Letting Go of Perfect

I’ve craved perfect since I was a little girl. I wanted to be perfect when I grew up. Thin, and elegant, and intelligent, and in love, and funny. A mother, a lawyer, a writer, I would be perfect. With every birthday I imagined that next year, next year, I'd triumph. Well, I turn twenty in a couple months, which means, nineteen birthdays have come and gone, and I never reached perfect. I never came close. It took me twenty years to learn that no amount of time will morph my life into the fantasy I invented in my mind. Twenty years to realize that life is all those messy bits we create the fantasy to escape. 

We all do this. Obsess over perfect. How could we not? It’s sold to us after all. In the books we read, and the films we watch, and the social media we scroll through. Telling us if we just lose more weight, just fall in love, just dye our hair, have a child, get straights A’s, if we were "better," we would be happy. And we buy into it. Revealing only the parts of ourselves we deem worthy to be seen, and hiding all the rest, the real stuff, the messy broken bits. We edit our lives, filter our faces, starve ourselves losing the last five pounds, stay in the bad relationship, and never look around to notice that we tear ourselves apart attempting to be something we’re not. 

I am learning to accept reality as it exists. It will never be the fantasy. Of dreamy men laughing from passenger seats, and careers filled with passion and never effort. Reality is crying in a dirty bathroom stall at school, and spending Friday night laying on my bed staring at a small glowing screen. Reality is being alone, a lot. It’s breaking down, breaking out, breaking up, and breaking through. I’m not calling for help here. I am okay. In fact, that’s the whole point. I am a fragmented, jumbled, complex human-being. And that’s okay. Everyone is. We’re all just broken people, carrying around bits of ourselves, doing what we can. 

So today I hand in my official resignation. I give up on perfect. I quit the ideal that only brings pain and burden. I am what I am. I am enough. I'll allow myself to grow without a fantasy as a destination. And whoever I grow into, I love her, because she’s one messy, muddled, wonder. 

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Caroline Anderson is currently a Freshman at the University of Utah double majoring in English and Gender Studies. She is passionate about writing, politics, and female empowerment and felt that Her Campus was a unique convergence of these interests, making it an ideal platform to share her views from. Caroline is a lover of modern art, Europe, chamomille tea, Beyoncé, and her crazy, loud, extended family. She can be best summarized by Shakespeare, "Though she be but little, she is fierce." 

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