To The Girl Who Is Striving For Perfection

To The Girl Who Is Striving For Perfection

Redifine your definition of perfecton

To the girl who is a perfectionist,

Stop defining yourself by your ability to control your environment and current situation. Stop trying to strive for perfection where it can never be reached.

Many people dream of it and some people even appear to be it, but the reality is that the idea of perfection is an allusion which can never be grasped. Life is too messy and complicated to strive for perfection. In our humanity, we may be able to imagine what true perfection is like but we will never be able to achieve it. Finally realizing this frees us from straining and wasting our lives for a mirage of flawlessness. Instead, we should embrace our imperfections.

Bad hair day? No problem, the girl beside you had three this week. Forgot about that assignment? That's ok, you get a drop grade. Gained some weight from the holiday goodies? You are still the perfectly beautiful self you were before. Didn't get the job that you wanted? Thankfully, your identity isn't defined by how "put together" your life is. You define who you are not your circumstances or your ability to achieve what society defines as perfection.

Instead of wearing yourself thin trying to satisfy an unrealistic definition of an unrealistic word, seek the One who is perfect. Jesus has already reached perfection so we are free to embrace our flaws. Stop letting your "OCD" or desire to please everyone drive you. Simply let Jesus love you for your imperfect self.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Yes, I Had A Stroke And I'm Only 20

Sometimes bad things happen to good people.

Recently, I read an article on Cosmo that was written by a woman that had a stroke at the ripe old age of 23. For those of you who don't know, that really doesn't happen. Young people don't have strokes. Some do, but it's so incredibly uncommon that it rarely crosses most people's minds. Her piece was really moving, and I related a lot -- because I had a stroke at 20.

It started as a simple headache. I didn't think much of it because I get headaches pretty often. At the time, I worked for my parents, and I texted my mom to tell her that I'd be late to work because of the pain. I had never experienced a headache like that, but I figured it still wasn't something to worry about. I went about my normal routine, and it steadily got worse. It got to the point that I literally threw up from the pain. My mom told me to take some Tylenol, but I couldn't get to our kitchen. I figured that since I was already in the bathroom, I would just take a shower and hope that the hot steam would relax my muscles, and get rid of my headache. So I turned the water on in the shower, and I waited for it to get hot.

At this point, I was sweating. I've never been that warm in my life. My head was still killing me. I was sitting on the floor of the bathroom, trying to at least cope with the pain. Finally, I decided that I needed to go to the hospital. I picked up my phone to call 911, but I couldn't see the screen. I couldn't read anything. I laid down on the floor and tried to swipe from the lock screen to the emergency call screen, but I couldn't even manage that. My fine motor skills were completely gone. My fingers wouldn't cooperate, even though I knew what buttons needed to be pressed. Instead of swiping to the emergency call screen, I threw my phone across the room. "Okay," I thought, "Large muscle groups are working. Small ones are not".

I tried getting up. That also wasn't happening. I was so unstable that I couldn't stay standing. I tried turning off the running water of the shower, but couldn't move the faucet. Eventually, I gave up on trying to move anywhere. "At what point do I just give up and lie on the floor until someone finds me?" That was the point. I ended up lying on the floor for two hours until my dad came home and found me.

During that two hours, I couldn't hear. My ears were roaring, not even ringing. I tried to yell, but I couldn't form a sentence. I was simply stuck, and couldn't do anything about it. I still had no idea what was going on.

When the ambulance finally got there, they put me on a stretcher and loaded me into the back. "Are you afraid of needles or anything?" asked one EMT. "Terrified," I responded, and she started an IV without hesitation. To this day, I don't know if that word actually came out of my mouth, but I'm so glad she started the IV. She started pumping pain medicine, but it didn't seem to be doing anything.

We got to the hospital, and the doctors there were going to treat me for a migraine and send me on my merry way. This was obviously not a migraine. When I could finally speak again, they kept asking if I was prone to migraines. "I've never had a migraine in my whole life," I would say. "Do you do any drugs?" they would ask. "No," I repeated over and over. At this point, I was fading in and out of consciousness, probably from the pain or the pain medicine.

At one point, I heard the doctors say that they couldn't handle whatever was wrong with me at our local hospital and that I would need to be flown somewhere. They decided on University of Maryland in Baltimore. My parents asked if I wanted them to wait with me or start driving, so I had them leave.

The helicopter arrived soon after, and I was loaded into it. 45 minutes later, I was in Baltimore. That was the last thing I remember. The next thing I remember was being in the hospital two weeks later. I had a drain in my head, a central port, and an IV. I honestly didn't know what had happened to me.

As it turns out, I was born with a blood vessel malformation called an AVM. Blood vessels and arteries are supposed to pass blood to one another smoothly, and mine simply weren't. I basically had a knot of blood vessels in my brain that had swelled and almost burst. There was fluid in my brain that wouldn't drain, which was why my head still hurt so bad. The doctors couldn't see through the blood and fluid to operate, so they were simply monitoring me at that point.

When they could finally see, they went in to embolize my aneurysm and try to kill the AVM. After a successful procedure, my headache was finally starting to subside. It had gone from a 10 on the pain scale (which I don't remember), to a 6 (which was when I had started to be conscious), and then down to a 2.

I went to rehab after I was discharged from the hospital, I went to rehab. There, I learned simple things like how to walk and balance, and we tested my fine motor skills to make sure that I could still play the flute. Rehab was both physically and emotionally difficult. I was constantly exhausted.

I still have a few lingering issues from the whole ordeal. I have a tremor in one hand, and I'm mostly deaf in one ear. I still get headaches sometimes, but that's just my brain getting used to regular blood flow. I sleep a lot and slur my words as I get tired. While I still have a few deficits, I'm lucky to even be alive.

Cover Image Credit: Neve McClymont

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I Wish People Would Stop Commenting On My Height, I Get It, I'm Tall

Is this such a tall order?


I've spent the better part of the last 20 years of my life wishing I was shorter. Sure, at 5'11" I'm not that tall, but for as much as people talk about it, it sure feels like it is. I have only recently started to feel comfortable with my height and not feel insecure about it all the time. As one can imagine, it's pretty annoying when the first thing people say when meeting you is, "oh my, you're so tall!" as if I don't already know this information. Some people will even do it more subtly by asking, "how tall are you?" I never ask my short friends this, so why me??

First off, it makes me feel uncomfortable when people mention my height because I don't like talking about it. "Wow, you're so tall! I bet you played basketball!" You know what? As a matter of fact, I did! Thanks for bringing up this useless information!


As I said previously, I have accepted being tall and am usually not insecure about it anymore, but it's a little hard not to think about it when pretty much every new person I meet mentions something about it. I've always subconsciously slouched when I'm standing because standing up straight makes everyone hyperaware of how tall I am, including myself.


The WORST part of it all is when I hear the classic, "Ugh I wish I was as tall as you!"

As someone who has struggled with being insecure about their height their entire life, this is super annoying. Being taller than half the boys in your grade is not fun. Having to slouch in class because I'm afraid the person behind me can't see is not fun. Everyone should be able to feel comfortable with how they look, so be confident in who you are!

All in all, I wish people would start focusing on other traits about me before talking about my height. I am now confident in my height and don't think about it as much, so it would be ideal if I wasn't reminded of it all the time.

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