Society today is obsessed with the idea of perfection. We are constantly surrounded by different standards that are impossible to meet. Having the perfect body, the perfect relationship, and the perfect grades so that we can grow up to have the perfect career with the perfect family. It can all be very overwhelming and a lot to try to live up to. This leaves a lot of perfectionists in the world trying to reach the incredibly high bar – and who can blame them? But right now, I want to reach out to those who know that they can’t live up to societies expectations and don’t want to. Those who know they aren’t perfect, and are okay with it. Even those who are currently perfectionists, but maybe are tired of it and are looking for a way out. To the imperfectionists.
Let’s start with probably the most prominent expectation of perfection – the perfect body. From airbrushed models on magazines to seemingly perfect actors and actresses on screen, there is a lot to live up to. However, my problem with this is that I like carbs. I know, the dreaded word right? The one thing that will keep you from ever having a flat stomach and definitely shave at least 10 years off of your life. Yep, those are the ones. I love every single one of them. Bread, pasta, mac and cheese, pizza, all of it. And the best part is… that’s okay. To everyone out there who thinks that eating a piece of pizza instead of a salad, or getting their Panera chicken noodle soup in a bread bowl (highly recommended by the way) instead of a glass one is a perfection shattering decision, it isn’t. Your life is not going to end any sooner, you aren’t going to immediately gain 20 pounds, and you will not be any less beautiful inside and out than you were before you took the first bite. In this I am an imperfectionist. I like carbs, and I’m not ashamed of it; I am proud of it.
Next, I think, is second most prominent to having the perfect body, and that is having the perfect relationship. Social media constantly bombards us with pictures of a guy and girl holding hands and kissing on the beach and call it #goals. We see tumbler posts of cute text conversations and boyfriends leaving surprises on their girlfriend’s front porch and call it the #PerfectRelationship. Well I am here to say that there is no such thing as a perfect relationship. To all of my imperfectionists… it is okay if your significant other doesn’t have the perfect twitter worthy response to every text or if their way of making you smile doesn’t go viral as relationship goals. It’s okay to have a relationship that doesn’t fit society’s standards of perfect, or even – dare I say – not to have one at all.
Now let’s talk about careers. College is amazing. It’s a great time to get out on your own and explore yourself. It is made to be incredibly stressful, however, by the insane idea that you have to decide what you love and want to do for the rest of your life in just a year or two, and spend the last two years building a career that will make you lots of money, but will never feel like a job because that’s just how much you love it. But no pressure. I would like to challenge that, though. I want to challenge the idea that by 19 you are supposed to know exactly who you are as a person and what you want to do with your life, and that by 22 you are supposed to be living out that life. To my imperfectionists, it is okay if you change your major 5 times in order to find what you love. It is okay if you don’t have that perfect career at 22. It is even okay if you realize at 30 that you don’t love what you’re doing and go back to school, or go backpacking across Europe, or just pick up and move and start all over.
The problem is that everyone has these milestones in life that they think they have to reach at a certain time, or their life is not “successful” or “on track”. The problem is that society has imposed on everyone this idea of perfection that is not attainable. So to all of my imperfectionists. Do not let the idea of perfection spoil the image you have of yourself. Imperfection is beautiful and so are you.