear is getting told my work is a failure by the repulsive red number on the top of the page after I just spent hours upon hours working on my assignment. This number slowly seeps into my head like the venom of a snake flowing through bright blue veins, poisoning its unfortunate victim. My low self esteem is one product of the dark side of perfection. Society’s view of the “perfect, hot man” has also contaminated my mind like a ravaging infection. I could never have prepared myself for or understood the harm that comes with attempting to be perfect, and finally my freshman year my physical body took the toll. I was nowhere close to being “obese;” however, the way I saw myself in the mirror was not the way the world portrayed the “perfect body.” So as a result, after school every day I went straight to the gym to “get swoll.” If I arrived at the GCC gym any later than 2:45 I became enraged because I wasn’t going to be able to finish my work out session by 5 at night. You could say I was showing slight symptoms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, but my commitment to this goal of losing weight was like an addiction to heroine. Every day I did exactly one hour of running on the treadmill followed by another hour of aggressive weight lifting. A workout could never be “complete” if I had not burnt the bare minimum of 1,000 calories. Some of the most dedicated athletes would do this as a regular routine, but the success I was receiving started to get the better of me. Time was of the essence and I, like the rest of America, had an “I want it now” attitude, so I added a catalyst to my routine, calorie reduction. I could not take a bite of one little crumb of food if I didn’t know how many calories were in it, and I would get furious with myself if I exceeded 1,000 calories a day. What started as a painless goal of achieving a better body fat percentage, turned into a violent eating disorder, Anorexia, which brainwashed my mind. Luckily, my mom chewed the same dirt as I when she was around my age and provided me with suitable help. I ran through the gauntlet on the road to recovery, but I reached the finish line just in time. Reflecting on these events later on became an albatross around my neck, and it took forever for me to reap the benefits of the series of unfortunate events. I would have never envisioned that the very thing I lusted for, would eventually consume me from the inside out.

The dictionary definition of the word perfection tells us one thing; however, each individual’s connotation is completely unique. Perfection in my life growing up was always viewed positively, and something that everyone should strive for; although, I have witnessed firsthand the wickedness that arises from it. Even though darkness results from radical perfection, that is no excuse to not give everything your all anyways. True perfection has never been reached and I consider that a blessing in my own life.

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